Digital Economy USRG

Raspberry Pi workshop

Avatar photoApril 26, 2013
by Lorraine Warren

Really enjoyed last night’s Raspberry Pi Workshop at Southampton University, which was sponsored and organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic Innovation and Dirk Gorissen, then part of Engineering and the Environment here. The session began with a demo from Simon Cox and an excellent introduction to parallel processing. 25 folks then got down to business, setting out the basics of getting a Pi up and running with Python and GPIO.

Full report and more pictures on Lorraine’s blog

#Digichamp Flo Broderick on learning to be a Reporter

Avatar photoApril 26, 2013
by Lisa Harris

Only a month ago I spent my Monday morning at university attending a Digichamps workshop on creating and editing video on smartphones with David Willox and Simon Morice of icmReporting.  After learning about conducting video interviews, we exchanged contact details and a month later I found myself working as a news reporter at Digital Media Europe 2013, a conference organized by WAN-IFRAon digital trends within the media industry.

Given that I had absolutely no experience in reporting, I was somewhat surprised when Simon and David sent me off to interview business leaders with a smartphone, an ALM, a microphone and lights on the first morning of the conference.  However, their simple four question approach and their refreshing confidence in a student’s maturity and capabilities enabled me to conduct 11 video interviews over the three days at 200 Aldersgate in London.

As a digital marketer, I’ve come to value the importance of instantaneous coverage and with the help of the iPhone app, Voddio, I found myself conducting an interview, gathering some B-Roll (video lingo for extra footage), editing the piece and uploading it to YouTube in about 30 minutes.

In order to interview effectively, I was encouraged to listen to all of the presentations some of which focused on themes such as paid-content strategies, digital advertising growth and open data.  My highlights included Matt Gierhart’s (Global Head of Social at Ogilvy Action) insightful presentation on “Stories from the Frontline of Consumerism” and hearing from Andy Wiedlin, Chief Revenue Officer at BuzzFeed who spoke about monetization on their social news platform. Impressed by my smartphone interviews, Simon and David threw me into the deep end asking me to present the conference’s live stream channel interviewing Gierhart.  No second takes, no second chances:

I might be set on a career in digital marketing in the technology sector, however, having the experience as a reporter reminded me that there are other fields I am interested in and that exploring as many sectors as possible whilst you are still in education can be exceptionally useful and rewarding going forwards.  I may even be lucky enough to work at the next WAN-IFRA conference in June in Bangkok (Digital Media Asia 2013). If any other Digichamps or students are interested in working with icmReporting then please email

To see my interviews at #DME13 please check out the icmReporting YouTube channel here.


The 2013 Digital Literacies Conference #sotonMOOC

Avatar photoApril 25, 2013
by Lisa Harris

Written by @garethpbeeston and first published on the #digichamps blog:

The #SotonMOOC conference held today was host to a number of prestigious people from UK businesses and Universities, hoping to debate the challenges involved with building, moderating and launching a MOOC.

The event was kicked off by our very own @HughDavis who spoke about the projects in which @CITESoton is involved with across the University and how we can develop online education to cater to the digital arena. Following this, presentations from @CMSinclair, from Edinburgh University, and @Sheilmcn, from CETIS, gave their thoughts on how MOOCs should be developed and to what extent these challenges play a part in the MOOCs that they each have been involved with.

Many famous faces of the MOOC world enjoyed their well-earned coffee break as they recessed for pastries and hot drinks, provided by the University of Southampton catering department. Lovely grub!


To recommence the event, the #Digichamps, @GarethPBeeston and @RenaldoBLive, took to the floor providing a #DrawMyLife video on how the Digichamps came to be and how they can help staff around the University to become more digitally literate. Following on from this were two amazing sessions which focused on various projects around the University that are involved with digital literacies and the use of Web tools for an engaging and enthralling experience online.


A session on “Cool Social Media Tools” was conducted after the presentations that showed us how plugins on @Wordpress can provide an increase in functionality and interactivity on various sites involved with research, education and business. @katieonthetweet, another #Digichamp, also presented an inspiring presentation on an app that allows for the coordination of class recordings, richer media, timetables, notes and support for students at University.

