Pages

Monday, April 29, 2013

Chipping away at the establishment

Titanic I continue to have conversations with publishers in various fields, and the outcome is always the same "it's not as bad as you say it is". So I have no doubt that they will be able to ignore this latest piece of evidence in much the same way they have pretended to ignore all the previous evidence, while continuing to rearrange the deck chairs.

Are elite journals declining? Why, yes they are. So if you're not an elite journal ... come in number 42, your time is up.


Are elite journals declining? arXiv:1304.6460
Previous work indicates that over the past 20 years, the highest quality work have been published in an increasingly diverse and larger group of journals. In this paper we examine whether this diversification has also affected the handful of elite journals that are traditionally considered to be the best. We examine citation patterns over the past 40 years of 7 long-standing traditionally elite journals and 6 journals that have been increasing in importance over the past 20 years. To be among the top 5% or 1% cited papers, papers now need about twice as many citations as they did 40 years ago. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s elite journals have been publishing a decreasing proportion of these top cited papers. This also applies to the two journals that are typically considered as the top venues and often used as bibliometric indicators of "excellence", Science and Nature. On the other hand, several new and established journals are publishing an increasing proportion of most cited papers. These changes bring new challenges and opportunities for all parties. Journals can enact policies to increase or maintain their relative position in the journal hierarchy. Researchers now have the option to publish in more diverse venues knowing that their work can still reach the same audiences. Finally, evaluators and administrators need to know that although there will always be a certain prestige associated with publishing in "elite" journals, journal hierarchies are in constant flux so inclusion of journals into this group is not permanent.





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Assessment feedback only on demand: Supporting the few not supplying the many

I was banging on about this to anyone who would listen at the HEA STEM conference last week. Unfortunately, I hadn't seen this paper at the time, but it's always good to have your prejudices beliefs confirmed :-)

Feedback for the few

Abstract:
There are many pressures on academics to ‘satisfy’ students’ needs for feedback, not least the inclusion of questions about feedback. Many have commentated on the lack of student engagement with summative feedback while most believe that feedback is necessary to improve individual student performance. Several have looked at a range of reasons why students do not collect their feedback, but investigated in this article is how many students collected summative feedback and why they did so. This article outlines an action research–based intervention that involved offering feedback ‘on demand’ to undergraduate students and utilised access statistics data from the virtual learning environment to identify the actual rate of feedback collection by students. Investigated is whether or not there is a discernible preference for seeking feedback where there is a difference between the expected grade and the actual grade. Student survey and the virtual learning environment access data were used to indicate whether students are satisfied with a few short comments and a marking grid, if the mark is similar to their expectations. The resource efficiency and effectiveness for academic staff in terms of providing detailed individual feedback to all students are discussed.

Assessment feedback only on demand: Supporting the few not supplying the many. Active Learning in Higher Education April 15 2013




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Education versus Entertainment: Informal Learning on YouTube

Abstract:
The focus of this paper is a project conducted in 2011, exploring the use of YouTube in the classroom. The project conducted a number of focus groups for which highlighted a number of issues surrounding independent informal learning environments. The questions posed by this research are concerned with what constitutes learning in these spaces; how valid this is perceived to be by the students and how they engage with materials in this space. A question also posed was how cognisant the students are of their learning in these spaces and how they perceive the efficacy of the materials to support and enhance their learning. The research uncovered how the students interacted with each other in these informal spaces and the role that YouTube video content plays in community formation and supporting informal peer learning. The nature of informal learning spaces being that their focus being not solely of education, but also of entertainment leads to a variation in quality, reliability and suitability of content. The research also explored the students’ digital literacy, uncovering the strategies used to first navigate in these spaces and then critically engage, analyse and assess materials that they may find.


Informal learning on YouTube: exploring digital literacy in independent online learning. Learning, Media and Technology, 2013




Google Docs Voice Comments

Google Docs (Drive) can add voice comments to documents. Well, sort of. It requires the addition of an extra web app to do this. How stable is this, will it go away or stop working at some point? It's also Flash-based which rules out use on mobile devices. For these reasons, as well as workflow issues, I don't think this is the answer to giving audio feedback to students, but it is an interesting development.








