Category Archives: twitter

For posterity, the tweets I sent as the #EUref decision became apparent

27798372881_36bfcd08ef_mThe sunny Edinburgh lunchtime outside my window looks sublime, and I’ll be finishing up here soon so I can get out there and enjoy it. It’s Sunday, so about 48 hours after the UK’s 52% / 48% vote to leave the EU. The country will be going through some weird times in the days and months ahead, but for now here are some of the tweets I’ve sent since Thursday night relating to the EUref. This is mostly for posterity, so I have somewhere to refer back to should I ever wish to relive that sinking feeling in the stomach. (Top image courtesy of the Scottish Government, from Flickr.)


The evening had started so well!


As the reality began to take shape about the referendum result…


Some connections being drawn between the #EUref and Scotland’s #IndyRef from 2014:


Back to the misery…


This was weird:


Details started to emerge, about the vote and its consequences. Who voted which way? Who’s ‘to blame’?


Scotland’s future got more and more attention as it became apparent that Scottish voters had diverged so dramatically from vast parts of England and Wales:


Time for Scotland to prepare for an influx of refugees from the rest of the UK?


What of referenda as a means of government?


Analysis of the fallout started to pick up, from many directions:


A little humour. Just a little.


And so to the future:


It seems that most enthusiastic pre-Brexit camps may now those in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt and across the rest of the EU. Tired and bored of the UK’s messing around many will just want us gone, as soon as possible. Will that be time enough for the Scottish Government to put into place special arrangements for Scotland? This is becoming a humanitarian rescue mission.

2014: how was it for me?

davidjarman.infoLet’s not use the word ‘resolution’ for my plans for 2014, but a review of what I hoped to achieve returns a mixed scorecard. It won’t take long to run through a bullet point or two…




  • Blogging:
    • My WordPress review of 2014 tells me I posted 25 times to this blog. Once a fortnight doesn’t sound too much, but of course the distribution wasn’t even. There were months with nothing, then a spurt in the middle of the year. I’m glad I put together the ‘10 weeks of summer‘ series, which got me writing again just at a time when there was plenty to say. The intention was to get in to the habit of posting more frequently, on a wider range of topics and perhaps through shorter posts. It’s not really happened that way, but the blog lives on and hope springs eternal.
    • Twitter has been good fun, as usual. 1,390 followers… who they all are I’ve little idea! As the years go by I make more connections with students past and present, which helps keep me in check with the words and pictures I post there!
    • Edinburgh Napier / Edinburgh International Book Festival: I helped lead a project through work where we covered a wide range of Book Festival events, all linked to World War I. The blog is here, with stuff from me, Napier colleagues and students.
    • Podcasts: on the subject of Edinburgh Napier, I’ve posted many podcasts for my students using Audioboo, which renamed itself Audioboom at some point. What’s more I now have a microphone and have started to investigate and use Garageband to record them. The files go up, I embed them in my online teaching spaces and that’s that.
    • Blipfoto: I had a plan to post a photo a day between 17:07 and 20:14. The inspiration for this? They be the dates between the Acts of Union between Scotland and England, and the independence referendum. I couldn’t keep it going, so the Blipfoto project fell by the wayside. It was good while on trips though, so I filled in some days while in New Zealand. Maybe that’s the best way to use that platform, as the basis of smaller projects, with the images then embedded on the blog.
  • Trips and travel:
    • Two trips to Hong Kong, with work. This was teaching based, with the second one unlike anything I’ll ever see again because of the protest camps. I’ve written some of that up here.
    • The first Hong Kong trip fell just before the Easter teaching break, so it seemed reasonable to take the next fortnight off to see friends in New Zealand. It all went very well indeed.
    • Berlin, Riga and the Positivus Festival in northern Latvia: this was a great trip, I loved all these places and would happily do the whole thing over again in 2015.
    • The Netherlands is becoming an annual excursion, where I head to NHTV Breda University and carry out some external examining. It’s a lovely town, they’re all lovely people and it would be a happy privilege to carry on with this in 2015.
    • Walking: there are two plans on the go, both of which could easily have been completed in 2014, but weren’t even attempted. A ‘missing’ day’s walk on the West Highland Way needs to be filled in, then I’ve ambitions to walk from Leith to Milngavie. These things can be rolled forward.
    • Airbnb: I used Airbnb in three capital cities – Wellington, Berlin and Riga. They were all good experiences, so will be doing this again. I haven’t yet organised to have anyone to stay at mine, but it seems silly not to give it a go before 2015 is over and done with.
  • Other:
    • Arthur’s Seat: I had a plan (again) to climb it once a month, every month. I achieved three out of 12 it seems. JFxxMxxxxxxx
    • Running: I wanted to get 52 half hour runs under my belt through the year, but managed ten it seems. That’s terrible.
    • Novels: I wanted to read two novels, but managed only about 100 pages of one of them. (Nick Cave’s ‘The Death of Bunny Munro’.) Again, a terrible performance.
    • Hamonica: having been gifted a blues harp for my 35th birthday (2013) I figured I should learn a new trick or two on it. Not really managed that either.
    • The RSA: I’m still an FRSA, still sitting on the RSA Scotland Team, still enjoying it.

