a disticnt lack of insight into my flooded desk, floor and mind

Hallo, so after my previous post about trying to keep the writing momentum going  I have stopped in my tracks. I want to blog about the interesting things that I come across and do, however right now, I’m too busy to do so. Rubbish.

So instead, I’m going to point you to the music that has been keeping going whilst I battle against the mess that is my desk, floor and mind:

First up: Massive Attack – Heligoland

Followed by : Sigur Ros  – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

And The xx – xx

last but not least: http://www.myspace.com/claritykaufmann

oh and I want this tea:  Enchanted forest by Yumchaa

You can read about the exciting things that I do in my job over at the UCLDH blog.

what i do in my day job…by night im a superhero

I thought it was probably about time that I explained a bit about what I do in my job…

I’m the research assistant on project LinkSphere, which is a joint research project with the University of Reading and UCL, funded by the JISC Virtual Research Environment 3 programme. The project is aiming to develop a virtual research environment (VRE) which will allow cross-repository searching across various digital collections and archives (including (just to name a few) the Silchester IADB, Film Collection, Film, Television and Theatre archive, the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology collections, The Museum of English Rural Life collections and the Cole Museum of Zoology collections) producing a useful user interface to various disparate digital collections.

My role is to focus on the way that social networking technologies are used by academics and how they might be integrated into a VRE and how they work with the museum and archive collections. I am also in essence the audience advocate, making sure that the user needs are met. The UCL team are on board to ensure that the project is a fully user driven design process, and that all user requirements are fed directly into the development of the project.

Development of the VRE will be undertaken at the University of Reading, with user analysis and usability from us at UCL.

All in all it’s a pretty cool job, I’m getting into the swing of things now (I’ve been here a couple of months). I’ve been doing some fun things with Twitter backchannels as well as asking questions to repository managers about the use of digital resources within repositories and how they want this project to work for them.

so thats my day job, by night I’m a tea drinking, chocolate eating, museum geeking, amusement making superhero type thing (not much of a power compared to xray vision, or telekinesis but i like it).

NB: The views expressed on my blog are completely my own rather than those of my employer.

i love tea

mrscruff-teaSince I’ve started my new job and re acquainted myself to life in London, my brain has been finding it hard to cope.  When I’m not at work, I have been wondering around in a daze.  It’s like my brain is conserving energy when it doesn’t have to actively concentrate on the all the new things I am learning in my new research role. And I tell you what I am learning an awful lot. So my brain goes into shut down at all other times.  I must look quite odd with a completely vacant expression on my face.  Usually I would be getting very excited about the prospect of all the new exhibitions that I can pog around in, but alas that has not happened, too much brain weakness for that. I’ve also recently become disillusioned with my Google reader feeds. Very disappointed, I can normally find something that sparks my interest, but not for a good few weeks has that occurred. What is a actually gone ‘dumb blonde’ to do?  Well there have been three things that have been keeping me sane.

Firstly: tea. I love tea. Yes it’s official.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been working really hard in my new job, meeting new people, learning new concepts, starting new research, and its all been a bit stressful.  My brain feels well and truly saturated.  But what is easing the burden is tea. It is brilliant stuff. I don’t know if it’s just a northern thing, but tea solves every problem imaginable.  I bought some beautiful Cornish tea, yes Cornwall makes tea, back in the Penzancian days.  A place called Tregothnan, http://www.tregothnan.co.uk/ and it produces some beautifully fragrant teas.  Not only that but the little specialist tea and coffee shop in Penzance (I’m actually beginning to miss Penzance, shush don’t tell anyone) that I bought it from also sells goods from the tea appreciation society and I got myself a nifty I love tea bag, which has been going down a storm in Camden, comments and praise a go go. So yes, tea is a fantastic thing.

Secondly: culture shock. This is a brilliant initiative fronted by (in my opinion the gods of the museum world- some Geordie bias there but hey) Tyne and Wear Museums. It is attempting to discover and record digital stories that have been inspired by North East Museums. My personal favourite being the inspirational stories arising from baking apparatus.   What with this, the Great North Museum grand opening and Museumnext, Newcastle is really beginning to show what its capable of in the museum world (rather than just being known for its greatness by the few)

Thirdly: wordr.  This is still very much in alpha, but its awesome. Its inconsequential, playful,  and its fun!  Twitter is 140 characters right? Well wordr, is you guessed it just one word (28 characters is that right?). Its amazing what you can express with just one word. I can track what I and others have been doing in a day and what mood I have been in a beautiful way (ok so beautiful is a bit strong but I am very much enjoying the freedom of single wordyness). A prime example is during the Mr (im not a racist, oh wait, actually I am a racist) Griffin on BBC questiontime last week.  Instead of going on a rant like quite a few (by quite a few take that to mean lots of) people, I was able to some up my feelings with one word ‘berk’. That makes me unbelievably happy. I’m also able to boast that I hold the position of the 1000th word of wordr which is ‘gin’. Again this makes me happy, and for all the people who actually know me, this three lettered word expresses my personality quite aptly.   And what’s the most posted word on wordr to date? Another three letter word… tea.