Monday, April 22, 2013

Make Some Noise

Quantifying the impact of Biosciences teaching After the HEA STEM conference in Birmingham last week (at which I did my usual practice of impressionistic live blogging/note taking via Tumblr) a number of people stayed on for a satellite meeting organized by the Society for Experimental Biology on The new teaching challenge: Quantifying the impact of Biosciences teaching. The meeting discussed four questions:
  1. What are examples are there of robust, recognisable evidence of teaching excellence?
  2. What criteria should be used to get promoted using teaching?
  3. How do we make Universities care about teaching excellence?
  4. How should we resource and support staff learning communities?

I'm not a "formal" member of SEB* and it was good to meet some new people, even though their names were already familiar. The nature of the discussions was very encouraging - including the fact that we didn't all agree on everything. I don't, for example, entirely agree with some approaches to key questions (I would like to see more emphasis on championing and protecting individuals), but this meeting was an important development in promoting the issues around SOTL. One viewpoint which caused some controversy was the need to take laboratory researchers with us rather than allowing walls to develop between "scientific" and "knowledge" workers. It was Friday afternoon and I suspect we were all tired, but this touched a raw nerve and is clearly something we will need to pay careful attention to.

I hope we will able to make practical progress on supporting pedagogic researchers. The meeting made me realize how lucky we are in Leicester with our PedR Group. Hopefully more people will be able to count on that type of support as we look ahead.


Assessing and rewarding excellent academic teachers for the benefit of an organization. (2013) European Journal of Higher Education: 1-22



*Formal in the sense that I don't pay membership fees, but I do talk to SEB members frequently, mostly via social media. Where does organizational membership stop and the individual begin, particularly in an age of social media-fostered disintermediation?



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Engaging by Talking: Audio Feedback #HEASTEM13

For the next few days I will be at the HEA STEM: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2013, where I have a poster about my recent work on audio feedback. Posters are fine if you get to talk face to face, but for those who can't be there, here's the "live" version:




Poster




Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bloom's Taxonomy Visualized

Blooms Taxonomy This post has an interesting collection of visualizations of Bloom's taxonomy, still the most important educational concept of the last 50 years in my opinion.

It's interesting to see the circular bezels creeping in - I'm still a classic pyramid man myself. But different people need different stimuli, and as long as folks think about the underlying ideas, that's OK with me.







Monday, April 15, 2013

Making Movies - PowerPoint Slide Shows

This post originally appeared on the @leBioscience blog.
(Post updated 31.01.14 to reflect the demise of SlideShare Slidecasts).



Steve phoned me last week and asked about options for making online PowerPoint presentations more engaging. I had been meaning to write about this for a while so this was a good prompt for me to get on with it.

1. PowerPoint Slide Shows
In current versions of PowerPoint it is possible to record an audio narration to a slide show:

PowerPoint Slide Shows

There are some differences between Windows and Macintosh versions of PowerPoint, e.g. there is no "laser pointer" option on Macintosh, so you'll have to figure out the details from the PowerPoint Help files.

Downsides:
Slide shows have large file sizes so you quickly exceed your Blackboard quota. It is possible to save a slide show as a video (File: Save as Movie) - but doesn't save sound or animations, mouse movements, etc.
There is no autoplay setting (that I can find) so you'll need to put instructions on how to play on the first slide.
Accessibility may be a concern when using video files for screencasts. A solution is to make use of the Presenter Notes field in PowerPoint to add the extra detail that the voiceover provides and upload the original, non-narrated PowerPoint file separately.


2. Screen Capture Video
Use screen capture sofware such as Camtasia, Captivate or Snapz Pro X to record a presentation as a video. You can then upload the video to YouTube (save it as an unlisted file if you don't want it to be public), and embed in Blackboard or wherever you want.


Downsides:
You'll need the screen capture software.


Slideshare.net - was great, but SlideShare pulled Slidecasts in February 2014 :-(
Slideshare is a widely used choice for online slideshow, as well as sharing documents in a range of formats. It is simple to use - make your PowerPoint presentation and upload it to the site. If you want to add an audio narration, record this as an mp3 file (using Audacity, Garageband or your favourite audio capture software) and sync this to the presentation. Presentations can then be embedded in web pages or Blackboard documents, etc.


Downsides:
All content uploaded to Slideshare is public unless you pay for a subscription, so if you don't want to share our presentation publicly, this is not for you.







