Tag Archives: social media

Hacking the new Facebook profile images

15 Dec

So I got the new Facebook profile today and immediately set about seeing if I could hack it to make it look much better than it does.

It took me a while to figure out the dimensions that I needed, but it seems as though a good size for the main picture is 180×540 – that’s what mine keeps coming out at anyway.

The five smaller pictures are all 97px x 68px so by taking chunks out of the original image you used for your profile picture you can, in theory, create a cool effect.

Here’s what I’ve managed so far. I’m aware that it’s not there yet, but hopefully you can see what I’m trying to do.

hacked facebook profile

Now check out this video of one of the coolest hacks of a facebook profile that I’ve ever seen. Well done sir!

Further inspiration:


    Moving on from The Guardian

    24 May

    So as many of you that follow me on Twitter will know, I’ve decided to leave guardian.co.uk for pastures new. I’ve had a great time working here, made some really good friends and learnt a hell of a lot about working in the media industry. I’ve been lucky enough to spend nearly two years working on what is probably the best newspaper website in the country and it’s proved to be an experience that will stand me in good stead for the future.

    Speaking of which, my increasingly near future lies in Wolverhampton, where I’ve landed a job as an Online Journalist for MNA Digital, the webby arm of the Wolverhampton Express and Star and the Shropshire Star. Specifically, I’ll be taking over the commercial sections of the websites, namely Jobs, Property and Motoring, and will be responsible for the social media presence of both publications. It’s a big challenge and that’s why the role was so appealing to me.

    I’ve got a lot of ideas to take with me into my new job and I’m chomping at the bit just to get going really. I felt as though I’d learnt all I could do in my current position with The Guardian and needed something new to get my teeth into to progress as a Journalist, a professional and an all-round person. It’s a fantastic opportunity and one that I know I’ll enjoy every minute of. Expect more updates as they come…

    Journalists need to start taking more notice of their communities

    13 Mar

    During Meg Pickard’s Social Media briefing today, she discussed how journalists could use the comments posted on newspaper websites as a potential source for new stories or interesting angles on a current story and it made me wonder, why is this practice so underused in journalism? Having spent the time and effort to build up a community filled with intelligent people with local knowledge and often specific expertise, why do newspapers seem not to make the most of this easily accessible, cheap and willing resource?

    It took me back to my studies, where I would often use local messageboards and comment sections to look for potential leads, with mixed success. Often, I would find little of use, but occasionally I would find an interesting comment that I could follow up. I was once able to scoop the Birmingham Mail with a story about how police were failing to crack down on the trading of illegal goods across the region. I discovered this story in a forum post on the Birmingham Mail’s own website.

    So it would seem that there is potential for news stories to come out of user activity on newspaper websites. Yet, as far as I know, it is not a particularly well-utlised area. Time is clearly an issue here. How many journalists have time to scroll through all of their comments to search for something that could well resemble a needle in a haystack? It was commented that, ironically, freelancers may make better use of this resource as their need for that next story is greater than their staff member counterparts.

    If time is the issue, then why not have other staff members do it for you? As commented before, the moderation team at guardian.co.uk now has a Twitter feed @GuardianVoices which highlights good individual comments and interesting debate. Could they be used as a tool to collect potential leads? After all, moderators will already be reading the majority of content of the publication they work for. However, it would require a rather different mindset to look out for story leads compared to the more usual role of finding and removing offensive content.

    The idea, I think, is a good one, but requires a more concerted effort than merely scrolling through comments. ‘What do you want to talk about?’ threads are often used to garner ideas and often work quite well. They certainly aid interactivity, giving the user the opportunity to present their ideas and, potentially, have them reported by a professional journalist. Also, a number of blog posts ask for user opinions about a particular subject, or for ideas to fill a new series, which is a semi-effective of utilising the community.

    I can’t help but feel though, that lots of potential ideas are being missed. Increased interactivity with users builds trust, which in turn produces a higher class of debate and, with it, more opportunities for follow-up articles. Since commenting became the norm on newspaper websites, community conversations have been inspired by the journalists articles. Perhaps it is now time for the journalists to take inspiration from their communities as well.