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Digital Youth Research November 21, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Education, Technology, World Wide Web.
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kidHow Those Pesky Kids Use The Interwebs

The Digital Youth Project, an American, 22 case study, $3.3 million ethnographic study of what kids are doing online, has  published its results. The project is the largest and most comprehensive study of young peoples’ internet use ever undertaken in the US.

The conclusions are sane, compassionate, and compelling: in a nutshell, the “serious” stuff we all hope kids will do online (researching papers and so on) are only possible within a framework of “hanging out, messing around and geeking out.” That is to say, all the “time-wasting” social stuff kids do online are key to their explorations and education online.

Ito and her team establish a taxonomy of social activity, dividing it first into “peer-driven” and “interest-driven” — the former being what kids do with their real-world friends, the latter being the niche interests that drive them to locate other people who are as fascinated as they are by whatever brand of esoterica they fancy.

Within these two categories, the researchers break things down further into “hanging out” (undirected, social activities), “messing around” (tinkering with media, networks and technologies) and “geeking out” (delving deep into subjects based on global communities of interest) and for each one, they describe the successful and unsuccessful techniques deployed by parents and educators to direct kids’ activities.

See the report’s website here.

Download the 2-page summary [PDF]

Download the full report [PDF]

The above copy / post has been shamelessly lifted from Boing Boing

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Connect To Your Computer From Anywhere (And For Free) November 14, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Technology, World Wide Web.
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remoteWatching TV last night, I saw an ad for a paid-for service that lets you connect to your home computer from any other machine with internet access. Great idea, but why would anyone pay for it, when there are free tools that do just that?

Here’s a handy list of options that will allow you get at your desktop from anywhere. Great for accessing info or files, or for getting at your mum’s PC when she can’t figure out how to attach a photo to an email (again).

LogMeIn
LogMeIn was one of the first popular remote desktop solutions aimed squarely at consumers, offering a quick, no-hassle set up to remotely control your computer from the comfort of any web browser. LogMeIn comes in a variety of flavors, but the two that are designed to satisfy your remote desktop needs are LogMeIn Pro and LogMeIn Free. A Pro account adds more features to the service, including drag-and-drop file transfer, file sync, and meeting tools.

This is the one I use to get at my home computer when in work. It’s easy to use and simple to set up.

TightVNC (Windows/Linux)
TightVNC is a cross-platform, open-source remote desktop application. With TightVNC, you need to set up a VNC server on the computer you wish to access remotely; you can then remotely access that computer from anywhere else with any VNC viewer.

TeamViewer (Windows/Mac)
TeamViewer—like LogMeIn—offers free and paid accounts for remote controlling any PC. Unlike LogMeIn, TeamViewer is free for all non-commercial users. It doesn’t offer browser-based remote control, instead using small utilities to connect between computers. TeamViewer is even available as a portable application you can carry around on your thumb drive.

Windows Remote Desktop Connection (Windows)
Windows Remote Desktop—the default remote desktop app that comes bundled with Windows—is still more than enough for most Windows users looking for full-featured remote desktop control. If you’ve never happened upon the Remote Desktop Connection application buried in the Accessories folder of your Start menu, now might be a good time to try it out. Just be sure you’ve enabled remote desktop access.

This is what we use for staff to access our system remotely here at the Chamber.

UltraVNC (Windows)
UltraVNC is an open-source, Windows-only remote desktop application. UltraVNC supports a hefty feature set, including text chat, file transfer support, and support for optional plug-ins. Although UltraVNC only runs on Windows, you can still access your computer from any operating system using your web browser.

So, don’t shell out for something that’s already available free.

This list was put together by those nice peeps at Lifehacker. You can see their post here.

Business Should Embrace Social Networking October 29, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Media, Technology, World Wide Web.
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The BBC today carries an article on how businesses should embrace social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

The article says:

Companies should not dismiss staff who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo at work as merely time-wasters, a Demos study suggests.

Attempts to control employees’ use of such software could damage firms in the long run by limiting the way staff communicate, the think tank said.

Social networking can encourage employees to build relationships with colleagues across a firm.

Using technology to build closer links with ex-employees and potential customers could also boost productivity, innovation and create a more democratic working environment.

“In today’s difficult business environment, the instinctive reaction can be to batten down the hatches and return to the traditional command-and-control techniques that enable managers to closely monitor and measure productivity.

“Allowing workers to have more freedom and flexibility might seem counter-intuitive, but it appears to create businesses more capable of maintaining stability.”

Liverpool Chamber has supported this view for a long time – see our previous posts here and here. We have ourselves embraced social networking as a way to communicate with the local, and global, business community. We’re no experts, but we see its value. If treated sensibly, it’s a great tool for business.

We’re on Facebook (you can be our friend if you like!). We use it to both be a part of Liverpool’s business and wider community, as well as to let people know what we’re up to and what events we’re running.

We’ve also signed up to Twitter although we do keep forgetting to ‘twit’, if we’re honest! Plus we use this blog and Upcoming to stay in touch with interested parties. We also post pics from our events of Flickr, a good way to get a real feel of what we do across to our members. And that’s all above and beyond our normal old website.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Learn To Do Anything With Monkeysee October 28, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Media, Top Tips, World Wide Web.
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Need to learn some new skills? Want to get advice from the experts? Want it for free?

Of course you do. That’s where the video tutorial website Monkeysee comes in. On it you can watch videos from experts in a range of disciplines. They give you the low-down on topics like public speaking, negotiating salaries, managing budgets and writing that killer CV.

But there’s also a whole lot more. How to care for a pet snake, for instance. Or how to survive a zombie attack (shoot them in the head, basically). Or how to make macaroni cheese. You name it, it’s probably on there.

All the vids are short and easy to follow and can be watched in your browser.

