Introduction: Why a website?

This year I’ve started teaching a masters unit in digital media for strategic communciation. I have a massive research interest in the are having written a number of books and academic articles on the issue. However, in order to bring real insight to my teaching and research I thought I ought to re-engage with the practical aspects of maitaining a web presence. When learning the ins and outs of Google Analytics, for example, there is nothing better than having your own account, your own TLD and your own vested interest in doing so!

Having a rather unique name meant that was available as a top level domain name and rather than invent some strange portmanteau it seemed logical to get tauel for myself. I’ve been told all my life of various meanings for the word tauel and I thought that the word should have its own space. If you have any ideas about what tauel might mean, I’d love to know.

Of course, the only problem with having a site is that you need to have something on it. So far, that has meant including a few of my favourite photos and a brief run down of things that I’d like to promote to everyone (sort of scream from the rooftops good stuff) and things I’d like to warn people about. I’ve also imported some old html pages from my first attempt at web building in the year 2000. A lot of that content has gone missing but I included everything I could find with minimal effort :).  One of the better parts of that site (and its raison d’etre) was my travel diary from my year of travelling through Asia, Europe and the Americas in 1999… at the time it was the only way of allowing friends I met overseas to keep up with what happened in my travels (no facebook/instagram/flickr back then).  So that’s there too, along with a large pdf file of my first big solo trip in 1996, where I started out going to Thailand and then ended up hitching around Britain and Ireland. On that trip the world didn’t even have internet cafes – and travellers had to talk to each other and make stories instead of constantly updating friends back home. The world was a very different place in 1996.

Back to now, there are, of course, a number of reasons that academics should have a public profile and part of me fantasises about the potential of blogging and sharing information over the net. So I’ve also resolved to blog occasionally to get things off my chest and play around with ideas for research and writing. The hope is that people will engage and respond but if nothing else, it is a space for some venting. While I can’t always guarantee my ideas will be well thought out or articulate, I can promise to be at least as reasonable and informative as Andrew Bolt.

Finally, I’ve set up what I call ‘the ideal speaking space‘ simply as a little experiment. The ideal speaking position is a theoretical concept that establishes the conditions that allow a conversation to be reasonable. I have always wanted to play with that concept on the web, so there it is. As I’m still learning the ins-and-outs of forums it is definitely a work-in-progress… but I hope one day someone will ask a question in that space and we can see how it works.

That’s it really. Hopefully not too conceited and painful. Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like to discuss, or questions we can find the answer to together.


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