It was a rest week for me. I had a pretty significant health event last week, so most of my week was spent lying around in the sun with my dog.*

Fidel, my faithful old doggo

This is Fidel getting up close and personal when I decided to switch it up and lie on the floor. He had a great week. Yes, he has a giant growth on his leg, no it isn’t cancerous (phew!) and don’t tell him, but he’s having it taken out soon…

Anyhoo, my week:

What did you do?**

Not an exhaustive list

Talked to my ‘Brilliant and Amazing writers and mothers group’ and a dear friend of 25 years and generally felt enveloped in a virtual, global sisterhood.

Had a very funny chat to the brilliantly sharp-witted Lynn Boyden and we decided this was the dream the internet promised us. Die laughing chats with friends, no matter where they are in the world. Connecting and feeling wrapped up in the glorious wisdom of women near and far.

It was ‘kids teaching kids’ science week this week, so a lot of the evenings the kids brought the craftwork to me in bed, and we worked on the design and development of spacesuits over the past 50 years, and how colour works. It was great and involved a pep talk from me that actually worked and made me feel like I was doing ok as a mum, just for a bit (come on, we all doubt ourselves, yeah?).

6am ResearchOps governance stream meeting for the Research Repos project happening within the ResearchOps Community. The team is close to getting something splendid done and it has been such a great thing seeing how they’re coming together under the leadership of Dorthe-Maj Jacobsen and Christina Tan.

Outcomes from that mean having a chat to the US Gov Department of Health and Human Services, which Dorthe and I progressed this week. We’ve taken a 180-page document on legislation in human research and we’re working on making it a dataset that is more accessible and filterable. It will be nice if they can pick it up and maintain that rather than the 180-page document…(we’ll see how we go!).

6 am ResearchOps data meeting:

This was my favourite kind of meeting, a doing meeting. We’ve been pulling together a word smorgasbord which is the start of our common taxonomy for user research repositories and now we have this very.long.list…it’s time to get cracking on defining some things. Luckily, because we have some super smart people on the team like Sam Vijghen, Paul Kotz and others, we’re doing ok. Our first port of call is to go find where these words are already defined, so later in the week, I wrote up a guide to defining a thing, which the team is reviewing now ready to unleash on the project team. It is a divide and conquer kinda deal!

Chatted to Brigitta Norton about where the research stream is at and made some action items for the weekend.

I got some uni work done…having gone through the transcriptions with a pen and paper, and having sat in amongst the first of the interviews for _a long time_, I think I’m arriving at a conceptual framework that is partially driven by the literature, and partly driven by the interviews. Now I’m trying to enter it all into a giant spreadsheet so I can make sense of it all in a less manual way. It is tedious work and my brain wasn’t 100% switched on this week.

I had a lovely catch up with Tom Crooks Smith and we talked about the challenges of scaling research, of institutional memory, and ofc, research repositories

Chatted to Paul about the structure of the research for the Research Repos project, the overarching research questions and about how wonderful the design and research people are in Melbourne. Talked briefly to Benson about our talk for the Web Directions Summit and put some plans in place. Very excited to be speaking at this, as it is one of those confluences of fantastically interesting topics all in one place.

I’m the chair of a lot of communities, one of those is the Australian Government Linked Data Working Group. We’ve got about 200 members from local, state and federal government, about 50 of whom are ‘core’ members of the team. I’ve been chipping away at creating a mechanism for nudging members to chat and share skills, knowledge and challenges in an informal way, and now that I have worked out the mechanics of that, I spent some time working on putting together an information pack for the members.

First day up and about a bit in the afternoon, and took my youngest son to play his first game of futsal with a pit stop for ice cream first, because, priorities. Very fast game. They didn’t win, but they did have fun.

What are you thinking about?

Not an exhaustive list

There was a lot of room for thinking this week, though my brain wasn’t up to much.

I thought about creating space for people to grow and I thought about the kinds of things one needs to do to create communities that are connected and supportive. Both of my two biggest communities are in a position of having some very highly skilled people with not a lot of time and some people just starting in their careers. Balancing their needs in an equally respectful way is key.

I thought about change (PhD studies) and whether transformational change is possible, or if we are too hard-wired for path dependency as anthropologists would say we are (yes this is just a tweet below, but this is what is on my mind most of the time- my studies are about levers of change, for the better and worse, and for whom and under what circumstances).

My community work is about helping others make change happen- for Linked Data, it is an enabler of the revolutions in our societies you feel going on around you. ResearchOps, is another incredible enabler. A while ago I wrote about this aspect of ResearchOps but haven’t hit publish on that post yet. So, in a forthcoming post, I wrote:

ResearchOps is the lever to the promise of a tightly drawn and fully articulated revolution — a conductor for the orchestra of mixed method research.

So I guess I think about revolution. All the time. For women and mothers. For people. For democracy. That’s what’s on my mind. All. The. Time.

Anything else?

I read a couple of things pickling in my brain. Here’s one on how we measure stuff and NPM from Dyfrig Williams that I really enjoyed.

I listened to The Human Show

I read Nour Sidawi’s post on exploring future leadership in One Team Gov and realised summer is over and we have an online thing to organise! Great post Nour, the context building was invaluable for me.

I read Sam Villis’s post and Dan Barrett’s weeknotes, and realised this was exactly the kind of horse I needed to get back on, so here I am. Thanks, you two.

*It all looks like a lot, but it was all in patches, mostly, I watched an entire season of Working Mums on Netflix and cringed and laughed at the same time as only one can when one sees things that feel all too familiar on the screen.

** The format for these weeknotes are pinched directly from Dan Barrett because I like the format a lot. Thanks Dan!

researcher, counter of things, PhD student, public servant…into user research, information architecture, ontology, data. Intensely optimistic.