PhD Blogs – Christmas Cheer and PhD Fears

angelo-pantazis-180828.jpgMonth 3 brings Christmas cheer and thesis fear – I’m kidding, possibly an update for next year! This month I didn’t do nearly as many PGR classes as last month, I spent more time working on freelance work and the experiment idea I mentioned in my last blog.

This month I attended the SocMedHE17 conference at Sheffield University, it was the first conference I’ve attended as a PGR and I absolutely loved it! There will be a full blog about this later! So many opportunities came as a result of this conference and I cannot wait for some of them to come to fruition.

I also looked at publishing my dissertation as I have had many situations where people have shown interest in my dissertation but as I have not published it I have been advised not to share it. Plus it seems like a waste to not publish a piece of work that I worked hard on. I’ve identified an ideal journal I would like to publish the piece in – but who knows if it will be up to their standards after editing! I guess we will have to see and try elsewhere if it fails to meet the cut. As it is my first foray into publishing I will try not to set my heart on it.

There was another opportunity that came up to look at the collection of raw data in regards to privacy regulations – more on this when I have made some progress with it.

I also started and completed the Institute of Direct Marketing Award in GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) Course and have received my certificate for completing the course. The course was massively insightful and it was great to have real life examples in place for meeting the GDPR guidelines in the online environment. I have a feeling a lot of companies won’t be meeting the requirements of the regulations as general understanding of GDPR seems to be significantly lower than one would hope for regulations coming into play in less than 6 months.

I started working on building my understanding of ISO regulations – I still have a lot of work to do there and I know I will have to make more time investments into this to fully wrap my head around all the technical terms. I’m still starting my journey but I am still feeling the pressures to read up and meet the new goalposts of understanding the broader field.

This may not seem like a big deal to anyone else but I did a massive clear out of my connections on LinkedIn – Over 3,000+ LinkedIn connections deleted. I realised it was time for a refresh and connect with people more relevant in my industry, I’ve accepted that old contacts have gone stale and the potential for working freelance with some of these contacts was not going to become a reality just because they sit in an ominous friends list.

I decided to review all my course notes on a regular basis and make an action plan on those notes based on what I would ideally like to achieve, this has helped me develop more in depth plans and concepts for my experiments, papers and thesis.

I completed a Cyber Security Law course on Udemy that provided some great insights into laws from all over the globe regarding cyber security. I have also started another on Lynda which seems to be more focused on US cyber security law.

I have published twice for DataFloq on

I have also written an article about the Uber data hack controversy for the University of Huddersfield’s academic blog which you can find here.

I had a great Christmas break and spent Christmas Day volunteering in the kitchen of The Huddersfield Mission Centre, the team there are absolutely fantastic and I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to volunteer my time to make someone else’s Christmas better. The team served Christmas Dinner to around 40 of Huddersfield’s Homeless population and it genuinely was the best way to spend Christmas day as it made me thankful for all the opportunities and support I have had to make my life better.
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