I took last week off, to visit New Zealand for the first time. I spent most of my time on the southwestern end of the South Island – Arthur’s Pass, Franz Joseph glacier, and the Queenstown area. After a few days unplugged from the internet and its myriad social media channels, I started to relax a little. I also realised that it’s the first guilt-free week I’ve taken away from my PhD since starting in February 2009… I think that’s possibly due to having been so busy for the previous month, and knowing that I’d jump straight back in after returning to Melbourne.
Last night, I gave my first ever lecture: a guest spot in Trevor Barr‘s Communications Environments course, as part of Swinburne’s Masters in Media and Communications. I spoke about the Australian social media landscape, and social media issues that small (and large!) businesses face. I also talked about the research methods that I’m using for my project, and showed them a few of the case studies to illustrate how businesses are dealing with those issues.
Hopefully they found it interesting – particularly if any of them go on to do a Masters thesis or PhD. Before starting my own PhD, I’d had virtually no contact with people studying in a similar field. I wanted to give a sense of how a project can be designed: setting up research questions, and choosing appropriate methods to answer them. In my case, because I want to explore how and why technology is being used, I also talked about the differences in semi-structured qualitative interviews vs. structured Q&A ones.