UQ Student Life (1991 to 1994)
Prior to Semper, he was an ordinary undergraduate student by day, and the internet hadn’t been popularly released so Stephen tended to sleep at night.
Semper Floreat. Stephen was elected to the office of Editor of the student union newspaper of the University of Queensland. For one year, he ran Semper with David “Davo” Bolton. For half a year, there was another editor, but nobody remembers much about him, which is a shame, because he was there, and he did contribute to Semper. His name is Cameron Ward, and he was a valued member of the Timelords team, even if he and Stephen did part on the ugliest of internal office memo exchanges.
At Semper, Stephen’s tasks included editing, writing, layout, design, herding cats, throwing parties, layout, stocking the nerf rifles, recruiting writers, layout, graphics design, writing and making the magic happen. Turns out somebody was quite good at making the magic happen (and he did do a lot of layout)
The Griffith Crusade (1995 to 2002)
Beginning a new life as a commerce student in 1995, Stephen left the heady lowlife of UQ student politics and promptly failed to become anonymous. After blitzmode studying his way through to a First Class Honours in Commerce, setting the School’s record for being the first full time first class Honours student they’d produced, he then went on to have four coauthored journal articles published. Coincidently, this flurry of journal activity was before the widespread availability of broadband internet access.
Whilst at Griffith, Stephen completed a PhD in 2 and half years (or 18 months if you count the time from “This is the topic” to “Here’s the thesis. I’m gonna go take a nap”). At the conclusion of his thesis, Stephen created three trial adverts for the use of Princess Diana’s image as a seat belt endorser. One thing led to another, and Stephen found himself in London, on the one year anniversary of Diana’s death, presenting to a crowd of Diana-philes on how her death could be used for advertising purposes. In a Harry Potteresque turn of events, Stephen became the boy who lived, and this sort of thing set the tone for the rest of his career.
Whilst holed up in the Forest City of Nathan Campus, Stephen was a lecturer who specialised in generality, and who could (and did) teach E-marketing, Consumer Behaviour, Advertising, Services Marketing, and Social Marketing. Although he applied to teach Introduction to Marketing one year, he was refused the grounds that “He would mould them and shape them in his own image”. Stephen felt this was such a good idea, he reapplied for the class the following year using the very same words.
As part of the Griffith Crusade, he authored one or three books, a few conference papers and 50 music tracks. He also custom designed and built a reputation as the hardest bastard in the Commerce faculty for his policy on late assignments, extension and the requisite necessity to actually produce death certificates of deceased relatives when claiming special consideration. It didn’t hurt that he showed up in a Friday night lecture after having broken his hand on the Thursday night – and proceeded to deliver the lecture whilst the cast on his hand was still setting.
The Sparten Chronicles (2002 to 2005ish)
Stephen was lured out of the forests of Griffith University by the promise of caffeine, money and all the trouble he could make in the private sector. To hide his secret identity, he was appointed Senior Consultant in Research and Development for the Australia-based sports sponsorship ratings agency Sparten. At Sparten, Stephen revised his role as miracle maker for hire, once more thrust into the unstable and highly fun world of short deadlines and long lead time projects, he continued to “make the magic happen” by producing more quality and quantity than should be possibly without the use of a time machine. He denies having a time machine, just a good working understanding of time compression, and a beta copy of Winzip for Temporal Fluxes.
During this sojourn into industry, he called the entire of the marketing academy who cares about journal ranks the “biggest pack of rankers” he’d ever seen, and followed this stunning level of tact by telling a few too many industry truths at a special session where he represented the voice of young academics (whilst safely having an industry job that didn’t have a Dean or Head of School)
This was not the career ending blaze of glory he was expecting.
QUT Work (2005)
QUT demonstrated that the cabal of Marketing Academics Who $teve’s REALLY Ticked off wasn’t as widespread as first believed. Captain Career Limiting Move found a new home. Whilst working for QUT, Stephen wrote one book adaptation, one new book, nine conference papers and played a lot of Yahoo!Games. He’s banned himself from playing RocketMania in order to regaining the full use of his right arm.
