Using Cloudworks at ALT-C

We have set up an extensive Cloudscape for the ALT-C 2009 Conference (see ), in which we have placeholder Clouds for each and every presentation. We are keen to use this space as a means of live-blogging and capturing discussions and outputs from presentations at the conference. It is possible to add comments to each Cloud, tags, additional links and academic references; we think it nicely complements the social affordances of Crowdvine. We will be issuing an open invite for people to use the space and add their comments and discussion point, and are looking for some individuals to volunteer to work actively with us to live-blog during the conference (not every session they attend of course!)

We think that doing this will provide a very valuable open resource that others can follow during the conference at a distance, and most importantly it will act as a persistent record of the conference which can be referred to after. We also have an RSS feed for the cloudscape and if you "follow" the Cloudscape any activity occuring there such as new Clouds or comments will appear in the ALT-C Cloudstream (

Below I have written some brief instructions both for presenters and participants:

Clouds - are topics of conversation (in ALT-C's case, a session). You can have a conversation around a Cloud and add relevant links etc.

Cloudscapes - are a collection of conversations about a particular theme or event (in this case, ALT-C 2009). Clouds can belong to more than one Cloudscape.

Following a Cloudscape - If you would like to keep updated on what's happening on the ALT-C Cloudscape make sure you click on 'Follow Cloudscape''

Searching for a session - There are almost 300 sessions this year so it is easier to use the search rather than trawling throught the list. If you know the reference number of the session you are looking for, put this into the search, otherwise type in the title of the session as it appears in the programme. But note that you will have to put the serach in like this 0023 for session 23 or 0231 for session 231.

Sharing pictures, videos, case studies and ideas through links - You cannot upload your files to Cloudworks but you can link to files and content stored elsewhere on websites such as Flickr, Slideshare, YouTube etc. If you want to share other media such as your own mindmaps or other interactive visualisation documents (like CompendiumLD) you must have access to a site you can upload you media onto. You can either add a link by clicking on 'add link', in which case your link will be added at the top of the Cloud, or by adding a hyperlink to your comment (or indeed both!)

Adding tags - To add tags to a Cloud click on 'add tags'  this will make searches easier for you and others.

Adding academic references - Again this can be done in two ways, either click on 'add references' and your reference will be added to the top of the Cloud, or add them to your comment. Use the Harvard Referencing system for consistency.

Adding comments - Whether you are adding a live blog or participating in an ongoing discussion, use the 'post a comment box'. If you are responding specifically  to what someone else is saying, it can be useful to indicate this by adding an @ symbol to their name and putting this at the front of your comment (@Rebeccagalley).

Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights - The default position on Cloudworks is that content and comments added are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution licence. You may decide that you would rather that a Creative Commons Non-commercial or even Full Copyright should apply, in which case make this clear when you add your content or comments. Remember that all content linked to but held on other sites will be subject to the terms and conditions of that site, and not Cloudworks.

Both myself (Rebecca Galley) and the Cloudworks developer (Juliette Culver) will be attending ALT-C this year and if you have any queries we would be happy to help!

  Posted by Gráinne Conole on 3 September 2009


James Clay says...

Am I right in thinking that you can't embed videos into Cloudscape from third party sites, only link to them?

3 September 2009

Gráinne Conole says...

Yes you can embed videos - note the HTML button that enables you to do any of the usual embedding stuff. Your presentation for ALT-C looks great btw - wish I was going to the conference now!

4 September 2009

James Clay says...

I have using the HTML button tried various browsers/computers/embed codes and have still not managed to embed any video into a comment.

<embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="340" src="" 

allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed>

4 September 2009

Gráinne Conole says...

Hi James

thanks for the feedback - we'll look into it.

5 September 2009

Gráinne Conole says...

@JamesClay think we have solved the embed issue, for example putting the following  should now work:

 For example to link to a youtube video on moodle, you need to put into html code the following:

"<a rel="embed" href="">Video about Moodle, on YouTube</a>"


Have set up a cloud to demo, also done one showing how this works with embedding slideshare presentations.
Let us know if you are still having problems.

7 September 2009

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