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Bye bye, Portsmouth!

(This has been lifted from my UPSU work blog)

Well folks, that's all from me. As of 5pm last night I ceased to be an employee of the University of Portsmouth Students' Union. Tom Worman has officially taken over the reins of the Media & Publications Officer role, and as I speak is probably swinging 50 new projects into action.

I've been employed by the Union in one capacity or another for one month short of the last six years, so it's quite strange to think that yesterday was the last time I'd be poking around the place as an employee.

Two weeks left - time's ticking...

I've just realised that I only have two weeks left in office. That's two weeks to change the world, train Tom (my successor) in changing the world, write a whole raft of training documentation for Tom and whoever else is unfortunate enough to have to tidy up my mess after I'm gone, and God-knows what else.

Fun times ahead indeed... ;o)

Pugwash, monkeys, brass monkeys, stupidity, bitchin', geekery, and guilt-free holiday

Apologies for the 50-in-1 update, but I've got loads of equally important (or, if you're a normal human being, equally boring) things to ramble on about...

Avoiding work by doing work (or, "ideas for the UPSU's online media strategy"...)

Hello everyone! I'm currently bashing this out on one of the two massively popular open-access laptops provided at the NUSSL convention

That's all folks!

That's the end of elections for another year, and the last year I'll be involved in the Union. It's been a helluva fortnight, with a larger UPSU Media presence than ever before.

Elections - behind the scenes - 9

Here's where we're at...

The Union Council report of a Media & Publifications Numpty, aged 19 and 36/4...

This month, UPSU’s media bods have mainly been focusing their attention on…

UPSU's on YouTube!

As we gear up for a video-tastic Elections 2008, I've been polishing our YouTube homepage, which currently has a few videos on including the BBC coverage of the recent anti-fees lobby in Bitterne, and some breakdancing...

Screenshot of the UPSU YouTube webpage

aRSS'ing about with Facebook fan pages

If there's one thing that's truly awesome about Facebook's new(-ish) fan pages, its our ability to combine them with the huge amounts of visual content we make available through RSS syndication from

UPSU Facebook fan page


A new toy for our contributors: a (very poor) attempt at sticky notes for web and news pages. Still, apparently, it's the thought that counts... ;o)

Notes in content items


Smoothly does it...

A little geeky update - now has the rather posh-looking Smoothgallery by JonDesign running the homepage and Social:Life homepage promo images:


It's even got a very flashy preview gadget when you click on "Show all": 

Homepage hero - show all option

The promos are limited to the newest four to keep page load times reasonable, although I'm trying to educate the editors of the tool that two or three are better... ;o)

The open source part is a simple Javascript library based on the open source Mootools framework, which the University's website has been using for some time now to great effect:

UoP homepage promo

UoP homepage promo

UoP homepage promo

(One thing I'm hoping the University will capitalise on in the near future is their provision of RSS; there's clearly a lot of information on the site, but sometimes its nice when you can get the information delivered to you, and at the moment only the news (and possibly the events) feeds are obviously available).

Most importantly with Smoothgallery, the whole thing decomposes into accessible HTML very gracefully - no Flash here at all.

To get it working on, I had to write a small manager application to let us cue up the images:

Homepage hero manager

... and once I'd thrown that together it was only a very short step from there to put yet another RSS feed on - the latest homepage promos RSS feed:

Homepage hero RSS feed

The gallery itself is a brilliant bit of code, and even a numpty like me was able to very quickly create a version for the Social:Life homepage image feed, too, which you can see on the Social:Life homepage if you really want to!

Anyway, I've only got to do another one of these Really Boring Introductions - for the JobShop - and then I can focus on more interesting things. Like sleep...

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