Tag Archives: History Matters

Vacancy: Digital Media Assistant for History Matters blog

Digital Media Officer for History Matters

This post is open to current students and employees of the University of Sheffield only.
5 hours per week, fixed term to 30th September 2017.

ROLE DESCRIPTION
The admin tasks for History Matters divide into four areas: planning content, blogging, promoting and maintenance:

Planning:

  • Maintaining and updating a list of pieces commissioned/promised/in progress/in hand.
  • Keeping an eye out for upcoming anniversaries, film releases, TV programmes and the like on historical themes. With editor’s input, commissioning content from colleagues/PhD students/guest contributors well in advance.
  • Identifying history-related stories in the news and approaching authors to commission content at short notice, with editor’s input.
  • Prioritising publication dates where there is more than one option, with editor’s input.

Blogging:

  • Copy-editing and proof-reading content; where substantial changes are needed liaising with contributor to get agreement for changes (everything, with the exception of minor typographical issues, needs to be checked by editor before publication and this process may need editor’s input depending on extent of changes)
  • Uploading content into WordPress where contributors cannot do this for themselves
  • Adding image (checking copyright clearance is okay), tags and SEO text (the blurb about each article that will appear in the Google search results etc.)
  • Where contributors are inputting directly to WordPress checking that the above has been done to appropriate standard and that credits are included where necessary.

Promoting:

  • Launching blog post on publication day (preferably between 8.15 and 9am)
  • Tweeting about blog from @unishefhistory
    • In morning when launched (also tweet from @usesofhistory to push up rankings)
    • At lunchtime (East Coast breakfast)
    • At 5pm (West Coast breakfast)
  • Retweeting mentions of blog from others during day from @unishefhistory
  • Tweeting directly about blog to selected twitterers who may help promote it
  • Putting on Facebook
  • Where blog ties into major news story, alerting central media and social media teams (editor would usually be involved with a story of this type)
  • Nudging author to respond to comments on blog where necessary
  • Promoting old content when it is relevant to current news stories.

Maintenance

  • Checking spam folder periodically and deleting unwanted messages
  • Monitoring comments coming in to WordPress and approving/checking/deleting as appropriate
  • Monitoring audience figures and identifying patterns that will be useful for promoting particular stories in future (needs editor’s input).

This post is for five hours per week (though there may be some flexibility from week to week), with an immediate start date and an end date of 30 September 2017.

This role is paid at grade 6.1 on the University of Sheffield salary scales (£13.86 per hour, plus holiday pay).

A knowledge of WordPress is desirable, and a clear ability to learn new software packages is essential. An understanding of blogging and social media is essential, and experience of personal blogging would be an advantage. The ability to work diplomatically and sensitively with contributors is essential, as is a high standard of English and the ability to proof-read and copy-edit.

How to apply
A brief statement (one side of A4 maximum) explaining your suitability for the role, along with your CV, should be sent to Caroline Pennock at c.pennock@sheffield.ac.uk by 12 noon on Wednesday 15th February 2017.   

Informal enquiries about this post should be directed towards Caroline Pennock: c.pennock@sheffield.ac.uk, 0114 222 2579.

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Job Opportunity: Researcher and Designer for our History Matters Blog

Researcher and Designer for History Matters Blog

This post is open to current students and employees of the University of Sheffield only.

ROLE DESCRIPTION

The Department of History wishes to recruit a promising candidate to help develop its well-established History Matters blog into a major public-history resource. Having been active since 2012, History Matters needs not only cosmetic and technical refreshing, but has also accumulated a significant archive of articles which need cataloguing and reorganising into a new more user-friendly interface.

The successful candidate will play a key role in designing and developing History Matters into an outstanding public-facing resource, targeted at schools, interested general readers, and other students and scholars. Building on the blog’s strong reputation for relevant and original historical comment, the appointed blog assistant will help to redesign History Matters to create a reference section alongside the topical content. The blog redesign constitutes a key aspect of the Department’s recruitment and public-engagement strategies. The two principal aims of the project are:

– to redesign the blog to create an accessible interface and increase the accessibility of our rich archive of public-history content;

– and to categorise the content in a way which targets current A-level topics and appeals directly to History students.

