Categories
Competitions Environment Media

INSS Social Sustainability Multi Media Competition

threeleggedstool

Technology Bloggers is pleased to support the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS) Digital media competition “Visions of Social Sustainability”.

The overall goal of the INSS network is to produce a clearer, more applicable definition of social sustainability, and to create opportunities for engaging people in discussions about social sustainability. The network is made up of individuals from various jobs and professions to consider social sustainability, and aims to put people engaging with social sustainability in touch with one another to speed up and promote understanding of this important aspect of sustainability.

The competition is looking for creative explorations of what social sustainability means, how it is being pursued, and how it might be advanced further. The hope is that it will push forward discussion of social sustainability by bringing a broader range of voices into the discussion.

We would invite all readers to think about submitting an entry, give a voice to their ideas and push debate and action in a positive way. Technology Bloggers Editor Jonny Hankins is part of the team that have prepared the call, and through the Bassetti Foundation will help to promote the winning entry.

So why not get your camera or telephone out and have a go?

— Call For Entries —

Multi-Media Competition: Visions of Social Sustainability

What does social sustainability mean to you? Where do you see it in practice? And what are the ingredients for a more sustainable world?

In the past several decades, sustainability has grown into an important and all-encompassing priority for communities and nations around the world. While there is little debate that current patterns of development, production, and consumption are un-sustainable, there is less agreement about what a sustainable world looks like.

There are countless visions of sustainability, and the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability is interested in your vision of social sustainability in a short video or digital media presentation.

Eligible Entries

Amateur or non-professional artists/producers may submit one piece of work in any digital media format up to 10 minutes in length, including but not limited to videos, photo essays, games, and apps. Submissions may be produced using cell phones or other household recording technologies. Limited to one entry per person or group.

How to Submit

Submissions can either be sent directly to visions.of.sustainability@gmail.com or via a link to any large file hosting service (dropbox, hightail etc). Email us with any problems uploading or sending the files. To be considered for the competition, entries must be received by 5 pm EST on January 3, 2015.

Judging

All eligible submissions will be hosted on the INSS YouTube channel and website. The competition will be judged through public vote, and will be promoted through the member institutions of the INSS.

Winning Entry Publicity

The winning entry will be shown at the April 2015 INSS annual conference, where its producer(s) will be invited to present their work. The entry will also be hosted on the INSS website and promoted in other INSS communications. The Bassetti Foundation will promote the winning entry on its website and will seek international press coverage of the winning producer(s). 

Rules

  • Your entry must respect copyright. Any music, video and photos must be your own or used with permission and acknowledged in your description (royalty free or stock audio/photos are ok to use).
  • Your entry must not be owned by someone else (e.g. if you’ve entered into another contest and they now own it).
  • Your entry should be appropriate for a public audience in language and images.
  • Still image and/or graphic slide shows are also eligible, as well as any other digital format.
Categories
Competitions Environment Media Science Technology

Reports from the INSS Sustainability Meeting

As readers might know this weekend I attended the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS) Meeting in Charlotte North Carolina. It was a great event, and I met a lot of great and interesting people, and over this week I would like to write a bit about them and what I learned.

The first is Adrienne Brown, a second year at Dickinson College in Carlisle Pennsylvania. She is currently participating in an application competition which involves answering a prompt with a two-hundred word essay and a two minute video. The organization orchestrating the web-based contest is the Arctic Climate Change Emerging Leaders Program Fellowship (ACCEL). This year they will be piloting an internship program with two positions, one in Washington DC and the other in Berlin, where the two student finalists will work on developing creative marketing strategies using media technologies.

The Arctic Today
The Arctic Today

Adrienne believes that there is a growing need to use technology to talk about important social issues, and as the popularity of social media platforms increase many social movements have started to use these technologies to market their cause to a particular audience. That audience tends to be young and motivated and therefore are a resource of human capital just waiting to be tapped.

To get the ACCEL internship students must gather public support for their essay and video responses. Essentially to demonstrate their ability to wield the powerful weapon of the internet to gain support and spread a particular message. Those who are stronger at encouraging people to act will theoretically get the most votes and present themselves as a good candidate for the position with the ACCEL. Once the public voting ends on April 13th the students who have collected the top ten amount of votes will move to the final round and submit a resume during an interview.

