.ROCKS Domain: A digital pick-me-up

Museum volunteer, mother, and blogger Jennifer Layton (www.jenlayton.rocks) discusses her passion for art, motivation for blogging, and the appeal of .ROCKS in this week’s My Side of the Dot.

Where are you based?

I’m currently based in Derby in the United Kingdom which is in the East Midlands region, about 100 miles north of London. We have some beautiful countryside on our doorstep with the fantastic Peak District.

What was the inspiration behind your blog?

As I am taking a career break at the moment, I wanted to make sure that I was demonstrating Continuing Professional Development and initially kept a CPD sheet. At one of my reviews I realised that the content was quite good and thought that it would make much more sense to keep it in the public realm.

The blog is simply a mix of what is currently going on in my life. It’s not designed to be monetised but show my development in the areas I am interested in working in, as well as being somewhere to share my thoughts.

What are the Derby Museums and what is your role there?

I currently volunteer at Derby Museums, working within the co-production team and also, more recently with the Audience Development team which investigates participation and  accessibility. I’ve worked on a number of projects to get a taste of different aspects of Museum Practice and work. So far, I have helped with a re-interpretation of the Ceramics Gallery, designed a video showing the journey the museum went through to create their new Notice Nature gallery, and facilitated participation with graduate students and a group of partially sighted visitors.

I really enjoy it as there is so much to learn and such a breadth of things to try.

What is your intention with your This Week’s Readings?

This week’s reading is simply a chance to share what I am currently looking at. It’s quite a lazy update as there isn’t much to cutting and pasting the links, but like anything it happens when I remember and when I have the time.

Your blog is a meld of thoughts, concerns, art, culture, and motherhood. How do you balance these many concepts?

There isn’t really any conscious thought process involved. I write about what interests me as it happens. There is no content strategy other than what comes to mind, so I guess that my brain does it for me.

When did you first develop an appreciation for art, and what about it speaks to you?

I’ve always been good at art and a very visual person so I suppose it was something I’ve always had an affinity for. Art is a means of expression and culture that should be available to everyone so I think, more recently the use of art in health and wellbeing is where my interest lies most strongly.

Why are you interested in the intersection of digital and art? How have you seen that manifest?

I’m interested to see how digital is used by artists. There are some really great innovators some of whom are well known like Bjork, who currently has an exhibition on in London, who is using VR filing techniques in her music videos through to artists like Antonio Roberts who takes the raw data created from an image file and rewrites it to change how the image appears.

What is your goal for your blog?

To be a record of me and what I get up to. No greater ambition other than for it to be itself.

How did you hear about .ROCKS?

I think I just did a search in our hosting company for names and a huge list came up. I really liked the .ROCKS option.

Why did you register a .ROCKS domain in lieu of something more traditional?

I was feeling quite low when I registered the domain so I guess that part of it was just a bit of an ego pick-me-up, but I still had one eye on the fact that so many people have the usual .COM suffix and given how many different ones there are now it seemed a chance to be a bit creative. Domain names are so long these days because so many websites are registered; using a little known and unique suffix helps you to be a bit more creative.

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