13:51 11/06/2004 Mathemagenic: Mathemagenic
Mathemagenic
...giving birth to learning...
        

Mathemagenic

  Friday, April 29, 2005


  Hosting imaginary friends

Nancy White on strangers and imaginary friends staying at your house:

It is the way I both do business and weave my social strands and networks. Two weeks ago I offered a room to someone from the Well (homebase England) who I did not know, but due to her community participation, could be virtually "vouched for." [...]

Tonight one online friend arrives plus one other I met a a conference this week to stay for two nights before they both return to the Netherlands.

I have been the beneficiary on the other end. My online connections have helped me learn, get information, make contact and have a place to sleep all over the world. We have saved dollars on hotel rooms and had much richer stays by being in homes instead of hotel boxes. We have had many conversations over chocolate, wine, potluck meals and walks in each other's neighborhoods. My family (which I must add, has been gracious beyond the call of family obligation with my "imaginary friends") have met some very interesting people! (And I mean that in all senses of the word. There has been some eyerolling!)

It ain't imaginary!

I'm very happy to be that online friend :) And I also know the power of online connections and the fun of hosting "imaginary friends" at my home - it's strange and hard to explain, but somehow it's very real... 


  Tuesday, April 26, 2005


  Social computing symposium: BlogTrace demo

I'm presenting today our work on BlogTrace (Anjo Anjewierden does most of the hard work, but there are others as well - see below). Some links that could be interesting:

Things I'm not showing, related


  Social computing symposium: community morning

I'll post some of my notes later (I guess tomorrow), but so far you may want to check detailed write-up by David Weinberger.


  Monday, April 25, 2005


  Social Computing Symposium: wiki, irc, blogs...

In case I don't blog much and you want to follow how things develop:

I may try to make a list of bloggers, but not sure - want to listen...

More on: SCS 

  Social Computing Symposium: just before

A day of exploring Seattle was unexpectedely sunny and unexpectedely jet-lag free (wonder if it's going to hit me tonight). Seattle Underground Tour is something you shouldn't miss...

Now it's almost time for Microsoft Social Computing Symposium, meeting people and interesting conversations. Don't know how much I'll blog - last conferences choices between f2f time and blogging were obvious. Anyway, I'll try.

A couple of thanks before I go:

  • to Microsoft Research for the invitation and taking care of my travel expenses
  • to Anjo Anjewierden for working hard on BlogTrace that I'm going to demo on Tuesday
More on: SCS travel 

  Saturday, April 23, 2005


  On the road again...

Leaving for Microsoft Research Social Computing Symposium. Will be in Redmond/Seattle 23-30 April - let me know if you are around and want to meet.

I guess I'll blog it.

Soooo sleepy and no time for linking :)


  Thursday, April 21, 2005


  Networked identity: links, relations and control

Mark Bernstein on what I called networked identity:

Miles assumes that the linked pages are the essence of the blogosphere that they flavor the blog so intensely that they set its key, its tonality. Lilia demurs; I fancy, though, that if Lilia were slashdotted more frequently, the slashdotting would change things. If your blog inscribes your calendar -- adding speaking engagements and consulting trips -- does it inscribe you? If it inscribes your bank account, does it change who you are?

Wouldn't say I disagree with Adrian - your network is part of your identity (as said in Russia - "tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are"). What I wasn't sure is how far it "writes you" without any of your control over it. Taking Mark's questions: my blog doesn't incribe my calendar or my bank account; sure it takes a role in creating an opportunity, but it's me making choices which of opportunities to follow.

Links as relations have at least two parties (more if it's true hypertext as far as I know :), but links are only indications, not relations themselves. Yes, I don't have control on links to my weblog. Yes, those links can influence who I am - by creating opportunities for a contact or creating an impression that there is a relation. Yes, my identity is constructed in interactions. But all these doesn't mean that there is less me in it...

On the top of it - how is this different from the real life? If someone crazy says to be my good friend you may think I'm crazy as well, but normally you would find a way to check it with me first. You would look for some kind of triangulation, some kind of evidence. How much links are different?

Of course, there is a difference. In scale, connectivity, exposure, speed. May be it makes me less in control of my identity, but I still have some :) 

And - being slashdotted may change who you are - like living through an earthquake :))) Blogging just increases the probability (as moving to Japan does :)


  BlogWalk 7: Mechelen, Belgium

A bit longish break after the snow of Chicago is over and BlogWalk is back. As Ton announces:

On May 20th BlogWalk 7 will take place in Mechelen. Tom de Bruijne, Maarten Schenk en Clo Willaerts have kindly agreed to be our local hosts.
The theme will be civic journalism.

BlogWalks are by invitation only, and the number of available places is limited. We are sending out invitations in the coming days. E-mail me if you're interested to attend; usually we can fit all those who are interested.

I'm not joining this time (will be in Moscow), but there is another one cooking for the end of June, so...

More on: BlogWalk 

  Wednesday, April 20, 2005


  Networked identity

A bit more from Adrian Miles, on how we are written by our blogs:

Where does your blog begin and end? The answer is not the date of the first and most recent post. You have links out of your blog, is the ‘end’ of your blog what lies at the destination of that link (after all it is ‘your’ link)? And what if that link leads somewhere else? What about all the links into your blog, these also ‘write’ your blog, and these are not written by you.

This is, if we make it simpler, your blog identity. It is who you are as a blogger. This is also, very much, your network identity. This is the some of the relations you establish and are established outside of you by your participation in the network. This network is radically outside of you in ways that existing networks aren’t. Your existing networks are largely defined by spatial proximity - same class, suburb, bus, workplace, and so on. Not here.