The blog assistant will work in close collaboration with other colleagues, especially the editors of the blog, and so the precise structure of the project will be tailored to the specific strengths and interests of the candidate. In general terms, however, it is anticipated that the appointment will cover three key areas:

  • training on the blog and researching the archive of available material;
  • researching A-level modules and relating them to the structure and content of the blog;
  • and redesigning the blog’s structure and interface.

The successful candidate will receive any necessary training in the use of WordPress and associated technologies for blogging, including plug-ins and the operation of Content Management Systems. As well as working with the blog editors, the designer will also receive support from the History Department’s IT & Learning Technology Manager, James Pearson, who is the blog’s technical advisor.

This post is for five hours per week (though there may be some flexibility from week to week), with an immediate start date and an end date of 30 September 2016.

This role is paid at grade 6.1 on the University of Sheffield salary scales (£13.71 per hour, plus holiday pay).

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Essential qualities:

  • Excellent English-language communication, spoken and written
  • Confident user of IT and digital/social media
  • An interest in communicating historical research to wider audiences
  • Clear organisational skills
  • An ability to categorise and organise qualitative data

Desirable qualities:

  • Experience with blogging
  • An interest in History teaching and in current A-level content
  • Experience in communicating with non-academic audiences
  • Experience in using, designing and/or building digital/web resources
  • Experience in online research
  • Experience in use of WordPress

How to apply

A brief statement (one side of A4 maximum) explaining your suitability for the role, along with your CV, should be sent to Caroline Dodds Pennock at c.pennock@sheffield.ac.uk by Friday 15th April 2016.

Informal enquiries about this post should be directed towards Caroline Dodds Pennock: c.pennock@sheffield.ac.uk, 0114 222 2579.

On This Day in History Why do Anniversaries Matter Photo

On This Day in History: Why do Anniversaries Matter?

Panel Discussion: On This Day in History: Why do Anniversaries Matter?

Chaired by Professor Helen Weinstein, broadcaster, historian and member of BBC History Editorial Advisory Board
As part of Sheffield HSTSOC’s Remembrance Week and in association with the University of Sheffield’s History Matters blog, academic, public historian and broadcaster Helen Weinstein will introduce and chair a panel discussion on the significance of anniversaries and centenaries. With the centenary of the outbreak of World War I next year, historians will ask: why do anniversaries matter? What significance do they hold in the modern world? How do they shape media coverage of history and affect the ways in which we remember?

The fascinating and diverse panel will cover the medieval to the modern era, including specialists on 1492, the Irish Decade of Commemorations, the Significance of the Centenary Project and the Sheffield 1914: Lives and Headlines project.

Participants include: Dr Tim Baycroft, Dr Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid, Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock, Lydia Rollinson, Amy Ryall, Helen Smith and Dr Charles West

Professor Helen Weinstein is a historian of contemporary culture, researching how narratives of the past function in our society and how identities are constructed in the present using the past. As a member of the BBC History Editorial Advisory Board, she is heavily involved in shaping the national dialogue on the commemoration of the First World War as an advisor and broadcaster at the BBC. In addition, Helen is making some of the BBC documentary and online content for the World War One commemoration with her team at Historyworks TV Ltd. Helen is also a very experienced broadcaster and producer, as well as a founding director of the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past, University of York. She is now a Research Professor as a Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, where she is completing a book which is an analysis of public engagement, policy and participation, entitled The Public Past: History, Meaning, and Society (forthcoming, Routledge, 2014).

If you are unable to attend, you can submit a question for the panel via twitter to @unishefhistory, where the event will also be live-tweeted. The hashtag for the event is #historymatters.

We will be continuing the discussion afterwards on the History Matters blog at http://www.historymatters.group.shef.ac.uk/. For more information, contact Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock (c.pennock@sheffield.ac.uk or @carolinepennock).

All welcome!