Presentation: 3 ways to improve your website

These are my slides from today’s meeting.  I was looking at:

  • Improvement 1 – Adding hCard to Contact Details and hCalendar to Events
  • Improvement 3 – Search Auto-discovery
  • Improvement 6 – Add hint text to search boxes

It’s published under a Creative Commons licence (details on the slideshow) so feel free to use it and adapt it as required.

Cheat sheets

These are a few of the cheat sheets that I use with these technologies:




Gareth @ St Andrews


Silk icons

FamFamFam Silk Icons

FamFamFam Silk Icons

I was recently needing a number of small (16 x 16 pixel) icons for a project and came across the Silk Icons collection from FamFamFam, which I can thoroughly recommend.

“Silk” is a smooth, free icon set, containing over 700 16-by-16 pixel icons in strokably-soft PNG format. Containing a large variety of icons, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy. And all for a low low price of $0.00. You can’t say fairer than that … This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

The only icon that I couldn’t find amongst that positive smörgåsbord of iconic loveliness was one for a QuickTime movie, but apart from that it’s served me well for what I’ve required.

Shopping cart icon

While on the topic of icons if you’re looking for an icon for a shopping cart (and let’s face it, who isn’t these days?) there’s an attractive one on offer for free at Bartleme Design.

WriteMaps site map application

Also spotted on WriteMaps Site Map Application.

From the intro blurb:

WriteMaps is a free web-based tool that allows you to create, edit, and share sitemaps online. As a WriteMaps user, you and your team will be able to build and access your sitemaps from anywhere, without having to rely on proprietary desktop apps and static files. To get started, take the tour or sign-up for an account!

I usually use mind mapping software, such as Mindjet MindManager, but I’m quite interested in checking this out.

Information architects of the world unite!

Teaching & Learning with Facebook group

Teaching and Learning with Facebook

BJ Fogg from Stanford University, author of Persuasive Technology and founder of startup YackPack (a Web 2.0-style service for live talk and voice messages), has started a Facebook group for “people interested in pushing the envelope of education” using Facebook.

It’s called Teaching & Learning with Facebook (requires login to Facebook).


What it’s about

Here’s what BJ has to say about the group:

Compared [with] other online systems, Facebook’s tools for groups are limited. Facebook offers no wiki, no group notifications, no applications you can install on a group page. Despite the current limitations (which we all hope will change soon), Facebook has big potential for teaching and learning.

Facebook offers three clear advantages over any other solution:

#1. Our students use Facebook and like it
In most cases our students are already on Facebook. They hang out here. They like it. As teachers we bring our expertise and learning processes into their world.

#2. The social connections are built in
Facebook maps out students’ social connections. This can be used in many ways, such as having students get peer feedback on their work. (The value of Facebook’s Social Graph is a big topic, which we’ll explore together in the coming weeks.)

#3. New applications launched daily
Facebook is adding applications faster than any other company. It seems that most days someone posts a new app that benefits teaching and learning. Soon we’ll have a wealth of options. Most important: All this functionality will be integrated with social connections. (This last idea probably should be point #4.)

I thought this might be an interesting group to keep an eye on, given some of the discussions at IWMW2007 in York. I’ve joined the group, you might like to consider it too.

Real World Racer (Google maps mashup)

Real World Racers

Here’s an interesting Google Maps mashup: Real World Racer, which describes itself as “A Google Maps Racing Game”.

It takes Google Maps data and allows you to race a tiny red car against other white cars on a predetermined route (other routes are available). What is rather serendipitous is that one of the routes is the Swindon, UK: Magic roundabouts which was mentioned during a number of conversations at the IWMW2007 conference in York this week.

Not sure what practical use it might have on a university website, but it’s quite fun, none-the-less. And is totally Web 2.0, so that makes it cooler than an iPhone on ice!

(Spotted on