Archive for March, 2007

I’ve got a PC now, because my powerbook logic board is broken and not worth fixing. I’ve got my various work needs sorted so now I’m using Picasa to take pics off a digital camera and upload them to my Flickr site.
This is a nice pic of Felix on a slide in Devizes at the weekend – with my sister lurking in the background ready for her go.
Picasa doesn’t link to Flickr so I had to use the Flikr Uploadr, built into Flock browser that I’m getting very used to.
Using Picasa to add pics to a blog seems to work very easily, as demonstrated here – almost wish I had a PC [… yeah right]

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Good day today at Brighton Uni, with Prof Flis Henwood and her team working on a Department of Health project about how ICT can help people self manage weight issues.
Started with small team meeting, getting to know the others working on the project [I’m working on the project one day a month].
Then an Advisory Group meeting with several people I know and finally a partner meeting where I ran a session using a version of the card game developed by David Wilcox and Drew Mackie at Useful Games.
I developed some new cards to fit with a health information project, which I’ll post up some time.
The most popular choices seemed to be training workshops in digital health.
There was a fantastic quality and diversity of expertise in the room all day, and a great range of discussion covering every possible base and then some. The project is still at the stage where everything feels possible – I hope Flis can rein that in, gently but firmly, to create a firm foundation for the research in the next two years.

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Lucian Borcanescu was in town today delivering a workshop about web accessibility to 20 local web designers and others with an interest in how to design accessible websites.
Lucian is the ICT Hub Accessibility Champion for the South East and delivered workshop materials prepared by the excellent AbilityNet – the leading UK experts in accessibility and adaptive technology issues.

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Up to London today to hear that Sunderland has won the Government’s Digital Challenge – a year-long competitive process to select the most innovative digital inclusion project.
I was a regional judge for the south east so saw the twelve entries from this region – which was won by Milton Keynes. None was outstanding but the MK one was at least fairly coherent and included some degree of voluntary sector participation.
The ten national finalists were announced last July and since then have been preparing final bids and competing for a £1million prize to take their project forward.
Don’t now anything about Sunderland’s bud but a local voluntary sector contact suggested it had little sector participation.
Chatted to a few people over lunch, including David WIlcox, Gary Coptitch and Pauline Baker – the latter two from team that put together the highly commended runners up project from Manchester.

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Ran a workshop in Guildford today for people from the south east working on shared databases for the voluntary sector. Key issues raised:
– data ownership – technical, legal and political issues
– what data to collect – inc taxonomy, mapping to other sources, reporting requirements, priorities
– sustainability – initial set up costs vs ongoing management and maintenance of data
– technical requirements – web access vs data security
– budget – software + staff time
– roles and partnership development

Two examples were reviewed:
– MERLIN – built and managed by Basingstoke Voluntary Action
– Oxnet – powered by Uniservity

Each have strengths and weaknesses but Uniservity seemed more attactive for its web capabilities and the support team available – although it is more expensive

What next?
All agreed it was helpful to comapre notes and review options. Also discussed how much different people are paying the same supplier
Next workshop could focus on specific issues and answer detailed questions

Six people attended, although nine booked. This is okay but could have been better. ICT Hub met the costs of the session, and this was thought to be a good use of funds [apporx £300 inc trainer + room costs etc]

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