The mixture of cool social tools carefully led onto a session conducted by Prof. @mweller from the Open University. This presentation was streamed online via a Google Hangout, showing practically the extent of the use of Web tools within education. This fantastic presentation inspired many around the room giving a great insight into the running of #H8170Open and Open Educational Resources through MOOCs.

Garf and Renaldo
#Digichamps Presenting

After the lunch break, many delegates took part in a break-out session where various people would debate on the certain challenges, strengths and affordances involved with the creation, development, maintenance and distribution of content and MOOCs themselves. These included using video for further engaging tools, staying safe online and awesome apps in the classroom.

A final presentation to close the event was performed by Mark Lester, who is currently the Head of Strategy & Development at the Open University and a member of the Executive Team @FutureLearn (an initiative to drive open learning on the Web).

Many of the delegates were engaged, inspired and satisfied with an all-round successful event organised by our very own @LisaHarris and @FionaJHarvey. Many thanks to the digichamps, video teams and all delegates were announced to close the event. We wish everybody every success in creating their online learning tools and courses in the future.

Digital Economy Success Stories

Avatar photoApril 22, 2013
by Lorraine Warren

Readers of this blog might be interested in some of the activities going on at the Centre for Strategic Innovation which has really bedded in since our launch  in November 2011. I wanted the CSI, in the spirit of innovation, to be a bit disruptive – my vision was, recognition for top-quality research, externally and internally, but also, to be experimental, to reach out and be interdisciplinary, and to connect with industry on leading edge knowledge exchange. I also wanted the ethos to be open to new suggestions, accessible, bottom-up and fun.

Anyway we’ve had a good start, particularly gaining new  research recognition internally and externally in the EPRSC/Digital Economy/New Economic models strand. For example, I just obtained a 3K literature review grant, “Digital Disruption of the Value Creation Ecosystem– How new business models emerge”. This extends my earlier work as part of Creator  which was again funded by the EPSRC and addressed business models in the digital domain.

But more importantly, there’s news of a significant £780,000 EPSRC research grant award to Prof. mc Schraefel of ECS and our own Dr. Stephen Rhys Thomas, leading a multidisciplinary team from Southampton drawn from ECS, Management and Economics. The successful bid was in response to an EPSRC Digital Economy call for New Economic Models. Congratulations to all concerned!

This EPSRC/DE/NEMODE research strand (value creation, lean/agile business models, underlying processes)  has been complemented with  a seminar series,  Temporality and value at the intersection of arts and technology: advancing theoretical and methodological development and two collaborative events with ECS and the Digital Economy USRG (thanks to Lisa and Graeme), SXSC1and 2 that have brought in 00s of people from across the university, region, and industry, exciting interest as a rapid-platform for knowledge exchange, future research collaborations, especially in ECS, and also, check out the link to see the fun  part, some great vids here.

As well as that strand, there are many, many other areas of interest, publications, grants, developments and initiatives I could have included here – this is just to give  a flavour. Again with ECS we’re hosting an IET-sponsored Raspberry Pi event on April 25 (sold out), and a lunch meeting with Qinetiq in May. I’ll be organising a lunch meeting down the line to discuss these developments and future collaborations, so watch out for the date.  So please do get in touch if there’s anything we can usefully collaborate on.




#WebSci13 is just 3 weeks away…

Avatar photoApril 10, 2013
by Lisa Harris

It is not too late to book your place in Paris :-)

The Web demands new ways of working across traditional academic disciplines. Web Science builds skills and expertise in the technical underpinnings of the Web, the social processes that have shaped its evolution, and the impact of the Web on society. The presentations at #WebSci13 will address these contemporary issues across a wide range of applications from healthcare to cybersecurity.

While the deadlines for presenting have now passed, registrations from businesses, academics, policy makers and students who would like to attend the event are most welcome.

Some of the highlights you can expect at the Conference are:

Day 1 – Thursday 2nd May

Keynotes from Vint Cerf,  co-inventor of TCP/IP and “Father of the Internet”, and Cory Doctorow, novelist, technology activist and co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing. There will also be paper presentations on a wide range of cutting edge Web Science projects,  a lively Pecha Kucha session of short sharp talks and an evening Reception.

Day 2 – Friday 3rd May

A full day of poster sessions, papers and panels – followed by an evening banquet on the Seine.

Day 3 – Saturday 4th May

Debate how the web is revolutionising society, and the event concludes with a final selection of papers.

A draft programme is now available