Adrienne feels strongly that the environmental field has not done enough with web-based marketing and is really excited for the opportunity to work on developing a public relations strategy for Arctic environmental issues. At the INSS conference she presented her video response and asked the network’s members to vote for her. Take a look at her essay and video and if you like the ideas presented follow the links and vote for her, and check out the other participants.

I will tell more stories about the event and people involved as the week goes on.

Categories
Fun Internet News

Best internet April Fools 2013

Monday (April the 1st) saw hundreds of high profile April Fools’ Day jokes hit the internet, but which were the top April Fools spoofs online?

7. Virgin

At number 7 this year, is Virgin Atlantic’s glass floor planes. On his blog, Richard Branson posted on how Virgin Atlantic Airlines (in which he owns a 51% stake) are planning on launching a glass-bottomed plane. Branson commented on how he was “thrilled to announce that Virgin has created another world-first with the introduction of the technology required to produce the world’s first glass-bottomed plane.

Glass-bottomed planesVirgin Atlantic also posted the jape on its official blog, stating that thanks to private funding from Richard Branson, the technology had now been developed to give passengers the experience of a transparent floor.

The floor of a plane couldn’t really feasibly be made transparent though; the luggage and engine have to go somewhere!

6. Metro

One of the first articles I came across this April Fools’ Day was the Metro’s April Fools’ Day 2013 round-up. The Metro had taken screenshots of all the top April Fools this year, including Goolge’s, Facebook’s, YouTube’s, Tesco’s, The BBC’s and more.

I only realised when I got to the end of the post that they were all spoofs! The Metro’s April Fool was to Photoshop loads of fake April Fools. Tesco’s 3D food printer, YouTube’s $1,000,000 giveaway and the BBC’s story of how Curiosity rover had joined Twitter, were all very well designed, believable, and well worth a read!

5. The White House

As we the above pranks show, April Fools’ jokes aren’t just limited to a personal level, companies and the media like to play them too, but what about government? Well the US government tried to fool its Twitter followers this year, posting a ‘special video from the president’ – watch it below.

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4. Technology Bloggers

Okay, my post on Monday which informed readers how the Higgs boson has been found  wasn’t true. The Higgs is thought to hold the key (or at least part of it) to help us better understand the origins of the universe. I did also mention in the post how the particle could potentially make time travel viable, and also be the key to ultimate power, enabling us to use nuclear fusion as a power source.

Last month scientists thought they were closer than ever to identifying the Higgs particle, and this is true. However it is still yet to be proved to exist, and it might not be the miracle particle that I made out it could be. Most of my post was made up, as an April Fool – I hope nobody minded.

April Fools from Technology Bloggers! 🙂

3. Google

Google is becoming famous for its April Fools. This year they played several. The most high profile was probably Google Nose, which had the strapline “Smelling is believing.” This April Fool claimed that Google could bring uses the smell of things they were searching for, by “intersecting photons with infrasound waves” they can “temporarily align molecules” to make your screen smell like what you are searching for. Clever stuff – if it were real!

A treasure map of the world
The world, as viewed through Google Treasure Maps

The search giant also created a treasure map version of Google Maps. Google claimed it had found some old treasure maps which once belonged to an infamous pirate Captain Kidd, and it had scanned them and added them to its online mapping service.

Another April Fools joke that Google played was seen in the launch Gmail Blue. Gmail wasn’t blue enough, so they made it all blue, because blue is better! It doesn’t make any sense, but is very comedic – watch the video below for more.

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On Monday, when checking Technology Bloggers Analtyics, it turned out that we had 41 visitors from the International Space Station. I took a screenshot, this is no joke!

ISS traffic stats
We had 41 visitors from the International Space Station!

Okay, maybe it was a joke, yet another Google April Fool.

These are just a few of Google’s 2013 April Fools jokes.

2. Twitter

In third place is Twitter. Twitter’s fool was to trick users into believing that they would soon have to pay for vowels!

