Category Archives: Research Question

Application to Transfer Interview

Yesterday I had my application to transfer interview. The interview as one would expect was quite tough and a couple of the questions were difficult to answer. The interview started with a review of the parts of my research that worked well but as this was more concerned with critical aspects of the research these were not discussed.

Much was made of a need to be more explicit with my conceptual framework with my regards to my use of motivation within the research. However, the theory and concepts relating to creativity, generations and literacy were judged to be more clearly argued. About half an hour after the interview I was called to be told that the panel had recommended that I transfer to PhD status. This was more of a relief than an celebration.

However I did go out last night. I’d  already got tickets to see my favourite band, The Fall, (left) at the indigO2, a few months back.  This helped take my mind off the events of the interview, although I have slightly wooly head this morning!

Anyway now I can get back to progressing forward with my research without the worry of having to re-apply in the summer.

Proceed to Registration, Greens and 1977

It’s been a really good weekend. On Friday I got assessment back from my Application to Register which I’d submitted at the end of January. It recommended that my proposal be approved and that I should proceed to registration. There were three points that the Media, Arts and Design Registration Committee suggested needed clarification but these could be done as part of my continuing study.

Earlier that morning I visited the Green Party Spring Conference which has been held just up the road from where I live. I’ve been a member since the late 1980s but had only been to one conference before which was in Scarbourgh in the late 1990s. So with it being on my door step I was looking forward to going again.

At 10am Caroline Lucas (left), the party leader and MEP gave her keynote speech where she spoke of the  ‘historic’ potential for Green MPs to win seats in Brighton, Norwich and Lewisham at the forthcoming General Election. She also said that the Greens were the best party to defend the NHS against privatisation and  take action on inequality. I took lots of photos and posted them on the Barnet Green Party website.

Over the weekend I went to some of the workshops and panels discussions and was pleased at a sense of genuine passion and pride in their values of equality and for environmental sustainability. There was no heavy-handed security and no bureaucratic checking of badges and membership cards. There’s still the traditional beard and ponytail brigade but they sit comfortably with the casually dressed and suited majority. One of the best discussions was on Saturday afternoon where Kate Pickett, co-author of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better & Johann Hari, journalist and writer, discussed their research.

Saturday was rounded off with comedy night with star of the show Alistair McGowan who is a committed environmentalist having bought land near Heathrow to hamper attempts to build a third runway. He waived his appearance fee as a mark of support.

On Friday night I was invited by a friend to a private view entitled We Love 77 at The Merchants’s Hall in Islington. It contained an exhibition of 77 paintings by artist duo Sardine & Tobleroni all specially priced £1977 for the night before going to over two grand thereafter. I have to say that the paintings were very poor. Most of them were just bad copies of album sleeves from the period. They were either really bad artists or taking the DIY ethos beyond any level of competence or irony. It was really no better than GCSE Art standard. The night was fun though livened up by a dubby dj set from Don Letts and Poly Styrene promoting an X Ray Spex film. Unfortunately the bar was not free. To round off a thoroughly enjoyable weekend Rovers beat Bolton 3.0.

British Library & Question Time

The snow has nearly gone and yesterday was was a eventful day. I had my monthly meeting with my supervisors in the  morning. This time at the British Library which is always an inspiring place to visit. We spoke for about two hours and mainly discussed my impending deadline for the Application to Register and Plan of Work which outline my research. This has to be reviewed and accepted by a panel of academics who judge whether it will contribute to knowledge and is sufficiently original to warrant pursuing.

There were just minor changes to the document and for the rest of the meeting we discussed the practical implications of the research, the books I needed to read. I feel I’m a little deficient in my knowledge of the sociological background surrounding subject so I was recommended some books to read.

Before Christmas, while  watching Question Time on BBC One, I applied to be a member of the audience on the programme as it was visiting my local area. On Monday I was called by a producer and last night was in the audience. We were asked to submit two questions and they pick a sample and the author get s to ask the question to the panel. My first Question was about Alastair Campbell and the Iraq Enquiry. My second is about the breaking news story concerning Google adopting to remove censorship from it’s Chinese website after a cyber attack on its gmail accounts. “Was Google ethically wrong to set-up in China and right to stop playing by the censorship rules now?” This was probably a bit obscure for the likes of a mainstream political programme but in internet circles this is big news. Needless to say I didn’t get to ask either of my questions.

Went down the pub afterwards just in time to watch the end of the Rovers v Villa game on TV. We lost again!

Earlier in the day I visited my Twitter account and found that David Gauntlett has uploaded another of his videos. This covers ideas from his forthcoming book Making is Connecting. He’s very prolific and a bit of a rising star in his field and he’s also building quite a reputation. I feel privileged that he’s my supervisor.

[youtube nF4OBfVQmCI 460 280]


It’s felt like a long week. I’ve spent three days teaching. Two of these were the last of my software training sessions. This week – Flash, which is notoriously difficult to teach, especially when some students arrive 20 minutes late into the lesson. Thankfully I now go down to one day a week of lecturing and tutorial sessions, giving me more time to get really stuck into my subject. Still, the money will help pay off my debts from last year.

This week has really felt like a transition week. I finally got my ID card and the first instalment of my bursary. This was delayed due to the numerous campuses and schools of the university having their own finance departments – all of which seemingly need signatures from all and sundry before payment can be made.  I travelled to my campus on Wednesday to get my ID card as the machine that made them on induction day was not operational and sending them through the post was potentially problematic due to the imminent postal strike. I now feel like I’m a proper research student who can enter all the University campuses without having to ask security to let me in and prove my identity. How liberating.

I spent the rest of Wednesday compiling the small amount of material I had amassed over the last weeks into some semblance of order for the meeting on Friday with my two supervisors. I’ve been developing my research question by writing down in a logical order my thought processes as questions, from the simple to the more complicated and from general to generational. It may seem premature but I’m exploring sites like Ning that allow you to set your own social networking sites. This may, or may not help, with ways to develop creative research methods. I also sent a request to be invited to join Google Wave which describes itself as an online tool  to ‘Communicate and collaborate in real time’.

On Friday I meet with my supervisors in a coffee shop, rather than the rather drab university canteen. The meeting lasts about an hour and a half and we discuss  my initial research questions and construct a plan of action for the next few weeks. This needs to be documented, agreed and handed to the university registry, soon after each meeting. I believe I’ve been given very good supervisors. I have a great deal of respect for them and think that they are going to be very supportive for my research. After the meeting I couldn’t resist going to my favourite house music store and buying a CD by the 80’s leftfield New York post-punk/funk band Liquid Liquid. (Haven’t bought a CD in a long time. I usually download but I couldn’t find this anywhere online.)

Saturday I received my books from Amazon, Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins and Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky. I had ordered them on Wednesday, with an estimated five working day free delivery, so was delighted when they arrived early. They were delivered by HDNL, a private delivery service. This must be one of the measures Amazon have put in place to overcome the proposed national postal strike next week and a worrying prospect for the future of the Royal Mail. Once companies like Amazon leave, they are unlikely to come back. This seems to draw attention to the claim from the Royal Mail that they have less traffic due to email and the internet. What they don’t seem to have taken into account, on the upside, is the phenomenal rise in internet shopping that has created lots of large packages that need to be sent via mail and what potential value this has to their future business. Anyway, I digress.

Research for ‘research question’

I’ve been spending part of the weekend looking into how to define my research question. This has led me to look at the existence and origins of pre-digital collaborative communities. I revisited Charles Leadbeaters book We Think. In chapter two, The Roots of We Think, he discusses and describes the adoption of communities in Cornish tin mines in the 19th century.