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In Whitby:

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Today is the 296th day of the year
(so, only 69 more to go)

Frank Zappa once said:

The creation and destruction of harmonic and 'statistical' tensions is essential to the maintenance of compositional drama. Any composition (or improvisation) which remains consistent and 'regular' throughout is, for me, equivalent to watching a movie with only good guys in it, or eating cottage cheese.


My career direction has recently changed, but just a little bit.

In May 2016 I joined Durham University as a information systems specialist, having previously been employed as an Academic Support Specialist at the Scarborough Campus of the University of Hull, where I had been since 1999. Before that I did a few jobs in the IT and internet sector, after having taken a degree in Physics, and a Masters in IT, both of which I am amazed I was never asked to hand back.

In my life as an undercover academic I have taught a number of subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as supervising postgraduate students and being involved in research activity. I have covered a variety of areas, including Interaction Design, Information Systems, Web Systems Management (basic networking and introductory server-side programming), Media Culture & Society and cyberpsychology (on the module Psychology of Internet Behaviour). I have Wikimedia tools and systems during my teaching and research. My general academic interests are in web engineering, systems design and development, with my current research focused in the realms of "digital archaeology" (the capture, analysis and preservation of digital artefacts).

I am also a Chartered Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS CITP), a Professional Member of the Association for Computing Machinery and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I have also administered a Mediawiki install for the Malta Media Memory Preservation Project.

Research

My research interests began in the realm of software and web engineering, and determining objective quality metrics for the construction of web-based systems and applications. I took part in the Fourth International Workshop on Web Systems Evolution, held in Montréal, in Canada in October 2002. I have a long-standing interest in mark-up languages, web technologies and server-side programming.

Other Interests

My "outside" interests are fairly wide-ranging, from the academic to the positively silly. I have a predilection for music, British archive TV (especially TV comedy) and elements of popular culture and popular science. I'm also a bit of a comedy and music nerd. Don't get me started about Jean Michel Jarre, who I saw last year for the eighth and ninth times.

I love music. Unfortunately, I can't play anything, but always keep in my mind the thought that I am one of lifes bass players. If I ever learn anything, that will be the place I'll gravitate. I like a fairly wide array of stuff, but most of my recent focus has been on ELO, Jean Michel Jarre. However, I also love the website created by Chris Rand, specifically the work of genius and affection that is the Half Man Half Biscuit Lyrics Project. It contains a list of the lyrics of every song on every release and lots of fans adding their rather amusing two penn'orths.

I have also been editing Wikipedia, in my own small way, since April 2006. I think of myself as a wiki gnome, so I enjoy wandering around, making little changes here and there, incremantally trying to make Wikipedia a slightly better place, one edit at a time: a kind of wiki Kaizen, if you like. I am a Wikimedia UK member. In July 2012 I attended the Wikimania 2012 conference in Washington DC, USA and also attended Wikimania 2014 in August 2014 in London, as well as EduWiki events in Cardiff and Edinburgh.

And of course, I'm an infrequent blogger. From time to time I will dump stuff onto my usual blog, though I've got a couple of other things sitting in the back of my mind, which I hope to do something with when I get the chance. I do write birts and pieces of other stuff too, including Amazon reviews, amongst other things.

External Links

I've been around on social media for quite a long time, particularly on the ubiquitous facebook, and twitter. I also maintain presences on Wikipedia, linked.in and about.me.

I also maintain a number of professional endpoints, such as ResearchGate, Academia.edu and ORCID entries.