So what went wrong? Did I waste my time? Probably, but hopefully it’ll be a while before I run out of the stuff and I can go again in 2015.

  • Blogging: more blog posts, more ‘journalling’ using Day One and more experimentation with other media that can be integrated with these platforms and Twitter.
  • Trips: more of this please! More Europe. Airbnb again, plus a bit of hosting to fund it.
  • Walking: I’ll get that bit done up north and I’ll make it along the canal to Glasgow.
  • Arthur’s Seat: yes, let’s achieve it this time.
  • Running: I’ll aim for 26 runs, trying out some fitness apps on the phone (maybe).
  • Novels: fine, I’ll try for the same target.
  • Harmonica: maybe I should plan to play a gig on 31 December 2015…

#UmbrellaMovement: December 2014 in Hong Kong

This Storify captures my tweets from a week spent in Hong Kong.


#10wos 06: I @LoveEdinburgh and not just for one week (28 July to 3 August 2014)

IMG_3329For a few short days I held in my hand the power to reach thousands of people through the @LoveEdinburgh account on Twitter. I wrote up my hopes and plans for the week just as I was taking up the reins, you can read them on the blog here. I am happy to report that the follower numbers went up during my week, though not quite to the 10,000 that remained tantalisingly close yet out of reach. Here are some thoughts from the week.

  • I stuck to the theme of Edinburgh’s August festivals for almost all of my tweets. I wanted to have a distinct identity while running the account and focusing on the festivals seemed a timely way to do so. I had, after all, chosen this particular week months ago with the Fringe’s previews in mind, so it would have been a missed opportunity not to talk about them.
  • In the lead up to the week I lined up a few special events as well – invites to some of the venue media launches, that sort of thing. That gave me some set piece events to cover, hopefully adding some value by giving an insider view from time to time. It was good to see that the official venue accounts retweeted my posts from time to time – Assembly Theatre was most active in this regard; Pleasance much less so.
  • There were some topics that I avoided: the #indyref for example. The previous incumbent said that he had found it problematic when he mentioned the referendum, so the nearest I got was to retweet a message about making sure people were registered to vote.
  • On the subject of retweeting, I avoided doing it as a rule. There were a few occasions when I was asked to RT something by someone I knew, or for a cause I supported, and I was happy to do so. My general feeling though was that followers of @LoveEdinburgh are interested in the voice of the curator, rather than receiving a relatively large number of second hand tweets from other sources.
  • With the same thought in mind, I didn’t spend much time looking through the feed of tweets that previous curators had signed up to. I decided early on that I would send my own tweets, that I would respond if people replied to them, but that I wouldn’t do much in the way of dropping in on others’ posts. That might be seen as antisocial, but I kept my regular account going for that sort of thing.
  • Along the way I posted a few photos – during the venue launches, for example. I could have done more of this as images tended to get a reasonable response. This had been a regular approach of the previous curator and I know that he enjoyed the positive reaction he received from doing it.
  • In the first few days I was picking up 20-30 followers a day, so it seemed perfectly feasible that the account would get to 10,000 while I was looking after it. My bright idea was to set up a competition to mark the occasion if it happened and to ‘reward’ the 10,000th follower. The prize was sourced with a local business and all was going well. However, there were a couple of commenters that questioned the wisdom of this approach as it wasn’t inclusive for the existing followership. An interesting perspective and perhaps a valid one, though that hadn’t been my intention of course. There are apparently ways to pick a random person from among your existing followers, which would have been good to know. Lesson learned therefore. I can report that the growth in followers seemed to stall around the time I announced the competition though, so maybe it was a tad counter productive!
  • With the festival kicking off, work to do, places to be and people to see I didn’t always have time to put much into @LoveEdinburgh. That meant quite a slow start, which was a good thing I think as it helped me work out what to do with the account, gave me some breathing space before the Fringe kicked off and helped separate my week from the previous curator. Things picked up though and I really enjoyed it when friends commented that they recognised the face in the account’s profile picture! (A picture carefully chosen for its inclusion of the lovely Union Canal in the background.)