It was a half believable story that the social network published on its blog, and it did show innovative ways that people were trying to get around having to pay the five dollar a month fee so you can “use our premium “Twitter” service which also includes vowels” as opposed to having to use the free version: Twttr. Some people substituted o’s (owes) for 0’s (zeroes) whilst in an example in the blogpost, Joan Rivers used the partial/semi vowel ‘y’ to replace all vowels!

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Personally I am not sure that twttr.com would ever really have taken off. Wh-t 1s thy p01nt 0f – Tw1ttyr w1th n0 v0wyls? 😉

1. YouTube

This year, I think that YouTube had the best April Fools’ joke. YouTube claimed, in a video post, that the website was no longer accepting submissions. That’s right, submissions, like entries. This is because the website was simply a massive competition; who could submit the best video?

YouTube logoThat’s right, the competition of YouTube is over, and over the next ten years, the winner will be decided, and on April the 1st 2023, the site will relaunch with just one video on it. The best video. The winner of YouTube’s 8 year video contents!

A pretty good April Fool, but that isn’t why it wins this year. The reason YouTube is number one, is because of the time and effort they put into their April Fool.

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The video above shows the initial video YouTube put out for the April Fool, but what many people never saw was the 12 hour live stream they did! That’s right, YouTube got two presenters to stand in front of a camera and read out video after video, videos which have been posted on the site and are ‘up for nomination’ to be the ‘winner’ of the YouTube contest. Click on this link to see the video, and check out this link to read more on the official YouTube blog.

Which was you favourite April Fools’ Day joke this year? Was it one you played, or had played on you? Do you think that smaller April Fools’ like putting salt in the sugar are no longer that significant, when companies like Google, (who own YouTube) Virgin and Twitter are playing jokes on millions – maybe billions?

Categories
Business Computers Media

Hackathon Season is Upon Us

The use of the term hacker used to be derogatory, conjuring up images of someone cackling like a Witch, hunched over a computer as they steal some poor unsuspecting fool’s bank details. This is changing though, and the present use of the word is much broader and less critical.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about Aaron Swartz, and many see him as “a hacker for good”. He was greatly revered and respected in the Internet world and considered a programming genius by many.

Also today many Internet companies offer prizes to hackers who can break their security systems, so that they can then repair the weaknesses, all done more or less in secrecy obviously.

Here last week in Cambridge Massachusetts MIT held a Hackathon. The prize for the best “hack” was $1500 dollars, with plenty of runner’s up prizes too. And it is sponsored by Techfair, who organize a large business fair.

People from tech companies are invited to the hackathon to meet the ‘contestants’. It is in fact a job fair too, but as the website says don’t bring a CV, we just watch to see what you can do. There are tech talks and mini lectures, all above board as you can see from the website here.

A Hackathon
Inside a Hackathon

And this 20 hour marathon is neither the only nor the biggest hackathon in the USA. In January the Foursquare hackathon took place in New York City. The website has a link to all of the submitted hacks, and they are possibly nothing like you imagine. They are websites that can tell you how long you might have to wait in a certain restaurant, tell you NASDAQ values or help you influence the choice in music played around you, and that is to name just a few.

All this is organized with the help of Hacker League, as they say on the website you can “trust Hacker League to handle hackathon planning and organization” because they “power Hackathons”.

The biggest is in Pensylvania and is called PennApps (presumably after the University). Their January event attracted more than 450 students from 40 universities from all over the world, their prize being $4000 and a visit to Google HQ to demonstrate their work.

So the use of the word “hack” has clearly taken on a different meaning.

As many of you might know my work at the Bassetti Foundation is all about responsible innovation.  If we take case 1, writing code to steal bank details or destroy somebody’s reputation by getting into their email account, we might see this as irresponsible. But case 2, improving security, breeding entrepreneurs and innovation using the same skills and through the same actions by the same people, might be seen as much more responsible and in fact is promoted by organizations, businesses and universities.

It doesn’t look much like hacking to me though.

Categories
Competitions Gadgets

Go Go Car competition winners announced

Way back on the 4th of December, we launched a competition to win a build your own solar powered car kit, thanks to British Gas, who provided us with 5 fantastic Go Go Car’s to give away, to celebrate The Future Car Challenge!

