Sunday, August 27, 2006

Big Changes

After a several month break from posting, I'm finally back! In case you don't know where I've been, I was writing my doctoral dissertation (on otaku culture in America, especially anime and manga fandom). As of 3 weeks ago, I completed all the requirements for my PhD. Some 25 years of schooling (kindergarten through grad school) are behind me at last.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the interviewees and those of you I hung out with during the course of my research. If you volunteered to be interviewed and I didn't get around to you, I'm sorry we weren't able to sit down and chat some more, but thank you nonetheless for your enthusiasm and willingness to help. Our interactions, though brief, were still important to me.

Getting my PhD feels great, but I'm excited about things coming up, as well. Many graduating PhDs scour the job market for academic jobs, and I did that a little bit, but I ultimately decided to do something a little different. Readers of lainspotting and especially Opera Otaku know that I'm a big fan of the Opera browser and the company that makes it. Starting in September, I will be working for Opera Software full time at their San Diego branch office. (Because of my very recent move from New York to California, I haven't had time to write until now.) Long time readers will remember that I wrote an article about branding and Opera back in early 2005, and I visited Opera's main headquarters in Oslo, Norway last summer. As such, I've had an informal relationship with the company for quite awhile now. With the completion of my degree, I'm happy to become a full-fledged member of the Opera team.

Utilizing my research background, a major part of my work will involve really getting to know American users of Opera: die-hard fans and casual users alike. Furthermore, I'll be talking with people who don't use the browser to determine how Opera might better serve their needs as well. Once I start my new job, I'm sure I'll be writing more (either here or elsewhere) about my experience of working at Opera, so stay tuned!