As the week drew to a close I didn’t have much of a final flourish planned. What I had taken over from, at the start of my week, was quite a crescendo of activity. That reflected the higher level of interaction that my predecessor had had with the followers; I was very happy to wait for those late-weekend conversations to die down before posting much myself.

My closing hours were perhaps the opposite: they were somewhat taken away from me. During the mid-evening on Sunday I opened up my Twitter app to check for any mentions, to see that the picture had already been changed and the next host was sending out messages! This wasn’t exactly what I had expected nor planned for, so there wasn’t much chance to say goodbye.

Hopefully I did my bit to bring a little of the Edinburgh festivals online. The weather was excellent for the most part, the shows I saw all good and there was a lively vibe in the city. Not every city has residents who are proud of where they live, but Edinburgh has a special place in the hearts of just about everyone I know. Some were born nearby, others have travelled far to be here. It’s not just the castle atop a volcano that happens to sit in the middle of the city. It isn’t only the festivals and the universities and the history and the architecture. This is a place where new ideas are given a chance, where those of all backgrounds can have a voice, as can those who are here to reinvent themselves. This makes it hard to leave – just ask the people who love Edinburgh so much they come back every August, who I’m sure wish they could just move here.

Here’s a Storify of some tweets I sent while running @LoveEdinburgh. Please remember that the picture associated with the account changes on a weekly basis!  

Curation: pre-@LoveEdinburgh guardianship

Edinburgh_from_Murrayfield_roofThe clock is ticking around to midnight and I’m about to take over the @LoveEdinburgh account on Twitter. It’s what they call a ‘rotation project’, where a different person runs the account for a week before passing it on. Thus far tonight the preceding guardian has stepped back, announced my forthcoming curatorship and I’ve gotten caught in the crossfire of messages! I fear that it might be difficult to know from which account I’m replying at times, but we’ll see how we go. I’m going to lie low for this evening anyway; no need to jump straight in.

It’s proving hard enough just to pick a photo of myself to use as the account’s avatar.

At the time of writing @LoveEdinburgh has 9,825 followers. I suppose a successful week means not losing too many of them, maybe even adding a few. There are some other things I’d like to do though, besides the metrics. Firstly the community around the account will hopefully be welcoming and help me shape the narrative as we go – I’m very interested to see how that plays out. I suspect there’ll be folk who engage with the account whoever’s running it, while others will be more or less active depending on the topics up for discussion, the photos posted and so on. My hunch is that I won’t track or respond to many Direct Messages: there’s only so much I can keep my eyes on at once.

