About This Guest Post

IWMW events have always aimed to provide opportunities for active participation. As Martin Hawksey described in this guest post discussions about event amplification at IWMW events led to ‘inspiring’ development work.

Getting Inspired by IWMW

The first IWMW I remember was 2008 not that I was there but as I’d just taken up a role as e-Learning Advisor at the Jisc RSC Scotland North & East I was interested in events going on in the region. Even though I was not there the ripples from the event resonated with me and shortly after the event inspired by the ‘Use of Twitter to Support IWMW events‘ I took a sideways look at how Twitter could be used as a free SMS message broadcast system. Somehow IWMW 2009 passed me by but I made up for this in 2010.

Even before IWMW 2010 kicked off an exchange on Twitter between Brian Kelly and Tony Hirst about archiving tweets got my grey cells going. Brian was manually collecting #iwmw10 tweets which made me think something automated in Google Sheets would be a better solution. I didn’t know at the time but 6 years that project continues to evolve. I wasn’t actually at IWMW 2010 but watched and tweeted as a #remote participant and even though not there was able to make some connections. More importantly for me 2010 was an opportunity to test out one of my new toys ‘Twitter Subtitling‘. This combined recorded video with an archive of the Twitter backchannel. This solution relied on the TwapperKeeper service to access tweets from the event, which was subsequently sold and shutdown, but before it disappeared I cached the data meaning you can still watch these in their full glory. The interest in this the Twitter captioned version of IWMW 2010 led to some new features, the event inspiring beyond its end date.

[Note the image at the top of this post, taken from the IWMW 2010 abstract for Chris Sexton’s talk, illustrates use of iTitle: tweets containing ‘#iwmw10’ are synchronised with the video recording of plenary talks. A search interface provides direct access to appropriate portion of the video stream; for example I this example, when a participant mentioned how they ‘were ‘inspired’].

In 2011 I was again a remote participant to IWMW. Even as a remote the event was still able to inspire and following a session by Nicola Osborne on Listen, Repeat, Learn: How to use Social Media Conversations to Measure and Demonstrate Impact and Improve Engagement I posted a solution for Google Spreadsheets as a lean mean social bookmark/share counting machine.

For IWMW 2012 at the University of Edinburgh not only was I able to attend but also present with Tony Hirst on a data visualization session and workshop. As I noted at the time whilst living locally family commitments meant I missed out on the social programme instead opting to ‘get drunk on data’. This included some quick data hacks including data Craig Russell presented on UK University Social Media accounts. In terms of more long term developments I put together an example of using the Google Visualisation API to make an easy filter on tweets collected in a Google Sheet, a feature that lives on today.

I was back giving a workshop for IWMW 2013 on ‘Interfacing Google Analytics with Google Sheets for Primary and Secondary Data Analysis‘. For the workshop I developed a Google Analytics Data Bridge (… the things we do for workshops). In many ways this solution has been eclipsed by work from the Google Analytics team on a ‘superProxy’ and Add-on for Google Sheets but another example how IWMW has ‘inspired’ me to explore new ideas (note to self: write proposals with stuff you’ve got, not stuff you’ve got to make).

My last IWMW was 2014 were I was reflecting on some of the work I’d done with the Association for Learning Technology on connected courses. I was also back with a Google Analytics workshop which led on from the work I presented in 2013.

So we come to 2016 where I scheduled to talk again. I’m back talking about Google Analytics in particular how Google Analytics can be used as a part of ‘The Internet of Things’. In my head I’ve got a number of cool Google Analytics hacks to show off designed to get the audience to think beyond page views, now it’s just a case of making the demos…


martin hawkseyMartin Hawksey has held advisory roles within the UK educational technology sector for a number of government funded services and is currently Chief Innovation, Community and Technology Officer at the Association for Learning Technology (ALT). In these roles Martin has supported staff in the exploration and adoption of innovative approaches to teaching and learning including the use of data and analytics in education. Martin writes extensively on Google Apps Script, a programming tool integrated into Google Drive, and is a member of Google Developer Experts community. Notable work with Google Apps Script includes the Twitter Archive Google Spreadsheet (TAGS), a project that was originally inspired by IWMW 2010.

IWMW events attended (3): [IWMW 2012] – [IWMW 2013] – [IWMW 2014]

Participation at IWMW events (4): [Plenary talk at IWMW 2012] – [Workshop at IWMW 2012] – [Workshop at IWMW 2013] – [Plenary talk at IWMW 2014]