Friday, April 12, 2013

Employability versus Biology

DNA When I first read this paper, my instant reaction was to take the piss out of it and add it to my lol file. Then I thought about it a bit and decided the implications are quite profound. So here's the summary:

55% of the variance in the tendency to engage in self-employment is due to genetic effects, with higher heritability for males (67%) than for females (40%).

Although self-employment is a multi-faceted, heavily environmentally influenced, and biologically distal trait, our results are similar to those for other genetically complex and biologically more proximate outcomes, such as height, intelligence, personality, and several diseases.

So how long before we start taking cheek swabs from students?



The Molecular Genetic Architecture of Self-Employment. (2013) PLoS ONE 8(4): e60542. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060542
Economic variables such as income, education, and occupation are known to affect mortality and morbidity, such as cardiovascular disease, and have also been shown to be partly heritable. However, very little is known about which genes influence economic variables, although these genes may have both a direct and an indirect effect on health. We report results from the first large-scale collaboration that studies the molecular genetic architecture of an economic variable–entrepreneurship–that was operationalized using self-employment, a widely-available proxy. Our results suggest that common SNPs when considered jointly explain about half of the narrow-sense heritability of self-employment estimated in twin data (σg2/σP2 = 25%, h2 = 55%). However, a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies across sixteen studies comprising 50,627 participants did not identify genome-wide significant SNPs. 58 SNPs with p<10−5 were tested in a replication sample (n = 3,271), but none replicated. Furthermore, a gene-based test shows that none of the genes that were previously suggested in the literature to influence entrepreneurship reveal significant associations. Finally, SNP-based genetic scores that use results from the meta-analysis capture less than 0.2% of the variance in self-employment in an independent sample (p≥0.039). Our results are consistent with a highly polygenic molecular genetic architecture of self-employment, with many genetic variants of small effect. Although self-employment is a multi-faceted, heavily environmentally influenced, and biologically distal trait, our results are similar to those for other genetically complex and biologically more proximate outcomes, such as height, intelligence, personality, and several diseases.


Writing Support

writing At the HEA STEM workshop Developing Techniques for Pedagogical Research in the Biosciences yesterday, talk turned to ways of supporting writing for publication. I would like to propose three possible models for consideration:


1. Pairwise Critique/Mentoring
The simplest model, two people agree to comment on drafts of each others manuscript(s). This could be either a peer relationship or a mentor-mentee relationship (but see Sustainability below). Similarly, it could be either a one off arrangement or a reiterated Prisoner's Dilemma. Might require some administrative support to establish pairings.


2. Writing Boot Camp/Book Sprint
A physical event (presumably funded by HEA? ;-) where aspiring authors gather to support and encourage each other to produce a finished manuscript.  If conducted over a period of time, this would follow the boot camp model, if compressed, it would be more like a book sprint.


3. A Writing Group
A (presumably online) group where aspiring authors could turn for support, advice and encouragement, including literature surveys, data analysis, textual criticism and publication tips such as choosing the right journal and dealing with referees comments.


Sustainability
All of these are possible and easy to do. My main concern with a venture of this sort is that while it is very easy to set them up, sustaining activity over a period of time is difficult. My answer to this problem is to ensure that everyone involved gets something out of the transaction (which tends to rule out the mentor-mentee relationship). The PeerJ model is worth considering - not so much paying a small subscription to join (although that might help defray any costs and people do tend to value what they've paid for more highly), but the part about having to review other people's work in order to get your own reviewed, i.e. having to remain in credit, thus ensuring mutuality.


Suggestions welcome (especially if based on experience!)




Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today I will mostly be at:


Bioscientists are typically very well acquainted with quantitative approaches to research through their subject-based experience. Pedagogical research, however, employs both quantitative and qualitative techniques and the latter often represent unfamiliar territory for researchers in the biosciences, both in terms of utilising the techniques and appreciating the research literature based on these approaches. The aim of this workshop is to provide guidance on using some of the key qualitative techniques. The workshop will take the form of two plenary sessions from researchers with a qualitative background exploring approaches to using these techniques followed by some short case studies from the Biosciences to provide the subject context. There will also be a session to allow colleagues to engage in discussion about developing potential research projects with guided support from the presenters.