I want to use different media as we go along, building on text and photos with the occasional Audioboo clip and whatever else comes along. It might make most sense to create, and post these to Twitter, from my usual account (@dsrjarman) and use that as the basis of an @LoveEdinburgh posting.

What will I write about? Well, after seeing a few friends take on the account over the winter months I thought ahead and plumped for late July into early August. It’s no coincidence that we’re on the verge of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (@edfringe) and as such there’s plenty going on in the city. I’ll be going along to the media launches of a few venues, then keeping my eyes open for more festival goings on along the way too. Let’s see how Fringe venues, performers, promoters and, of course, audiences both near and far engage with @LoveEdinburgh. I would have thought that reaching 10,000 followers would be a good start when pushing your show…

In seven days’ time I’ll pick over the experience. If I’ve the energy.

Positivus 2014, in tweets

Tweets from me (@dsrjarman) before, during and after the July 2014 Positivus festival in northern Latvia. (If you can’t see the posts and the pictures below please refresh the page!)

Talking head(s) @audioboo

IMG_1692Over the course of Edinburgh Napier’s 2013 autumn term I’ve been experimenting with as a podcasting platform, adding another level of communication with the students on two of the modules I’ve been working on. The process has been pretty straightforward:

  • using the Audioboo app on my phone I record up to five minutes of audio, give it a title and a category and click ‘Publish’
  • a bit of magic happens in the cloud then after a minute the post is visible on my Audioboo page
  • from there I copy the embed code and paste it into a Label on Moodle that’s positioned next to that topic’s other resources

I try to get the recordings done in a single take – maybe I should put together a bloopers reel, complete with coughs, expletives and a fair smattering of umms and errs. From the beginning the intention has been to try to link one week’s topics to the next, reflecting upon seminar discussions, guest speakers, relevance for assessments and whatever else makes sense at the time. I’ve avoided the temptation to add music, jingles and the other paraphernalia of a radio show, but who knows what treats might be in store for future modules? The simplicity of the Audioboo platform helps too: a free account gives me just five minutes to play with and that’s enough to be getting on with. The app and the web page are easy enough to navigate, though can feel underpowered in terms of statistics and metrics.

Speaking of which, I have (according to Audioboo) had some impressive listening figures:

TSM08103 ‘The Impacts of Festivals and Events’ (40 students):

  • 12 recordings (11 topics + one revision post)
  • Highest play count: ‘1.5K’ (this was for the introductory week)
  • Total play count: 9,370 (average = 780)

TSM09102 ‘Planning and Public Policy for Festivals and Events’ (95 students):

  • 16 recordings (11 topics + five revision posts)
  • Highest play count: ‘4.7K’ (again for the introductory topic, which is embedded below)
  • Total play count: 35,930 (average = 2,245)

All of Audioboo’s play count information is neatly rounded up to the nearest ten, then the nearest hundred once you get over 1,000 – for this reason I do have some doubts about the accuracy of some of these data. What counts as a play? Is it enough for the embedded player to be called up from their servers? There has been a drop in play counts across both modules from earliest to more recent, apart from a single reverse among the TSM09102 batch, so the jury is perhaps out on that one. If actual plays (partial + full) are what counts then this would appear to be a success – that’s a lot of listens. The posts are all publicly available too, each one automatically announced through my Twitter feed during its publication.

It is of course little surprise that so many people would want to hear my utterances, but I’m sure I hardly need to add that. Ahem.

Looking ahead to future modules I’ll carry on working out how best to use this technology. I could take it out on the road, exchanging my bedroom for the streets of Edinburgh on Hogmanay later today, or the pitch of Murrayfield at the 2014 Six Nations games. A further step would see students themselves contributing to a recording, or taking it upon themselves to do the whole thing: contributions from different seminar groups to the same podcast perhaps. There’s plenty of potential in some coverage of the events that the students themselves organise and attend, linking their work to both the module and the broader programme of study. I may start playing with SoundCloud as well, which seems to offer more but might see a return to the simplicity/flexibility debate.

Overall: podcasts have been good for me and hopefully good for the students.