I recently completed (over) forty hours of training with The Trevor Project. It was tougher than I had considered, and more meaningful than I thought it would be. Are those two things related? Maybe.
The training itself was comprehensive. it was online and asynchronous but tracked, monitored and had staged just like a curriculum course. As we work with vulnerable populations, there were the usual checks, but also group and one on one coaching. Role plays were involved until they were confident in your skills. When I realised I’d graduated and wasn’t aren’t “practicing” anymore the tasks became more daunting.
I’m not sure I am a great person for doing this – though congratulations abound. I am, however, changed by the young people I encounter. Their voices: of who they are and how that is denied by the people closest to them, resonate long after I am done with my volunteering for the day.
Edith Cowan University has a leading Cybersecurity program. I am lucky enough to work with the researchers and academics from that group and my cyber-awareness has risen as a result. Though I am not perfect, I do try to stay as cyber-safe as possible by avoiding the obvious. This article about CyberSafety and Business Etiquette published today mixes the knowledge I have gleaned from my colleagues with the learnings from the Emily Post Business Etiquette Program Certification I have been trained in.
Honestly, it is really tough for me to not react when someone does something so clearly cyber-unsafe I wonder what they are thinking. Putting their credit card details in an email, or expecting me to put confidential or identifying information in an email are probably the biggest hot-button items. “Just email me a copy of your passport!” Uh, no. Politeness and civility, even charm, comes naturally to some (like my co-authors) but not to me. I have to try, I have to remember, to be understanding, to educate and not be the office (safety) grouch.
I was recently invited to speak at the National Association for Prospective Student Advisors, Australia Conference. The convenors gave me carte blanche on what I could discuss, so I decided to talk about how recruiting students into Vocational and higher Education was the best job someone could ever have. but just because it is the best job, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Like most jobs requiring emotional labour, it is rewarding, but taxing. My talk was actually about the different types of authenticity, and their effectiveness expressing a value proposition. However the theory was delivered through the lens of my experience as a recruiter. The video was taken on a iPhone, so it isn’t the best quality, but feel free to watch and share.
I am proud to see that a book chapter I have been working on with Dr Jamie Murphy has been published. The chapter was inspired by our annoyance at the lack of technical terminology for the segmentation of fans in consumer communities. What is the difference, for example, between a maven and a geek? And why are they different? As we conducted research into this area I felt the need for the kind of characterisation that is so prevalent in other kinds of customer analyses.
I loved exploring the genesis of different terms and demonstrating examples. Working with Jamie is always an adventure, and I look forward to further collaborations with him. Jamie is a sharp editor and an enthusiast for research and life in general. I have so much gratitude for all the opportunities he has brought to me over the years – so thanks Jamie, for this and so many other things.
As for me personally – for some things I am a geek and for some a maven. Usually I am an evangelist – or hater! I saw myself in so many characters in this chapter which is part of what made it fun to write. I hope those who read it have a good time too.
I an so pleased to have my presentation on “Hacking as an Infinite Game” accepted to the Western Australian Hackers Conference (WAHKON). Although hacking tends to focus on computing activity, it is an umbrella term for people who are expert, innovative and have a joy for what they do. In casual parlance, the word “hacker” mistaken for criminal behaviour – but those are actually crackers – big difference. My talk is going to be about the metaphor of the infinite game is so suitable for describing the Hacker ethic. With the Australian government’s recent focus on technology and innovation, the kind of people coming to this conference are just fascinating. I am looking forward to being around them, learning from them, and allowing them to let me play their infinite game.
I received some exciting news this month, I have finally been formally recognised as completing all of the requirements of my PhD. That’s right, I have finished the program I commenced in 2008.
Getting a PhD was easier–and harder–than I thought. My undergraduate degree in Philosophy had given me a great foundation for research work. My ability to argue was also very well developed (some would say overdeveloped); so taking a position and then seeking to prove or disprove it was less of a challenge to me than it might have been to others.
The emotional journey, however, was harder than I anticipated. This was a long project as I worked full time while I encountered every beaurocratic frustration in my path. The hardest part of this was not the work. It was the stuff surrounding the work.
All the while though, my network of family, friends and colleagues spurred me on. Between now and September when I cross the stage, I will spend much of my time thanking them all individually. After that, my job is to pay it forward and support others. I am looking forward to that.
Several years ago, I contributed to an Australian Edition of a university Advertising textbook. I recently was asked to revisit my contribution, as they have decided to use the work I contributed on Customer Evangelism again. It is great to see this kind of research being included in a text used to teach Communications students. I was particularly chuffed that the textbook is being used at the university where I work, Edith Cowan University.
Below is an excerpt from the original contribution to the book.
If you are interested in authenticity, particularly in a marketing context, I would encourage you to check out www.360da.org. That blog is also authored by me, Nathalie. Every week to two weeks, and article or issue regarding authenticity will be discussed. For those of you on Twitter, this blog also has a Twitter feed @3sixtyda.
It’s official! I have been appointed as an adjunct in the Faculty of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University. You can see my profile here. An adjunct position in my situation is an honorary role which supports my career as a researcher, allowing me access to the facilities and resources available to researchers at Edith Cowan University.
I was fortunate to attend the Australia New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference 2011 in late November in Perth; bonus that it was sponsored by my very own Edith Cowan University. The papers I contributed about Authenticity and Quintessence were received well.
Authenticity is an emerging area of interest to academic marketing researchers. How to measure this subjective experience, and then how to use it in a way which is ethical and effective are all big questions. I am hoping to use some of the contacts at the conference to further this research agenda. Stay tuned!