The competition closed on Wednesday the 12th of December, and the winners were announced shortly after. Three of the winners got straight back to me with their addresses, and soon had their Go Go Car in the post to them.

Of the other two winners, one lived outside the UK, so asked us to redraw their name, and another never replied to my messages, so after nearly a month of waiting, I was forced to redraw their name. British Gas have received the names and addresses of all five winners, and they each now have their prize, or it is currently on the way to them.

I thought it would be good to share some of the responses I received from the winners.

The five winners (that are now displayed on the Rafflecopter entry widget) were:
Build your own solar powered car set - John Lewis

  • Claire R
  • Julie K
  • Mel J
  • Michelle J
  • Christopher T

Julie was very appreciative, saying

“Thanks so much – my son will be over the moon”

One happy customer 😉

Chris replied:

“Thank you Technology Bloggers, I’m thrilled and delighted to have won this prize, I always wanted a steam powered model as a child and in the 21st century here I am with what I consider the modern equivalent.

Thanks again, I’m sure my grandson will be fascinated with his new toy.”

I am not sure John Lewis make the steam powered kit anymore, but I am sure the solar substitute will be just as good!

Mel thought the car would be great for her nephews, saying:

“Thank you I am really happy to have won. I’ve told my nephews about it and they think it looks really fun and futuristic and are really looking forward to going solar powered.”

Hopefully we have made more than one person happy with that kit 🙂

Claire jokingly replied:

“Oh my gosh! That is amazing! I can’t wait to drive my new car!”

Claire even sent a picture of the car fully constructed!

Solar Go Go Car picture
The picture Claire sent of her fully constructed solar Go Go car.

Michelle’s story is probably the one that will touch you the most, when I emailed Michelle, she responded:

Thank you so much for your email. It’s made my day! I have MS and am currently experiencing the worst relapse I’ve ever had. The pain is ridiculous and it’s taking me for ever to type this reply as my hands are currently on strike – along with my body and legs!

It will be lovely to see the look on my youngest daughter’s face when I give her this prize. It’s perfect because she’s been learning about the importance of this kind of technology at school and she’s going to feel like Adrian Newey when I give her this!

Five deserving winners and an overall good competition – well done everyone!

Our thanks go out to British Gas for offering the prizes, and to everyone who took part for their entries. Stay tuned to the blog, as we hope to run another (our fourth) competition in the near future.

Categories
Competitions Gadgets Technology

Win a Solar Go Go Car to celebrate The Future Car Challenge

Petrol cars have no future. That is a fact, in 50 years time there will be no crude oil left on planet earth (assuming current consumption rates don’t decrease) therefore there will be no oil left to make petroleum or diesel.

Biofuel, hydrogen, LPG and electric cars are the future, there is no doubt about that. Right now there are many hybrid cars which use petrol with another power source, but in the future, petrol from natural oil will be no more.

There are of course other ways you can power cars, using compressed air is one method as is water-cell technology. These are not however currently concepts in mass production. If you follow those two links, you will find posts written by Jonny on the concepts mentioned.

Arguably the greenest option for the future is electric cars. The electricity used to power the cars can be generate from renewable sources, (it isn’t necessarily, but that is an option) and electricity from renewables is a lot less damaging to the planet than energy generated from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels – be it in on the micro scale inside an engine of a car, or on a macro scale in a network of power stations.

Electric cars are starting to look more and more normal, (in the past some have looked somewhat abstract!) and are becoming more efficient every year.

The Future Car Challenge

This year, British Gas (the company who installed Remote Heating Control in my home) became an official partner of The Future Car Challenge. The Future Car Challenge is an annual event, which showcases the latest developments in the electric car industry. This year, members from the British Gas team drove fro Brighton up to London, with the aim of using the least amount of energy as possible, using the latest electric cars. The team included comedian Robert Llewellyn, Ben Collins, (A.K.A. ‘The Stig’), and Commonwealth gold medal swimmer Ross Davenport.

