So, the above is a picture that Timehop has just sent me (it sends me a daily reminder of what I shared on social media a year ago) – at our #NMTrain event in Newcastle. A couple of days before I had been promoted to Senior Fellow in Teaching and Learning at the University of Winchester (Grade 9) and offered a job as Research Fellow in Social Media and Online Learning at St John’s College, Durham University (Grade 7) – so I had a big decision to make…. as you’ll likely know (and see Pete’s blog post) I decided to ignore the ££ head for Durham, where CODEC is doing such unique things… I’m achievement-driven, and it’s not been the most straightforward year, I’m always thinking about what I’ve not YET done, so let me take time to think about some of the things I’ve done:
- Spent 4 days looking round about 20 houses in Durham with Tracey Hulme: purchased one of them – with all the mortgage rigmarole that goes with that!
- Prepared lots of material for handover at University of Winchester, brought 3.5 years of counselling to an end, packed up, deep cleaned the flat I left, & leaving parties (one after I’d moved!). Met with Brian Draper a couple of times to try and work out how moving to Durham would mean a healthier lifestyle, slowing down, more time for friends, etc. (hmm, that’s not quite working yet!)
- The BIG move! Furnished & painted the house top to bottom (with a little help from friends), including lots of little fixings (several of which I’ve got stuck on – I may hire someone for a day!). Having started decluttering 13 years ago based on this William Morris quote – I have this week reached the stage where I have 2 sets of shelves that need sorting, pictures to put up, photos since 2007 to sort, 200+ badges to sew on my blanket, and “quite a big” pile of books to read… otherwise if I ain’t using it, it’s not there! Even a couple of weeks after I’d moved in it looked like I’d be there for quite some time. Garden is making progress (not sure if I’m a natural gardener), and also slowly pulling together stuff for a new bathroom. Plan is to sit back and enjoy the house then!
- Maintained and continued to re-develop BIGBible (see also Tumblr), with help from #digidisciple(s), and particularly Bryony Taylor as we seek to find a way to interact healthily online – so Bryony takes over for at least 4 weeks of the year!
- Publication Wise, quite a lot going on, including radio interviews, journal articles, magazine interviews, reviews, – and new deadline for my book manuscript is 9th July (it’s already on Amazon!) – so far about 18k written, to reach 45k this week (notes are all there – read about 40 books, lots of online material & 120 questionnaires returned) – lots of social media activity also & participated in Advent Book Club!
- Digital Decluttering: Gradually working Inbox 0 (workwise = all is in the to-do list; other emails still need more work); hard-drive tidy aside from a bit-too large “sort me” folder; and both drbexl and Digital Fingerprint have had a bit of an overhaul – though quite a lot of work still to do on my online ‘digital fingerprint’ (digital footprint to many others)…
- Spoken at lots of events (including co-organising CNMAC & NMTrain/NMThink with Premier) including academic conferences, run several workshops – which has included lots of travel – how else do you get 5 free first-class vouchers on EastCoast!
- Things that were planned when I moved: Holiday in the Scillies (having a holiday is always an achievement for me!); Hosting Heidi Campbell, running a stand at #GB13, #BigRead13 with Rowan Williams, #MediaLit13; ODHE Project, LST events, kickstarting CODEC website.
- Things that weren’t planned when I moved: a boss off long-term sick, teaching in Romania, Tearfund trip to Uganda, intensive teaching at Spring Harvest, moving CODEC offices… oh, and 3 colds + ‘proper flu’…
- Locally I’ve only managed to visit Cathedral/Castle, etc, Hexham and Alnwick so plenty more local sites to see…
- I think I’ve nearly retained my sanity – still only been in Durham for 10 months tomorrow … quite a lot has happened, right?! #probablyforgottensomething #allowedtofeelabitweary!
Probably forgotten some stuff, but lots to think about and plan for next year, including ensuring we have processes/lists in place so can focus on the more interesting stuff, ACW competition, #BigRead14 with Stephen Cherry, BA Supervision, potential PhD supervision, how to ensure that Cranmer Hall turns out some of the most digi-aware vicars in the country, time to research digital behaviours… and how we continue to fund CODEC – that’s in my 4 days a week … also continuing to develop Digital Fingerprint, and turn my PhD into a book!
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.