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Things what I am up to this week (w/c October 5th)…

I can’t believe it has been two weeks since I got back from Japan – there are several posts in draft that I need to finish up, but lets get this week out the way first, yeah?

I spent the first week back swimming in a warm haze of trippy jetlag and food sadness that I can’t eat seaweed for breakfast and I don’t have a miso soup caldron and that tesco ‘sweet chilli chicken’ sushi is cold & rank & probably would be borderline offensive if I was to serve it to a Japanese person & a second week in a rather bizarre mix of ‘almost-ill but not quite’ and re-entry to normal Scottish life feeling a bit like a magic eye puzzle that everybody else could see but I couldn’t, which was making meetings and typing stuff down more difficult that usual.

BUT, after a weekend of not doing very much and a lot of sleeping/audible, I am finally feeling myself again. It feels great. Now I know what proper jet-lag is, how to cope with proper jet-lag and what you need to do actually get through it properly rather than pretending it is a wall you can smash through with tenacity and 4am alarms. No, rest is good. Very good.

This week is back to the usual eclectic mix of activity that seems to be my life at the moment –

  • Big news first – on the 1st of October I enrolled for my final part-time year as a PhD student. I have a new director of studies Prof. David McGillivray (previously my line manager on Digital Commonwealth) who has taken on the role due to retirement of previous supervisor Prof John Robertson. He joins Prof. Rowena Murray (who is my second advisor) as my PhD supervision team. I’m really excited to have David as my DoS as we’ve already worked really closely together but also to have a rather amazing team of people who know their stuff and are going to really push me to this crucial end point of getting the PhD finished in this academic year.
  • The Digital Commonwealth project concludes this Thursday (8th of October) with a showcase from participants and closing event on Ayr Campus, UWS. That’s currently my main focus this week – I’m in the process of packing up the final project memory boxes (which are awesome – interested in digital storytelling and want one, email me), arranging catering, travel – and promoting the last few tickets we have left for the event. It’s open to all, so if you are free in Ayr this Thursday why not come along and join us?
  • This coincides with an invite from Bill Boyd (the Literacy Adviser) to speak about Digital Commonwealth at the Scottish Film and Learning Festival at Strathclyde University at the weekend – got to put faces to a lot of names that I’ve been following on twitter for a long time but never met and some actual Scotland #ds106 plotting, this excites me. Slides from my workshop are here.
  • For the next two days I’m the resident video/social reporter for the massive Institute of Fundraising Scottish conference in Glasgow. I’ll be doing some live-tweeting some of the sessions but my main job will be to work from my custom video booth to interview speakers, special guests and the winners from the Institute of Fundraising Scotland awards on Tuesday night.
  • This Wednesday, I’m on the panel at BDX Glasgow’s Technology networking evening at the Butterfly and Pig on Bath Street discussing all things blogging. It’s going to be good range of discussion I think – because I’m not like a blogger in the sense that I’m that sort of ‘blogger’ (my greyhound is cooler than me) but I’ve been blogging nonsense to myself for a long-ass time (since 2000) and spent a lot of time convincing, training, researching about how others have and should, set up a million for others and encouraging people to believe that the stuff they have to say is important, not just all the major stuff – plus, what’s not to like about mid-week tech chat in a nice pub?
  • The Chronicle Online in East Edinburgh was soft launched last Friday and already some great stories are beginning to emerge from its base in Craigmillar. I’m going to be running some ‘walk through WordPress’ sessions with local residents and service support workers to begin the handover from trainer to community run hyperlocal news. I’ll be through on Saturday to deliver my first session. Peter Murray from Media Trust and Phyllis Stephen from the Edinburgh Reporter have been doing some great work already in the last week, raising awareness of the site and producing media ethics and hyperlocal guidelines that will support the growth of the site.

FINALLY, as I was mid-blog post then leaving the office –  I got a message to say that I had been nominated as one of JISC’s top 50 social media influencers in Higher Education. This news hasn’t quite sunk in yet but I’m totally buzzing – it has came at a very good time as I’m starting to take my work in a different direction (that’s for next week’s blog post) and I’m totally grateful for those colleagues and friends who nominated me. More to follow on this.