The Future Car Challenge Ross Davenport
Ross Davenport playing his part in the British Gas Future Car Challenge

British Gas are setting up a national charging network, to help increase the viability of electric cars. A charging network is as vital to electric cars as service stations are to petrol and diesel cars. Some electric cars do have the ability to transfer energy generate from breaking into electricity, (as seem in Formula 1 cars) however this alone isn’t enough to power them, so electric recharge points are essential.

Here is a statement from British Gas on their involvement with electric cars:

The Future Car Challenge Robert Llewellyn
Robert Llewellyn taking part in the Brighton to London Future Car Challenge

“British Gas is dedicated to making the world a more sustainable place now and in the future. We are leading the way in providing expertise and charging solutions in the Electric Vehicle market through partnering with Nissan, Renault, Hitachi Capital, Toyota and Vauxhall.

British Gas’ dedicated charging solutions are safer, convenient and more compatible than plugging electric vehicles directly into the mains supply socket at home. Not only do we offer charging solutions that can cut charging times by around a third, but British Gas also offers its customers specially designed tariffs to help them charge for less.”

For more information on The Future Car Challenge, check out this article on British Gas’s blog. The article also has an embedded video of the event.

The Giveaway

To celebrate the event, we have five solar power car sets to giveaway, courtesy of British Gas!

The prize is a John Lewis Solar Go Go Car, (click the link for more info) a cool kit from which you can build your own solar powered car! Okay it isn’t quite as good as an electric car, but it looks great fun, and could make a fantastic Christmas present…

John Lewis Solar Powered Car KitThe giveaway will run for 8 days, from today until the end of next Wednesday (12.00am on Thursday the 13th).

The prizes will be sent out by British Gas to the UK only, so if you don’t live in the UK I am afraid you can’t enter. If you have an address in the UK you can get the prize sent to if you win, you are in!

How To Enter

It is really easy to enter the competition, all you need to do is enter an email address we can contact you on (if you win) in the Rafflecopter widget below. If you like the blog on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or are subscribed to our feed via email, then you can gain some extra entries.

Want a Solar Go Go Car kit? Enter below!

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Winners will be emailed on Thursday the 13th to let them know that they have won, and will be announced on the blog shortly after.

Good luck everyone!

Categories
Competitions

Three blog contest winners announced

On the 10th of July, we launched our second competition, which saw three blogs (Technology Bloggers, Blogging Fever and TechAtLast) join together, to give you, the readers of Technology Bloggers the chance to win one of three $50 USD prizes.

The competition was a huge success, with a total of 6,590 entries!

I had initially set a personal target of 10,000 entries, however soon realised this was probably a little out of reach. I changed the target to 5,000 entries which I thought we could just about achieve, however we smashed this, gaining close to 7,000!

Entrants could achieve a total of 59 entries, and then a further 5 entries every day, were they to revisit and share the giveaway again.

In total 342 people took part in the competition, which works out at an average of 19 (19.269) entries per person.

On Saturday I used the Rafflecopter widget to randomly select the winners. The winners were:

  • Asha Marie Pena – winning with her entry “Follow @TecBloggers on Twitter”
  • Peter Lee – winning with her entry “Follow @Blogging_Fever on Twitter”
  • Arjun Yadav – winning with her entry “Subscribe to Blogging Fever Via Email”

Asha, Peter and Arjun all won a $50 USD prize – or equivalent amount – to be paid via PayPal.

Technology Bloggers three blog $150 USD giveaway winnersAsha’s winnings are to be paid by Olawale Daniel and Arjun’s are to0 be paid by Alan Tay.

I was left with Peter, and I have already sent him his winnings – I am unsure whether Alan and Olawale have yet.

Here is what Peter had to say:

“Dear TechnologyBloggers.org, BloggingFever.com and TechAtLast.com,

Congrats to you all for doing such a great contest… it was very well done (especially since all of you are from different corners of the world), easy to enter and I enjoyed it very much.

It is such a pleasant surprise to hear that I am one of the contest winner! I joined the contest because it was organized by my fellow blogging friends, Christopher and Alan. I never thought that I would be one of the lucky winners and become $50 richer. For that, I thank you and keep the contest coming! 🙂

Best wishes,
Peter Lee”

One happy customer 🙂

It is good to see that people from our blogs that won the contest. The loyal readers/subscribers among you will probably recognise Peter Lee. He is a regular reader and often comments. He also reads Alan’s blogs and has his own, called Computer How To Guide. Recognise his avatar?