Draft programme:

10:00 – 10:20 Registration and Coffee
10:20 – 10:30 Welcome – Jon Scott
10:30 – 11:20 Mark Lemon (DMU) Research in a complex world - towards an integrative approach.
11:20 – 11:50 Neil Morris (Leeds) Bioscientists and educational research - what are we trying to prove?
12:00 – 13:00 Case Studies:
- Anne Tierney (Glasgow) Combining Theory and Practice in Course Design.
- Nick Freestone (Kingston) Semi-structured interviews as a qualitative research method in PedR.
- Helen MacKenzie (Leicester) The use of vignettes in the qualitative interview to visualise the student experience.
- Julian Park (Reading) Interviews as conversations: reflections on fieldwork research
13:00 – 13:40 Lunch and Networking.
13:40 – 14:40 Case Studies:
- Jon Scott (Leicester) Video diaries as an insight into the student experience.
- Hazel Corradi (Bath) Focus groups versus questionnaires for learning resource evaluation.
- Viv Rolfe (DMU) Title to be confirmed.
- Alan Cann (Leicester) An analytical framework for student use of social media.
14:40 – 15:30 Project Discussions.
15:30 – 16:00 Tea and Feedback.
16:00 Close


 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Consolidation

CLOSED

First they came for Google Reader.
Then they came for Tweetdeck.

Well two can play at that game. Today is a day of consolidation.

Mendeley account - deleted (easy).
I don't want to share my data with Elsevier.

Several Google+ pages deleted (difficult).
I'm consolidating information flow though my personal Google+ account, but Google doesn't make it easy to delete pages.

Two Blogger blogs merged (or at least, the politics of blog merging begun)
For better content flow and to simplify management and analytic.

I'm lean and mean.





Tuesday, April 09, 2013

After "After Reader" comes "After Tweetdeck"

After Tweetdeck


First they came for Google Reader.
Then they came for Tweetdeck.

OK, so there is a new version of Tweetdeck. I tried it when it first came out, but like the post Evernote-purchased Skitch, it is inadequate, an intolerable step backwards. So where do I go after Twitter turns Tweetdeck Air off soon? I can spend a lot of time testing new clients, or I can just use Twitter via the website. Which means of course that I won't be resident there, just using it as a noticeboard rather than having conversations (which, to be honest, is not too far from where I am now since the gloss came off twitter for me some time ago). On mobile Echofon is OK, but I don't spend a lot of time on mobile interfaces if I can help it - and how long until twitter turns Echofon off?

So if you're a Tweetdeck user, what are your post-apocalypse plans? Twitter website? Hootsuite? Or simply go elsewhere?






Monday, April 08, 2013

Ding Dong







Try, try and fail again

Evernote With the impending demise of Google Reader, and with it, Starred Items, which is my ToDo inbox, I made another attempt to love Evernote. This, like all previous attempts, failed.

GR Starred Items works for me because it is in my workflow - most of the content I bookmarked came from RSS feeds. It failed when I wanted to file content from other sources. That's why Evernote was an attractive idea.

Why did Evernote fail to do it for me again? It's not in my workflow, it's a ghetto destination I don't visit. Also, Evernote has too many bells and whistles, stuff I don't need -  too much complexity, too much distraction.


So what worked? Email of course. The Send to Email button in Safari is nice, but if you don't have one, it's easy to install a Send to Email bookmarklet, such as this one. Don't know how to do this? It's easy.

Stage Two: Tagging emails is the answer to a smooth workflow. I have found Gmail tags simple and powerful, it's just a question of getting into the habit. You can tag email in any decent client though, not just Gmail.

Email. It just works. Unless of course you're not using tags?




Sunday, April 07, 2013

The Missing Links 7th April 2013

Curation A weekly roundup of interesting stuff. Choose what you will.



The Fat Tax Is The Thin End Of The Wedge. Fair enough? Or is it?


The revolution will not be televised but who cares? It’s on YouTube.


The PC is Dead. Well, dead-ish.


The Guardian: Andrew Wakefield: autism inc


Online classes cannot be counted on to revive a beleaguered public system


Academics’ resistance to summative peer review of teaching: questionable rewards and the importance of student evaluations


How to delete yourself from the internet [video]


Prospective students are increasingly influenced by university league tables when deciding where to study


Academics prefer to publish their research under the most restrictive forms of copyright.


"The iPad is a consumption device... Apple has made it clear that education is about content delivery and testing, no longer about the power to be your best.”


Brian Ford puts his finger of the problem with the Amazon GoodReads buyout - monopoly.


