Monday, May 26, 2008

PhD: a child's eye view

In typical style my daughter was styling out going to bed this evening. This used to involve asking her most tricky questions at bedtime, classics being 'how do you make skateboards?' or 'how was the earth made?'. This has become more sophisticated as we've got older and she has become very good at engaging me in conversation at this bedtime time.

Anyway this evening, for the first time, she showed a real interest in my PhD (oh I know she's smart - obviously seen me waffling about it to some poor soul, cornered at a family gathering, and thought 'that'll buy me 10 more mins' and the rest). Anyway as someone who is big into narrative and the benefits of storytelling, I always value the opportunity to reflect on my own story. What was also good was that her questions are so left-field I could use this for Viva experience.

So here is something like how our conversation went:

Q.Did they always have a PhD or did it only start when you started working there?
A. No the university already did PhDs. Everyone does a PhD on their own subject - sort of something they want to figure out and get expert in. I'm a student, it's a bit like doing a course.

Q.What is your subject?
A.Gender and entrepreneurship in the creative industries

Q.What does that mean?
A.Well Gender is sort of you know whether someone is a male or female, entrepreneurship is about running a business and creative industries are you know art, film making, design and stuff.

Q.Oh - why are you doing that?
A.Well I did some research and it seems women are less likely to run businesses doing that stuff than men

Her: Mum - you know it's just because in the olden days women didn't even work

Me: I guess, I mean I know that's sort of why

Q.Well you don't really need to bother doing the PhD now do you? I mean that's the answer

A.Yeah but. the whole thing is I can't just say that I have to do the research to evidence it.

Q.Why don't you just be an artist instead?

A.Well I was when I left college. You know uncle XX and I had our studio in the Custard Factory and we tried, but you know, I guess I just didn't know how to run a business.

Bingo I was off...

You see as an artist you need to know how to run a business, you know sell your paintings, promote yourself, get commissions, deliver on time, do your tax returns...

(Well that was the entrepreneurship and the creative industries bit covered...)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Creative Enterprise 2008 Presentations and speaker info all online

Had all the stuff from the Creative Enterprise 2008 conference through yesterday, which has been neatly packaged into a press release and a section on our Media Depts - website with all the speaker presentations and biog details. According to the press release here's what I said at the time with regard to the relationship between schools of Art and Design and Business schools in terms of delevering enterprise education:

"We had some interesting comments about collaborations between Art, Media and Design faculties and business schools which suggested some tensions, however the conference highlighted how, at least two institutions had navigated this and benefited. What is clear however is that the pros and cons of such collaborations are somewhat uncharted."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Teaching new media marketing with Twitter....

I am sitting at my desk it is 5.38 so officially outside of work time now. Wondering what to do next? I have head spinning issues. You know? when you are sort of over tired, too much to think about, too much to do and ideas and general stuff keeping you from actually doing anything? So I figured I'll blog - get some of it down.

The last few days I've been doing some pretty solid lecturing here at the university. 6 hours Tuesday, 7 yesterday - this is extreme hard work! To retain concentration, enthusiasm and energy for those sort of stretches is kind of exhausting. However the thing I find about lecturing is that you get to reiterate your ideas and thoughts about stuff, if you're lucky you also get the input of some keen minds and whole bunch of new ideas emerge.

I've been teaching New Media marketing. This week I was mainly focussed on online social networking sites, creating community around your product and keeping an eye on the ever changing/evolving online world. Twitter became one of the focuses for these sessions and by day two I was encouraging my Twitter buddies to participate in the lecture (imagine Twitter projected to class).

My final cohort of students were Msc Business creation students they are all 'entrepreneurs'in the making. Twitter offered the opportunity for my class to interact with, some of the freelance and SME community who are my Twitter buddies, one offered themselves as a 'Live' case study, others offered pointers in online marketing.

All of this was unplanned and could potentially be a much bigger session with all of them sat at computers, laptops, pdas or with their mobile phones participating in a more formal way, with my 'followers' chipping in as and when. Another real benefit of the exercise was it was a direct demonstration of how the users help the evolution of the product (Twitter)by reconfiguring its application (teaching aid) on the fly.

Anyway big thanks to Podnosh, Livebrum (URL to come) and Robert Sharl for their input yesterday - much appreciated.