Jul 24

 The first session of the Learning 2.0 programme has covered Instant Messaging and Blogging.

For instant messaging everyone setup a Windows Live/Hotmail/MSN ID and tried out the MSN Web Messenger service. The hope (I think) is that (some) people will continue to use IM throughout the programme.


The web messenger software (as you might expect) is more limited that the full client you can download, and straightaway several people wanted to have multi-way chats. We came to the conclusion this wasn’t possible (although it is if you download the MSN client), but then it seemed that one person managed to setup a 3 way chat – but we don’t know how. The documentation from MSN is useless! (Update: I suspect that someone in the 3 way chat was running the desktop client and started the three way chat)


I’m currently working with a few people in the library and ICT looking at how we might use a ‘corporate’ instant messaging (+ other stuff) tool from Microsoft called ‘Microsoft Office Communicator‘ which integrates with Outlook and other Microsoft tools. We are hoping to look at how this might help teams that are spread across several sites (especially the Medical sites) communicate.


Then on to blogs – a bit more of an individual task to setup a wordpress blog. I decided to stick with this one, rather than creating a new blog specially for the programme (although I do have a WordPress account hanging around somewhere)


I guess the blogs will be listed somewhere as we go forward so we can read each others posts on our experiences in the programme…

written by ostephens \\ tags:


7 Responses to “Learning 2.0: IM and Blogs”

  1. 1. Jenny Evans Says:

    Hi Owen,
    Yeah, we hope that people will continue to use instant messaging throughout the ten weeks – and hopefully beyond that.
    We are in the process of listing people’s blogs on our learning 2.0 blog – hope to have them up by lunch time today.

  2. 2. Jenny Evans Says:

    Hi Owen, the participant blogs can be found at http://learning20atimperial.wordpress.com/participant-blogs/

  3. 3. MJ Ray Says:

    Great to see WordPress in use, but it’s very disappointing that it’s the Microsoft-only MSN and not the multi-vendor Jabber/XMPP system. Haven’t we got beyond microsoft.ac.uk yet?

  4. 4. MJ Ray Says:

    Also very frustrating that this blog requires Javascript and eyetests. I’ll probably not comment again, but thought I should let you know that your “no people with poor eyesight or good computer security” policy is losing you commenters.

  5. 5. Owen Stephens Says:

    I would agree that the use of eyesight dependent captcha’s on the comments is less than ideal. Unfortunately running the blog without the captcha on comments resulted in large amounts of spam, and currently Typepad (who I use for the blog hosting) do not support alternative forms of captcha (e.g. audio). I suspect that WordPress would do a better job for me in catching spam (Akismet is meant to be very good), but migrating the blog would be a big job that I don’t have time for at the moment.
    I’m less convinced about the Javascript – I don’t equate running javascript with bad computer security necessarily.
    I am sorry that these issues mean that some people aren’t able to leave comments, as I think that comments and conversation are part of a successful blog.

  6. 6. MJ Ray Says:

    Captchas aren’t anti-spam – they don’t test for spam at all. They are easy for spammer gangs to get around if your blog becomes attractive enough.
    I’m surprised that no-one has developed a working anti-spam plugin for Typepad yet because I thought it became free and open source software recently. However, I’m paid to work on WordPress (I use Typepad antispam as one of the lines of defence, instead of the expensive Akismet).
    Running javascript by default is not only a bit less secure, it’s also unnecessary processing which means unnecessary electricty consumption which means unnecessary carbon dioxide production – it’s less green.

  7. 7. Owen Stephens Says:

    I realise that Captcha’s don’t test for spam, and they can be worked round. However, when I implemented I saw an immediate drop in the amount of spam posted in my comments.
    However, things have moved on since then – Typepad does have some antispam measures in place, and perhaps I’ll find these effective – so I’ve now turned off the captcha on comments to see how it works out. I may reinstate if spam proves a problem.
    Although I’m sligthly dubious about the no-javascript arguement (you could say this entire blog is a waste of energy!) I think that you can also use this site without javascript – I’ve got it turned off now and it seems to work OK…

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