An idea for Michael Gove. Why don’t we just run education based on a series of league tables?


Feedly finally has a business model. All it needs now is a decent user interface that puts function over flash.


To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism


Fancy a curry? Unpack the carbon footprint of your evening meal with a smartphone app.


Reader is the flower that allows the news bees to pollinate the social web. What If The Google Reader Readers Just Don’t Come Back?


Imagine if you were a super-villain who had taken control of all the world’s gold, and had decided to melt it down to make a cube. How big would it be? Hundreds of metres cubed, thousands even?


In a networked society, who among us gets to decide where the moral boundaries lie?


If the debate about the ebook is to move on from nostalgic raptures over smell and rampant gadget-fetishism, it’s time to think about the real fundamentals.


MOOC Honor Codes - oxymoron? We don’t in general have honour codes in the UK (we go for the capital offence model), so I’ve never completely got my head around the idea.


The British educational establishment should ignore online open courses at its peril.


Saving data donkeys in quicksand with tags. The shock of figuring out what metadata is for….





Friday, April 05, 2013

When is a MOOC not a MOOC?

OCW Scholar I have previously argued that the essentially synchronous nature of MOOCs compared with the lack of synchronicity of OERs is one of the strong elements of the MOOC as a wrapper for educational content. But if you look at the completion rates, it may also be that a strict timetable doesn't help everyone complete the course. So it cuts both ways, but clearly the idea of a coherent wrapper has considerable advantages over freestanding OERs. (Which is not to say that you can't or shouldn't make both - one size education does not fit all.)

We are currently in the process of making a MOOC Which Isn't A MOOC - i.e. it is a wrapper, but it will not be synchronous, learners will be able to start whenever they wish. For this reason, I am interested in the model provided by MIT OCW Scholar:
OCW Scholar courses are designed for independent learners who have few additional resources available to them. The courses are substantially more complete than typical OCW courses and include new custom-created content as well as materials repurposed from MIT classrooms. The materials are also arranged in logical sequences and include multimedia such as video and simulations.
This is more advanced that what we are trying to achieve locally, but it's still a good model for us to consider as we slog away with our project over the next few months. Having said that, the lecture capture examples are atrocious - come on MIT, what are you thinking?




Thursday, April 04, 2013

Tadpole Shrimps and Evolution

PeerJ

‘Living fossils’, a phrase first coined by Darwin, are defined as species with limited recent diversification and high morphological stasis over long periods of evolutionary time. Morphological stasis, however, can potentially lead to diversification rates being underestimated. Notostraca, the tadpole shrimps, is an ancient, globally distributed order of branchiopod crustaceans regarded as ‘living fossils’ because their rich fossil record dates back to the early Devonian and their morphology is highly conserved. Recent phylogenetic reconstructions have shown a strong biogeographic signal, suggesting diversification due to continental breakup, and widespread cryptic speciation. However, morphological conservatism makes it difficult to place fossil taxa in a phylogenetic context. The timing and tempo of tadpole shrimp diversification has been revealed by inferring a robust multilocus phylogeny of Branchiopoda and applying Bayesian divergence dating techniques using reliable fossil calibrations external to Notostraca. These results suggest at least two bouts of global radiation in Notostraca, one of them recent, so questioning the validity of the ‘living fossils’ concept in groups where cryptic speciation is widespread.
Multiple global radiations in tadpole shrimps challenge the concept of ‘living fossils’. (2013) PeerJ 1:e62 http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.62

Interesting stuff. But I don't normally write about biology here - so why this article? Because as far as I'm concerned, the Evolution in the title of this post is about the evolution of academic publishing - the tadpole shrimps can look after themselves. My Department of Biology colleague Rob Hammond has become the first person from the University to publish in PeerJ. I talked to Rob this morning, and he had nothing but good things to say about the experience of publishing with PeerJ.

I only wish I could follow his lead, but sadly, that isn't possible :-(





Forget flipping the classroom, flip assessment

The Flipped Classroom

As part of our ongoing curriculum review we are thinking about how to encourage more active learning during staff contact hours. This is often referred to using the bracing North American buzzword, "flipped classroom". I'm uncomfortable with that term as it is rapidly becoming fossilized to mean "lecture recording", which I feel is possibly a worse solution than the original problem. So let's stick to calling it active learning, because that's what we really mean. And it's certainly not about technology solving all our problems.

