Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shrinking Images for Wordpress Posts

Wordpress will shrink large images for you so that they will fit into the space available.  Unfortunately it's not very good at it.

Take this image from one of the postings made in the practice assignment.

It's a bit blurred isn't it?  Well that's what Wordpress sometimes if you let it do the work.  Here's the same image which I've shrunk using Photoshop, it's much sharper.

So, if you want to make the images you use in a blog post look their best, then size using image editing software and then insert them in the post at that size. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Twitter and Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an online dashboard you can use to keep track of activity on multiple social networks. I am using it to keep track of Tweets using the #stirpr hashtag.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Publics, Collaboration and Wikis

Wikipedia:  Wikipedia articles come out at or near the top of Google searches for many organisations.  There is considerable debate about whether or not public relations practitioners should ever edit pages about their clients.  There are links to some discussions of this in the stirpr  bookmarks.


Wookipedia:  Fan created Star Wars encyclopedia that anyone can edit.  Projects like this have the potential to cause conflict if organisations try and enforce their intellectual property rights on fans.   Some organisation, such as Lucasfilm, have a tolerant attitude towards non-profit making and non-salacious fan projects.   Others take a harder line on such infringements.  For example 20th Century Fox enforced its copyrights on an Aliens themed version of a computer game that was being cooperatively created by fans.

Activists often use wikis to help them organise.  Examples here include

SourceWatch:  "The Center for Media and Democracy publishes SourceWatch, this collaborative resource for citizens and journalists looking for documented information about the corporations, industries, and people trying to influence public policy and public opinion. We believe in telling the truth about the most powerful interests in society—not just relating their self-serving press releases or letting real facts be bleached away by spin. With the help of volunteer editors, SourceWatch focuses on the for-profit corporations, non-profit corporate front groups, PR teams, and so-called "experts" trying to influence public opinion on behalf of global corporations and the government agencies they have captured."

Appropoedia is a wiki aimed at activists interested in “sustainability, appropriate technology and poverty reduction”.
The Activist Toolkit:   a wiki site designed to help activists campaign more effectively.

Corporate use of Wikis:  many organisations use wikis as tools for managing information and for internal communications, others have wikis designed for use by anyone.

Intuit, producers of accountancy and tax software, created TaxAlmanac, a wiki designed for tax and accounting professionals, and uses it as a relationship building tool, “a Community of Customers”.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Making a Video for your Blog

Those of you taking the full-time module are required to make a video for part of the blogging assignment and those of you taking the online version might like to do so.  Here are some resources you might find useful

Free Software

  • Windows Live Movie Maker – if you have a PC this software is free and can be downloaded from the Windows Live website.  It is fairly easy to use and a series of video tutorials showing you how to use it can be found here on the Vimeo website.   This series of tutorials covers everything you need to know to make your own video ready to upload to YouTube or Vimeo . 
  • iMovie – Apple Macs come with the IMovie software installed and you’ll find everything you need to know about how to use it in this series of video tutorials, also from the Vimeo website. 
  • Jing free software that allows you to “create images and videos of what you see on your computer screen and share them instantly.”  I used Jing’s bigger brother, Camtasia, to make the videos in this earlier post where I showed you how to embed a video in a blog post.  . 
  • You might also want to take a look at the free trial software that’s available from a number of companies.  Adobe will give you a one month free trial of their Photoshop image editing and Premiere Pro video editing software for example and Camtasia is also available for a trial period. 
Online Video Editing
There are a number of sites that allow you to edit a video online.  Here are three of them.  With these sites you don’t need to download software, you upload your videos, still pictures and music to the website and perform the editing online before downloading a completed video.
Online Animations
Some  web sites, for example Xtranormal or Go Animate,   allow you to build animated cartoons online.  The sound comes either from recordings you’ve made yourself  or text to speech software and the animation is provided .  by digital “actors” whose movements you can control.   The political cartoon below was made using Xtranormal. 

The creator of this video believes that "This rather soulless medium is perfect for some kinds of political debate."