Become a right know-it-all here.

Open Office 3.0 – Free Office Software Applications October 15, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Technology, World Wide Web.
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Open Office 3.0, the latest version of the free, open source alternative to Microsoft Office, has been released.

Whether you don’t want to splash out on expensive, proprietory applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc, or just want to stick it to the man by not giving Bill Gates even more of your money, Open Office is the way to go.

It offers equivalent packages to all the major office tools: word processing, databases, spreadsheets, graphic / image manipulation, presentations. It’s compatible with Microsoft, so you can open .doc files etc in open office, edit them and they’ll still work with Microsoft apps. There can occasionally be formatting issues if moving documents between systems, but nothing too bad. And if used as your primary suite of apps in the office or home, there won’t be a problem.

It’s a great option for home workers, small businesses, freelancers etc.

Simply get your free download here and join the open source revolution!

The site may be operating in basic mode at the moment due to high demand, but downloads are still available.

Take a look at Open Office and its tools over on the Lifehacker website.

You can also get a portable version for your memory stick to use anywhere. This is of a slightly earlier version though.

Sponsor Our E-newsletter October 6, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Events, Liverpool, Media, News, Offers, World Wide Web.
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Every week, Liverpool Chamber sends an e-newsletter to nearly 6,000 recipients. It covers our news, top tips and what’s happening in the wider business community.

As part of this, we offer both members and non-members the opportunity to sponsor the newsletter. It’s a great way to get your message accross to your target audience.

Sponsors’ placements take two forms. There is the top text-based story, which can click through to either an article on this blog or to a website of your choice. Prices for this article for one weekare:

  • Members – £150
  • Non-members – £350
  • Charity members – £100
  • Prices for multi-week campaigns negotiable

We also have a graphic image at the very top of the newsletter. This can display an advertisement of your choice. Again, this is then linked either to an article on this blog, or to a website of your choice. Prices for the graphic ad for one week are:

  • Members – £100
  • Non-members – £300
  • Charity members – £50
  • Prices for multi-week campaigns negotiable

Sample newsletter ad - 220 x 125 pxls

We ask that adverts are supplied as a jpeg file, 220w x 125h pixels in size. Alternatively, we can create an ad for you at an additional cost of £10.

We would also require any other copy / images for inclusion on our blog, or the URL of your desired target page.

We also send out a bi-weekly events newsletter, which can also be sponsored, at the same rates, if you have an event to publicise.

If you are interested in sponsoring our newsletter, please email Nick Jones to find out more.

Sign up for our newsletter here.

How To Persuade Others With Subconscious Techniques September 29, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Top Tips, World Wide Web.
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Who could refuse?

Who could refuse?

Whether you work in sales, have a pitch to present, do a lot of networking or simply plan on taking over the world, check out this list of persuasiveness tips.

Put together by the Wikihow website, these 11 tips will help you get people on your side and help you succeeed.

The tips covered include:

  • Framing your ideas in speech
  • Mirroring people’s body language
  • Initiating or reciprocating favours
  • Understanding herd behaviour
  • Having your picture taken with a dog (no,  really, something about appearing trustworth and loyal…)

So, take that first step to getting that job / promotion / contract / country named after you by reading the full list here.

Alternatively, tell us how you get what you want in the comments.

La Princess Is Here! September 3, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in 2008, Capital of Culture 2008, Culture, Events, Liverpool, World Wide Web.
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Quick! Get a rolled up newspaper!

Quick! Get a rolled up newspaper!

So she’s arrived!

Crouching on the side of Concourse Tower is Liverpool’s latest resident, La Princess. She’s been created by La Machine to creep her way through the city over the coming weekend. We’ll be rushing up there later to gawk at her like slack-jawed yokels.

If you haven’t guessed what she is yet, where have you been? She’s been outed on Facebook, Flickr, Popbitch and, um,  here, and people in the street have been overheard discussing her.  Let’s just say if you need another hint, Orwell’s famous maxim from ‘Animal Farm’ didn’t go far enough…

IT’S A SPIDER!

That pic was lifted from the Facebook group. More pics over there.

The BBC has a detailed route and itinerary for La Princess here.

What A Tangled Web We Weave… September 1, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in 2008, Capital of Culture 2008, Culture, Liverpool, World Wide Web.
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What’s this strange web-like structure that’s appeared in Exchange Flags?

Is it part of some French plot to ensnare the good people of Liverpool?

Or is it, as some at the Chamber think, simply part of the lighting rig for the spectacular light show that’s coming to town?

Who can say? All we can guess at is that it’s part of Capital of Culture year and it will no doubt weave its magic all in good time.

[EDIT]

OK, we now know it’s a work of art by Ai Weiwei, as part of the upcoming Liverpool Biennial of Art. Excellent! How very exciting!


Ubiquity – A New Extension For FireFox 3 Users August 28, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Technology, World Wide Web.
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Ubiquity creating an email including selected content

Ubiquity creating an email including selected content

For those of you who have made the switch to superior web browser Firefox, and are using its most up to date version, a new super-duper extension has been released full of innovative ideas.

Ubiquity is an add-on that could make using the web much, much easier. Once installed, Ubiquity lets you:

  • select copy and images from a web page and pop them in a new email (if using GMail) straight from that web page
  • find and insert maps into emails, rather than sending just a link
  • translate foreign text directly in the page you are looking at
  • edit a web page’s content
  • delete HTML elements from a page
  • search a plethora of seach engines and Wikipedia for highlighted text from a web page
  • tons more stuff we haven’t discovered yet.

It’s still in Alpha release, so expect bugs, but after playing around with it we can report it’s well worth investigating and has great potential.

Learn more and intsall Ubiquity here.

Read the user tutorial to see some of what it can do.

If you give it a whirl, why not let us know what you think in our comments?