Apart from the thorny issue of lecture capture, at first sight banning PowerPoint might seem like a reasonable approximation of active learning. Of course it isn't. PowerPoint is no worse than chalk and talk. Nothing could be more deadly than hours of recorded lectures. There have always been good and bad lecturers, and a good lecturer is one of the most positive experiences a student can take away from higher education. A diversity of styles is essential for a positive student experience and a positive staff response. Banning displaces rather than solves problems. It would be nice to think that a possible way forward would be incentives for good teaching - rewarding staff rather than negative management. I'm not naive enough to think that will happen, so the solution needs to be more formalized than utopian.

The most practical solution seems to be to fix our assessment problem, since I'm not convinced that we actually have a "teaching" problem. And the first step there is to stop assessment equaling recall. We are right to criticize A levels as the source of student dependency on assessment for engagement, but we then exacerbate the issue by over loading the curriculum and downgrading analytic and thinking skills. While we continue to be over reliant on examinations consisting of "essays" that are almost always nothing of the sort but simply lists of facts, and if we are lucky, diagrams, what goes on in the classroom is of secondary importance and changing it is not likely to change outcomes. That also means allowing students to experience jeopardy and to fail on occasion, a powerful learning experience. No one said flipping anything would be a comfortable experience.





Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Choosing a curation service

You are not a curator For the past year I have been using Google+ as my curation engine. Using Tumblr for the past week has opened my eyes. Google+ has a problem.


As an educator who has pretty much sold his soul to the Internet, I feel rather strongly about curation. If that statement makes you feel uncomfortable, just call it student-centred learning. Either way, the decision about which curation service to use is a critical one for me. Since it's what I spend much of my day doing, I not only need a curation service which is attractive and therefore enhances the selected content I am trying to draw attention to, but also gives me an efficient workflow. Most of the content I am curating arises from other people, but for practical purposes I also need the same workflow to function efficiently when I need to promote my own content to the distinct but overlapping audiences across a range of sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. One problem with Google+ is that unlike services such as Scoop.it, it doesn't talk to other networks such as Twitter and Facebook, that means lots of manual cutting and pasting. But Google+ has a bigger problem from my perspective.

What happens on Google+ stays on Google+
Google+ is crap as a referrer - it simply doesn't generate traffic for other sites. That's not just my observation across the range of sites that I run, it has also been reported by other people. I'm not entirely sure why this is. Maybe Google+ is such a rich environment that once there, people never want to leave. it's certainly true that I find it a very rewarding place in terms of the comments and discussion it generates, although that could just be a feature of the network I have developed there.

In contrast, Tumblr is and excellent referrer (but does not generate much discussion for me - although my network there is young). I like Tumblr much better than Scoop.it, which generates no discussion at all, and which it also massively outperforms in terms of referrals. Part of the reason for this is the possibility of content added to Tumblr to going viral, which simply doesn't happen with Scoop.it. Tumblr was a great curation site for the SGM Spring Conference, and I'll certainly be using it again in that way for events.

So my problem is one of workflow, but most platforms seem to have at least one blindspot. Ideally I'd like the World to come to my blog rather than me having to go to them, but the World doesn't work that way. Authoring on WordPress and even Blogger is clunkier (practically impossible on mobile devices or example) and so has a higher threshold than platforms such as Tumblr, but is the ultimate goal for content curation. For all these reasons, I've been looking for alternative curation sites. Over the last year I've tried Pinterest but it hasn't attracted the right audience for the topics I write about. If I was a photographer or was selling physical products I'd be all over Pinterest like a rash, but the image-based format is ultimately too limiting for my style. The new Flipboard magazines are a non-starter because they only work on one platform. Tumblr is the leader of the pack on all fronts at present.

I may be pissed off at Google and looking to punish it because of Reader, but ultimately this is about the flaws in Google+ rather than simply my rage. Also high on my agenda is finding a replacement of Reader Starred Items as my online scrapbook. It may be time to take another look at Evernote, which could come back into play with the demise of Reader. Unfortunately I'm also pissed off at Evernote for what they did to Skitch - I've just had to downgrade to the old version because the App Store version is so bad. Anyone got any apps for dealing with rage? Ultimately the most likely solution is that I will simply use the best available Dark Social technology. It is under my control, works well on all platforms including mobile, and is already completely integrated into my workflow. Email.