The Podcast Cover

Every podcast needs to have a cover photo to be submitted into iTunes. Here’s the one that I came up with after a few hours on


It’s not as eye-catching as many of them out there, but I think it suits the needs for this project.

The top half is a word cloud, made using one of my favourite resources,

The bottom half is a stock photo from

For the word cloud, I just took all the text that’s been posted on this blog to date. Therefore, the word “professional” is separate to the other words in “Professional Online Presence”, but in this case, I think it works.

The cover image also looks okay when it’s scaled down to icon size, which is needed for the PodPress WordPress plugin amongst other sites, which is good.

A Simple Process For Developing The Podcasts

Having now undertaken a lot of background reading about creating podcasts (most of it online), I’ve now decided on the process that I’m going to use to produce the podcasts in an efficient manner. This will hopefully end up with the podcasts available on iTunes so that they can be easily found and listened to.

I’ll review the process at the end of production to see if I can simplify it. At this point, the process isn’t intended as a full tutorial, but instead a summary to help me through compiling the Professional Online Presence podcasts. It also isn’t the only way that they can be developed, but rather one which works within the time, equipment and budget I have available – and also my existing skill base.

Step One – Decide On The Theme And Topics For The Podcast

This is already done. Unusually, for a podcast series, this is a fixed length (eight podcasts).

Step Two – Develop The Content For Each Podcast

Again, the content has been predetermined by the existing resources. However, some review to check that the content will work in an audio form is still needed. I also intend to work with some additional notes.

Step Three – Record Each Podcast

I am using Camtasia Studio, which is the same software I use to create videos. I intend to have the PowerPoint slides open and my notes, although I will only keep the audio portion of the podcast.

Step Four – Edit The Podcasts

I intend to do minimal editing. After all, a podcast is rather like a live radio show, so there is no expectation of this being word perfect. I am not going to add music to the podcasts (which can create a “can of worms” in terms of copyright issues) or include guests. The resulting podcast will be saved as an MP3 file.

Step Five – Develop Podcast Graphics

To get the podcast listed on iTunes, a 1400 by 1400 JPEG file is needed. I will probably develop this using my limited graphics skills (although offers to do this for me are welcome). I will either use stock photography from a site such as, or perhaps a backdrop of my own Professional Online Presences.

Step Six – Host The Podcasts

I will use my own server space to host the podcasts and link them within a WordPress installation using the PodPress plugin, which is recommended in a number of places. I am going to use a new WordPress installation for this, on a separate subfolder of the site. This will be solely to host the podcast feed (which I will publicise in different places). PodPress will produce what I am told is really an RSS feed, which can be submitted to iTunes.

Step Seven – Submit To iTunes

The end result, which I hope will be easily facilitated with the WordPress feed.

Step Eight – Publicise The Podcasts

These will go on the route web address on this site ( – although at the time of writing this post, there is nothing there). I’ve not decided exaclty what form that site will take yet. The main Changing The Learning Landscape project should be able to help with the publicity.

There is some overlap between the steps, as it wouldn’t make sense to submit all eight podcasts in one go. So, some of the development will happen whilst the other podcasts are being developed.

I also don’t expect that this will be as “plain sailing” as the simple process works out, but I’m used to working through technical challenges.

Existing Resources About Professional Online Presences

I thought that it would be useful to include links to existing resources, talks and papers relating to Professional Online Presences.

Now, although I consider myself one of the early adopters in this area, there are a lot of other people looking at tangential work on social media use. So, it’s impossible to provide a comprehensive list or look at the different interpretations of what a “Professional Online Presence” is within the confines of this short project. But, I do hope that there will prove to be of interest to people looking to discover more about this field and who are wanting to explore this area with their students.

I am always available to assist with offering talks and professional development opportunities to staff, or presenting my own research in this field.

I also want to acknowledge Sue Beckingham‘s work in this area. Sue is a really champion of Professional Online Presences, and her approach greatly complements what I am doing. There are lots of interesting resources on Sue Beckingham’s SlideShare channel.

Social Media Branding For Computing Professionals

These are the slides from a talk I delivered for the British Computer Society, looking at the work I do with students and how this can be used with professionals.

Developing Student Employability Through The Creation Of Online Professional Identitites

Slides from a Higher Education Workshop I delivered at the University of Salford.

Enhancing the Employability of Computing Students through a Professional Online Presence HEA Workshop

This was an interesting workshop, hosted at Birmingham City University, which I organised. This brought together lots of speakers with experience of different aspects of the whole Professional Online Presences movement (a useful review of the workshop from the Open University can be found here).

Professional Presences For Academics HEA Workshop

Resources from a workshop I organised looking at how academics could enhance their own Professional Online Presence (excellent for demonstrating their own interest in the area to encourage students).

Using Professional Online Presences to Enhance Computing Student Employability

Paper from the Higher Education Academy STEM Conference 2014, reviewing how teaching about Professional Online Presences to students could be seen to improve their employability prospects (copies of the slides from the talk can be viewed here).

Teaching Students about Online Professionalism: Enhancing Student Employability Through Social Media

A book chapter I contributed to the “Cutting-Edge Technologies and Social Media Use in Higher Education” textbook looking at the benefits of Professional Online Presences and how students could construct their own.

A number of posts on Professional Online Presences on my blog may also be interest. Feel free to add to the discussion on any of them.

Quick Note About The Professional Online Presence Terminology

I’ve decided to use the terminology “Professional Online Presence” for this project.

The reason is, I feel that the wider research and practitioner area is using that terminology, as opposed to “Professional Presence”, which I have used in the past.

Of course, both of these are largely interchangeable, but it just makes it easier to keep everything consistent. Also, I feel that the word “online” helps to put everything into context.