Reasons for the long, long time of not posting anything? Put that down to the crazily busy life I had as Programme Director for the BA English programmes at Birmingham City University. There were some great projects that I got involved in between February of last year and the present time - such as the Digital Spaces module we taught all our new first year undergraduates, and which I talked about at a recent English Subject Centre event on Digital Writing. But posting about how many emails I managed to get answered (or not) and how much research I was only slowly getting done (or not) just kept falling off the bottom of my 'to do' list.
Reasons for the resurrection? Well, I have a new job at the University of Leicester. I was genuinely sad to say goodbye to my many good friends at BCU, but after 13 years in post it was time to move on. And I am genuinely excited about the opportunities my new job holds, not least because of the time I now have to get on with some of the slowly languishing research. And I might even get time to blog about some of it.
So, some of the things I have been up to since finishing at BCU:
Revising my essay on small stories and status updates in Facebook - it will be coming out in Text and Talk very soon. I gave a version of this at the University of Sussex last month.
Presenting my work on collaborative storytelling (Protagonize and A Million Penguins) at the ISSN conference.
Writing an essay on Girl with a One Track Mind for the Journal of Literary Theory, which will form the basis of the keynote I'll be giving in Genoa later in the summer. Still working on getting over the flush factor in discussing the grammatical patterns of "shag" and "fuck" compared with "having sex". Writing this on the train on my way to and from Leicester has been interesting - especially when I nearly forgot to get off the train as I was so engrossed!
What I'm up to next is a wider analysis of the stories that get told in social media of various kinds. It's going to have to be Twitter next. And I am not sure I really 'get' Twitter yet. I have an account there too, so the resurrection will have to spread further, methinks! But if you have any tips for harvesting data from Twitter, or even just making sense of the tweets, let me know!