Peter Lee's Avatar
Peter’s Avatar

Arjun is also a member of the Technology Bloggers community. Arjun first commented on my article about the online profile maker About.Me. He has been a loyal reader ever since, and occasionally drops a comment if he has something to say. Another very worthy winner.

As for Asha, I am unsure how she found out about the contest, maybe she reads Alan’s blog, or maybe she found us on a contest site, or via social media. She could well be a reader who just chooses to lurk, rather than be one who comments. Who knows.

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you very much to everyone who entered, I hope you enjoyed the contest.

Watch this space, as maybe soon we will have another contest on the way…

Categories
Competitions

Win a cash prize in our competition!

Technology Bloggers has three lots of cash to give away, totalling the sum of $150 USD!

To be in with a chance to win one of our three $50 prizes (or an equivalent amount in your currency) enter our competition which has just 7 days left.

It is really easy to enter, as we are using a Rafflecopter widget, so you can do as many or few of the easy to achieve tasks we have set as you like. The more options you do, the better your chances!

To enter you must give us an email address so we can let you know if you win, other than that, there are no requirements. Log in with either your name and email, or Facebook and away you go!

Scroll down to get started 🙂

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Win $50 thanks to Technology Bloggers

Here are the terms and conditions of the giveaway:

This giveaway is open globally.

Anyone may enter the giveaway, except Christopher Roberts, Alan Tay and Olawale Daniel.

You will need a PayPal address should you win, so that we can transfer your winnings. PayPal is the only method that can be used to receive winning funds.

The competition ends at 12:01am on Saturday the 11th of August 2012 EST (GMT-4). Winners will be emailed shortly after the competition ends, and will have 5 days (120 hours) to respond and claim their winnings.

Please note Technology Bloggers prize may be paid in an equivalent GBP amount as decided by Christopher Roberts.

Winners will be chosen randomly using Rafflecopter’s random winner selector.

As the prize will be paid via PayPal it will be easy for the winner to converted it into whatever currency they like.

Technology Bloggers will announce the winners within a week of the competition ending, so stay tuned for more information.

Good luck to all entrants 🙂

Categories
Competitions

Win $150 thanks to Technology Bloggers 3 blog competition!

Today marks the launch of Technology Bloggers second ever competition, with a total prize fund of $150 USD PayPal cash!

Win one of 3 $50 prizes in our $150 giveaway!Technology Bloggers has teamed up with two other blogs to provide 3 $50 USD prizes in a $150 joint blog giveaway!

You can enter for your chance to win one of our $50 prizes, and it couldn’t be easier!

For many of us at the moment, times are hard. The global economy is currently trying to recover from an economic downturn, meaning in many countries unemployment high and inflation is eroding the purchasing power of your money.

Given the above, what reason is there for you not to enter our three blog giveaway? Thanks to our competition, you and two other people could soon be $50/£32/€40 better off!

Enough talk from me, scroll down to start entering the competition!

Remember, the more options you enter, the greater the chance you have of winning!

Please note: Winners will have all their entries verified. Should you win and claim to have done something, but have not, you will be disqualified, and another winner will be randomly chosen.

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Don’t forget to look up ↑ and check the terms and conditions!

Come back tomorrow to gain more entries!

The giveaway is open world wide, and will end at 12:01am on Saturday the 11th of August 2012 EST (GMT-4).

Winners will be emailed shortly after the competition ends, and will have 5 days (120 hours) to respond and claim their winnings.

Good luck everyone! 🙂

Categories
Updates

Letting you know about recent updates

As the loyal readers among you may have noticed, there has been a lack of posting in the last week or so, but don’t worry, this trend shall soon be halted, as there are many new and exciting posts written, planned and on the way very soon.

This article is just to keep you in the loop and let you know what is going on.

Usually, I will endeavour to keep people up to date with updates to the blog via our social channels, specifically Facebook and Twitter. I feel the blog is a place for content, whilst notifying you about updating the ‘frills’ that are the design and functionality updates should be the place of social media.

