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London dispatch: proposal feedback.

Travel chaos has blown a cool breeze through Britain's festive spirit of late, with folks trapped at Heathrow and many more forced into extended circumnavigations of broken railway paraphernalia.  I suffered from the latter on my way down from Edinburgh, but this barely put me out and gave me a chance to catch up on podcasts during the way down to London: I've made it through worse.

And after a 24 hour stay in snowy Kent I'm now at RSA House: my premiere, some say inaugural, visit to the home of the Society.  Very smart it is too, from the perspective of the Fellows' Library, several feet below ground level.  I'll come back when there's an event on to take in the splendour of the upper floors.  (There's a bar too, you say... oh, well, if I must.)

Last week was my chance to present some PhD ideas to colleagues and generally it went OK.  There were technical issues to start: we changed rooms, fiddled with projectors and such like.  But I spoke, people stayed around and listened, and suggestions were put forward.  The need for greater focus and a solid theoretical base were recognised by one and all it seemed, with the following floated as possible avenues for further thought:

  • consumer behaviour > leading to consumption
  • knowledge management
  • relationship marketing
  • co-creation
  • social media > leading to innovation
  • social capital > leading to social modelling and socialisation

Now, I made the point during the presentation that I was keen to keep this research on a broader footing than marketing... but I think this probably shows up my ignorance of what marketing means and the breadth of topics and themes it can encompass.  My written proposal (submitted on Monday this week, just making the pre-Christmas deadline) focuses on social capital and social networks, which one reader of said proposal felt came across more cohesively in the written text than anything else up to that point.  I therefore feel pretty confident that the proposal itself is sound, with plenty of potential alternatives should my supervisory team and I feel they would be more appropriate.

And speaking of supervisors there's a chance of an external supervisor who would be very good to work with - Scottish based too.  This has come partly from the Perth conference last week (which other people have written about too) and partly because I've started tracking #media2012: a UK-wide effort to encourage and enable public participation with the 2012 London Games, through social/open media.

A fruitful week all told, which led to a healthy discussion on Twitter during my journey south - all power to the iPhone for keeping me connected through the snowy fields.

And with that I'm going to sign off for Christmas.  It's been a busy year, with an increased teaching load and more students on my programmes.  More productive too I hope, with several different projects on the go.  The next 12 months will hopefully see some progress into my research themes, some pictures on the wall in my dining/spare room, and continued good times in Edinburgh and beyond.

Happy Christmas to one and all.

Travelogue 14: 'riding through the sand 20.12.02'

EventScotland 'International Events Conference' 2010, Perth Concert Hall