This is info from the workshop

And here is a picture



bigtrain, originally uploaded by mikemcsharry.


ners a photopeach
demo on PhotoPeach

Who Am I?

Another search strategy

Having strategies to find out what the ‘world out there’ is saying about you is becoming more and more important. The same strategies can be useful for your family and pupils.

In this link some time ago I showed a procedure for skimming blogs and twitter – it’s useful to include your own name, variations on it and your company / school name in those feeds. They’re free to use, after all (said like a true Yorkshireman!).

Here’s another tool –

In their own words, this is what pipl does ‘..Also known as "invisible web", the term "deep web" refers to a vast repository of underlying content, such as documents in online databases that general-purpose web crawlers cannot reach. The deep web content is estimated at 500 times that of the surface web, yet has remained mostly untapped due to the limitations of traditional search engines. ..’



Reveals results from sources as varied as –

A comment on Tom Barrett’s blog


– a retweet by chatcatcher –


And some other options at the end. Now we’re talking!


Following the mikemcsharry search reveals –


I won’t bore you with the detail that then appears.

Can you see how useful this little tool is when you’re looking at reputations?

All’s Fair ..

Social Media and Levelling

Since reading Chris Brogan’s excellent book ‘Trust Agents’ we have completely changed the way we work and connect with head teachers, IT coordinators and technical specialists.

Twitter has been an eye-opener for me, and I ‘join the conversation’ with a few hundred people. That’s a few hundred, not a few hundred thousand.

A few items from Chris’s book keep coming back to me.

Don’t be ‘that guy’ – doing the equivalent of throwing business cards at everyone in sight.
Social media is a ‘reputation engine’ – if you sink there, you’ve got a lot of hard work to swim again.
Once you put something on the internet – assume it’s there forever.

I’ll add – plagiarise at your peril.

In a conference recently an Australian company used a set of slides which had been pulled from the internet – and stuck their logos on the slides. A delegate took a quick picture on his mobile and tweeted it back to the original author.

After a twitter storm the actual author made a new blogpost, and a company’s reputation takes a hit


This caused a reaction from a lot of teachers and educators I talk with on Twitter. Should such a group continue to be so welcoming to commercial folks within their conversations?

The discussions started to get a bit heated, which seemed to take an extra turn when one of the group found a totally unacceptable e-book on Amazon. I have an Amazon affiliate link, and I could put the link to Chris’s book in this blog post. Probably not a good idea today Sad smile.

Now, how do commercial organisations join the conversation with educators? Your comments are welcome.

Canada Freight Train

A massive amount of freight goes between the East and West coasts of Canada.

This is what 250,000 tonnes looks like at 35mph at 2 metres. (See, you can mix metric and imperial measurements – we do it all the time!).

There are only 2 main lines, when the freight trains come through – the passenger stuff waits.

This monster held up our train in Bannf!

Printer Ink Rip Off

Is it really such a new problem?

We are IT resellers, and we’re often ‘pig in the middle’ as far as printer ink is concerned. Customers ask us for advice on network printers – after all, we have to make them work on their systems.

The really difficult bit is inks (or equivalent).

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Natural History Museum visits Leicestershire

Snibston Discovery Park near Coalville is always a great place to visit – especially until the end of October 2010. They are hosting a fabulous photographic exhibition from the Natural History Museum.

The stunning displays of wildlife photographs from around the world are truly amazing – these pictures just can’t do the display justice – but they may give a quick taste.

snibston pictures1

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Schools and Small Businesses

Self-help – who’s following who?

tree in centre of field - Thomas Estley Community College, Broughton Astley

There were two meetings I went to this week – each followed a similar approach.

On Tuesday evening Teachmeet Stoke (#tmx on Twitter) was organised by 3 teachers and held at Stoke on Trent 6th Form College. It felt like 80+ people had turned out from 4pm to 8pm on what was a normal evening. They turned out to help each other and to learn ideas and tips. The atmosphere was stunning and everyone picked up tips, ideas and answers to questions.

I run a business, and we are active members of the local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses. I’ve recently joined the committee. When we were organising events at our last meeting I suggested that the experience, expertise and approach of our members lent itself to a ‘Teachmeet’ approach. Bless ‘em – they were up for it!

So – on Wednesday we had a go. Smaller audience than Stoke (15 people) and less presenters (3). The approach went down very well, and I feel that ‘mighty oaks from little acorns’ may indeed grow. A stunning result was that we had a visitor from the other side of Birmingham – for a meeting in Lutterworth.

This raises the questions – what else can business borrow from schools and what can schools borrow from business?

On My To-do List

Windows Live Writer 2011

At last I’ve put Windows 7 on to a PC in the office for me. (Think cobbler’s shoes).


This means I’ve now got the new version of Windows Live Writer – 2011. On first view, it looks fantastic.

The user interface is much cleaner and crisper


The improved Preview is very powerful –


To-do ..

Use Windows Live Writer to produce blog post comparing Teach Meet Stoke 2010 and the South Leicestershire Branch meeting of the Federation of Small Businesses the following night. (Watch this space)

Update my Live Writer user guide for 2011

This laptop has problems

Half the keyboard doesn’t work

“And yet, when I tried it at home I had no problems”

Sound familiar?

It’s actually a design feature – making half the keyboard not work as expected.

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