Social Media Updates

Let me start by letting you know how our social side is currently evolving. A few months ago, Facebook stopped feed compatibility, meaning that if you liked us on Facebook, you no longer got updates regarding new posts. Now however I have linked Twitter to Facebook, so every tweet @tecbloggers tweets is also posted on our Facebook page.

UPDATE: We now tweet under the username @TechBloggers.

This means that you can now receive updates of new posts via your Facebook feed.

Some tweeters like to spam you with content every five minutes, likewise, update Facebook statuses practically all the time. I don’t believe in this, and only post/tweet an update should it be something you may want to know. Updates like small site improvements/issues and interesting content are the sort of thing we use our social media channels for.

Occasionally if I find, or someone brings to my attention something interesting that I think is worth sharing to the community, but doesn’t warrant a post, then it may get shared via social media. Don’t worry about getting spammed if you subscribe, we will only be posting stuff you probably want to know about.

I have also recently added a cover photo to our Facebook page, as it was looking a little bland. I didn’t have any great ideas, but I think it works for now 🙂 If you have any suggestions, by all means leave them in the comments below.

Facebook cover photo
Technology Bloggers Facebook cover photo.

In future, I don’t plan on writing as many of these sort of posts, as I feel it is better to keep you informed via social media, of updates as and when they occur.

If you don’t want to miss out on future update news, subscribe now!

Twitter Icon

Facebook Icon

In other news…

Top Writers

For a long time now we have had a top commenters widget at the bottom of every page, however the observant among you may have noticed the appearance of a new widget: a top writers list.

I came across the plugin whilst searching for something else, and thought it was a good idea. This is a community blog, so if we highlight the top commenters, why should writers not be recognised too? Well now they are 🙂

A screenshot of the top commenters and top writers list

The top commenters list excludes administrators and resets every month, the top writers list doesn’t.

Design Updates

Technology Bloggers design is constantly being updated and tweaked. I believe that continuous improvement is important. Most of my time is spent writing and replying to comments, however I do dedicate some time to improving other areas of the site.

One recent update is the removal of the social icons from the sidebar, and the addition of a new set of social buttons to the header. I felt that this area needed a bit more colour, and the buttons bring just that!

More Speed!

A few weeks ago I posted on our social channels:

“Just moved servers in order to speed up the blog 🙂
Do you notice a difference?”

We encountered a few problems, however they were soon sorted out, leading me to later post:

“A few hiccups later, Technology Bloggers is fully functioning and faster than ever!”

The blogs response time was sometimes really quite slow (usually higher than 2000 miliseconds!). I moved the blog to a different server and the response time is now around a quarter of what it was, currently around the 550 ms mark.

That is one reason you may have noticed the blog loading faster, another is because of the relentless efforts that I have been putting into slimming things down and reducing load times.

Google’s Page Speed tools have been very useful, enabling me to see where the site lags, and what can be done to improve it. I think there may be an article on the way soon with more detail on Page Speed, and how I have and am still using the tools to speed up the blog. Watch this space.

Jonny

For a while now, Thursday here on the blog seems to have been Jonny’s day, with him posting a regular feature on a Thursday for more than ten weeks now.

The day is not a dedicated day to the writings of Mr Hankins, however at the moment, I feel it is good that the regular feature is on a fixed day, as it gives consistency. His articles are very popular, and it is a delight every Thursday looking to see what new and innovative topic he has chosen to cover.

Jonny has been busy travelling of late, meaning that last week he was unable to post. Don’t worry though, he already has an article written and lined up for us for tomorrow 🙂

Competition

Just a quick note about a competition I plan on launching next Monday. Technology Bloggers has teamed up with two other blogs, and hopefully will soon be launching a competition in which anyone bar the three prize donors can enter for a chance to win one of three $50 USD prizes in a $150 competition!

UPDATE: This will now launch on Tuesday.

Until Next Time

That’s about it from me now, so remember, if you want to keep up to date, be sure to subscribe to our social profiles, and stay tuned to the blog to see our exciting future unfold…