Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Tell us what you think!

A user survey for the NGS has just been launched. We are looking for active and past users of the NGS to tell us what they think about the services that we offer and how they use the service. The survey is quite short and should only take about 5 minutes to complete. There is the opportunity to add in additional information if there is something in particular you would like to bring up that isn't mentioned in the survey.

The survey can be found at http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB227TRL65SMP

The results will be published in a report during the summer and will contribute to the future direction and goals of the NGS.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Fostering e-infrastructure in Edinburgh

Last week I presented at the “Fostering e-Infrastructure: from user-designer relations to community engagement” workshop (http://www.nesc.ac.uk/esi/events/880/) held at the National e-Science Institute in Edinburgh. The event was organised by Alex Voss from NCeSS (www.ncess.ac.uk).

The event focused on the difficulties of engaging non-traditional grid computing communities and the barriers, either real or perceived, that dissuade wider uptake.

I gave a presentation on the current outreach and awareness raising methods used at the NGS as well as discussing anecdotal evidence of barriers or problems. A particularly interesting presentation was given by Elpiniki Fragkouli from AHeSSC (www.ahessc.ac.uk) who is a research associate on the “Enabling Uptake of e-Infrastructure Services” project (http://www.e-researchcommunity.org/projects/e-uptake/). Initial results and findings were presented and it looks as though plenty of people have heard of the NGS so it looks as though the outreach mechanisms are working!

The workshop also contained plenty of time for discussion which was well utilised – my 30 minute talk ended up lasting an hour and 20 minutes! Representatives from NGS, AHeSSC, NCeSS and OMII-UK were all present and the discussions demonstrated that many of us face similar problems. Hopefully the slides from the meeting will be available soon.

A follow up meeting is planned in Manchester at the end of this month.