As part of a trade agreement with the private sector, Stephen returned to the academic industry where he promised to only use his powers for good. Nobody actually defined the parameter “good” and he was left to himself with an office, a computer and year’s supply of the Internet. An opportunist by nature, and a fast twitch curiosity leads him to chasing numerous research projects down blind alleys. With the patience of a cat and the subtly of carpet bombing, Stephen will assault a topic area, blaze away at it, and then wander off to pursue a new idea. This academic research methodology may have influenced US foreign policy.
This attempt at world domination via the medium of conference papers came to an abrupt end when the Australian National University did the unthinkable and lured Stephen from the warmth of Brisbane to the depths of Canberra
The Australian National University (2006 to the here and now)
Canberra. Toowoomba with the national capital as it was aptly described. A place that was designed to sit between Sydney and Melbourne as a lesson in why compromising on important issues leads to bad outcomes. Apart from the odd minor outburst about living in a country town, most notably when trying to buy supplies or sophisticated electronics, Stephen adapted to Canberra reasonably well.
Canberra, on the other hand, is still getting used to him.
In the first year, with nothing to do in the evenings, afternoons or weekends that didn’t involve work, the academic war machine went into one man over drive, producing 11 (two solo, nine coauthored) ANZMAC Conference papers for 8 successes, one special session, and four other conference papers and a journal article, the finalisation of the Consumer Behaviour adaptation, the end game for the Competitive Marketing Strategy text, and taking one Autoassault characters up to level 70 maximum, and grinding three WoW characters into the level 30s.
Somewhere in amongst that chaos, Stephen found time to sleep. Not a lot, but he did sleep more in 2006 than in 2005. Scholars and scientists believe the lack of a Sascha cat’s singing may have contributed to the enhanced sleep profile. Others suspect the hibernation during winter, or the after effects of having been the first person to successfully burn down an easter egg in the name of art and science.
In 2007, the year of Taking Those Journals Seriously, Social Marketing Quarterly surrendered without a fight, and two other journals found themselves under siege with a result of 1 for 2. The International Cabal of Marketing Journal Editors are currently attempting to distract Stephen with offers of book contracts, consultancies and relatively good connection speeds to Autoassault.
This may not prove sufficient.
Autoassault collapsed inwards on itself, and the Cabal’s desperate attempts to distract him resulted in World of Warcraft subscriptions, and a match made in dynamic short term markets as Stephen discovered the Auction house. 340 gold profit later, and it’s more fun than grinding mobs or ganking Alliance gnomes. Still, in late 2007, there were rumours and murmurings of new book, new articles and a big collection of research plans. Lines are being drawn, books read, articles downloaded, and swathes of forest sacrificed in the name of preparation for the 2008 onslaught.
As a follow up from the 2007 record attempt, the one man marketing machine had a relaxed conference of three papers and a special session, where upon he spoke about the death of marketing, how political marketed worked (or didn’t) and waxed eloquently about personal branding. It helped he was a track sponsor and wearing his personal brand merchandise at the time.
With 2007 drawing to a close, and the fires of ANZMAC mostly extinguished, four further journal articles were submitted, largely to see what happens next. Debate on the social marketing list drew Captain Career Limiting Move into an exchange with one of social marketing’s co-founders, and that turned out to be less devasting than expected.
With 2008 now living large on the scene, the plans are laid, the madness ever present, and the academic war machine once more eyeing off “Going down in history” as a To Do List item.
With the first quarter grinding to a halt of screeching metal and sparks, the Academic War Machine continues the assault on the marketing journal sector, with an uncharacteristic persistence, and the very characteristic excessive use of academic fire power. Thus far, all is progressing according to plan, even if the sheer existence of a plan is a frightening thought.