Scott and I are sharing the rest of our parental leave, and we’re each working two and a half days a week until March next year. This is brilliant and sometimes difficult. It’s hard to work 50% in a job that isn’t built for fixed hours but for people who love saying yes to new projects. But I absolutely love having a few hours of adult time to work on things that I love. It makes my time with the little ones (and my teenager!) even more precious.

This semester’s projects are my intensive course on communication in social media (DIKULT110: Kommunikasjon i sosiale medier), which I’m really excited about. It’s taught in just a week’s worth of classes (next week!), followed by four weeks of students working independently, with some online followup, and then we’ll meet in groups to discuss student projects, which will be graded and the course thus completed a week later. I’ve started up a blog for the course, which I’m busily populating with content that I plan to use as the basis for the lectures. I’m also rather enjoying writing little case studies of uses of social media in Norway. I think they’ll be really useful for me in the future, and hopefully for other people as well. So far you can read about Nextgentel’s use of Twitter, Alveslottet’s use of Facebook and blogs, and Astrid Valen-Utvik’s moving from being an avid blogger, weaving stories through posts, and becoming a social media consultant. There’s much more on its way, and I plan to continue posting this little snippets of examples throughout the next month or so.

You can still sign up for the course: in fact, you can even show up on Monday, August 31 and sign up that afternoon if you like the course – the deadline is September 1. If you don’t want to take the exam, or aren’t matriculated at the University of Bergen, you can follow lectures, which are all open to the public.

Other projects I’m involved in this autumn are:

  • ELMCIP – a large European project looking at electronic literature in Europe. Currently we’re busily planning the first seminar organised by the conference, which will be held here in Bergen September 21-22. It’s on Electronic Literature Communities.
  • I’m on the jury of Fritt Ord’s blogging awards. Fritt ord is a Norwegian organisation that promotes freedom of speech, and they’re giving 2.5 million kroner to blogs. The application deadline is September 15, and I’m excited to see what kinds of applications we receive.
  • I’m involved in an interesting project application that I can’t really talk about yet. Very hard for a blogger.
  • In November, I’m going to Sydney, where I’ve been invited to keynote the shifted media stream of the Journalism Education Association of Australia conference. We’ll stay in Australia until after Christmas. Hooray!

Hopefully I’ll get some research and writing done as well, but realistically, working 50%, there’s not going to be a lot of time.

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