In other words your indentity if the sum of those connections that you are a participant in, but, you have little or no say. It is difficult, for example, to prevent someone else from linking to one of your blog posts, or to your blog. Just as they can’t really prevent you linking to them. You are written by this.

The questions that makes me wondering is Who constructs your identity? Not that I'm the best experts to judge it theory-wise, but I'm not sure that the way others could construct my identity from links to me is the same as my identity from my perspective. From my perspective "incoming links" matter, but it's me who decides what role they play in a bigger picture...

More on: blog networking 

  Being researched...

I think this is called karma - if you research other people via their weblogs someone will come to research you :)))

Adrian Miles gives his students an assignment to study people online - and I happened to be in the list. I've got email from one of the students who study me - being studied feels fun and strange...

And - I found the page where the results are being documented and weblogs of students who study me :) Wasn't going to do that, but the email reminded me that I was far behind in reading Adrian's blog, then I saw posts about the assignment and the rest was the result of curiousity and having some searching/browsing skills.

Now I'm a bit wondering if I spoil anything in Adrian's plan by blogging it :) May be, but I'm trying to be a nice girl and do not add names and links. And - this is a good example of how things may be in the online space: you study bloggers, someone comes to study you and you may want to decide to study those who study you :)))


  Tuesday, April 19, 2005


  Notes on my PhD methodology: weblog studies

Earlier in this series:

What I call "studies" is something that has been part of my PhD before I came into recognising an ethnographical layer of it. I started from the idea of understanding personal knowledge management through studying specific blogging practices through the several studies. Since then the focus on studies stays more or less the same*:

  • weblog conversations
  • weblog reading
  • weblog as personal knowledge organiser (often hides under "weblog writing" label, but it's only one-sided view on writing)
  • weblog communities (this one that wasn't in the original list)

I think of these studies as about different 2D projections of 3D phenomenon**: I try to look at different practices of blogging in order to (re)construct personal knowledge management issues (don't like the word, but struggling to find something better) they manifest. It could be considered as "viewpoint triangulation" rather than "cross-case analysis".

Each study has specific research questions and specific methods to approach them, however all to some extend combine "artefact analysis" with "making it meaningful". The first one is about looking at artefacts: weblog text, linking, subscriptions, categories. The second one is about understanding what is behind artefacts and practices as visible through artefacts (~ does link indicates a relation?) usually through interviewing or meta-blogging (my own/others independently or in a dynamic).

The studies reflect the multidisciplinary approach I have chosen to look at personal KM – each of the viewpoints is interrelated with others, but also heavily informed by a particular field (e.g. "weblog as personal knowledge organiser" connects with studies on personal information management).

In this respect I hope that each of studies also makes sense in a stand-alone mode, but conceptual and especially methodological dependencies do not make it that easy. This is where reflective ethnography and blogging come into play.

Simply explained reflective ethnography provides a foundation and a frame for the weblog studies I do. Reflecting on my own blogging experiences and interacting with "similar others" provides ideas for research questions, sampling, data collection and analysis methods informing and shaping specific weblog studies.

Of course, there is a complex explanation as well. Blogging is not only a way to participate in the community I study. I also blog my reflections, notes on research, interpretations, work-in-progress and final papers, so my research findings become an input for my blogging community, influencing things I discover during stages that follow.

[May be continued]

* I haven't made enough progress in these studies as a result of "other work" pressures and lack of methodological and conceptual clarity for my overall approach. I'm event not sure that I'll finish all these studies – depends on how far I go in those heavily in progress, how much time I have and when I reach "enough is enough" point in my PhD.

** 2D/3D metaphor has some connections with the issue of invisibility/implicitness of PKM that I frequently talk about: one can think of (in)visibility as a lack of dimensions. Something like: 2D creatures do not see 3D phenomenon in a full glory because they don't have senses to perceive it (which of course doesn't mean that they are not aware of it – you can sense that there is something of another dimension observing irregularities of 2D).


  Too serious?

South Park Lilia: self-potraitDoes it look like me?

Somewhere last week I picked link to South Park studio up from Jeremy (he also did a fun thing of creating South Park versions of his friends). Played with it and then got immersed into PhD writing.

A haven't been blogging much last weeks. And when I did it was mainly about all kinds of things related to my PhD methodology. I'm going to write more on it, but keep on wondering what does it do to my readers.

The comments that I get seem to be from totally different people than the usual ones... Actually, there are not any "usual commenters" - who comments depends heavily on topic I write about. But usually I write on all kinds of subjects and commenters come from all kinds of backgrounds, but lately it feels so one sided.

I wonder if people from "KM crowd" still read my weblog - I haven't been writing on KM for a couple of months if not more. Not because I'm out of the topic, just because there is so much time to blog and topics of higher priority for the moment take the stage. So what people do? Unsubscribe? Skim and hope that I'll right more in the future? Actually read it?

South Park Lilia reading books: self-potraitI'm also thinking of how it will go in the future. I'm getting into more convergent phase of my PhD, so I wonder what it will do my blog. Make it more focused? Kill multidisciplinary/mixed nature of what I write? Make it boring (not sure that reading all methodology "thinking aloud" is that fun :)? Change my audience? I have no idea.

Anyway now my weblog is a good reflection of my current stage. Something like this South Park Lilia on the right - lost in the reading all those books on ethnography :)

They told me that PhD is about focusing. I suspect that it's about my blog becoming too serious :)


  Sunday, April 17, 2005


  Unexpected

I always thought that colorful tulip fields that every tourist coming to the Netherlands sees (alive or on postcards) are there to grow tulips.

Not always so.

At least some of them are for growing tulip bulbs: once flowers are out, beautiful and strong, their heads are cut out, so all the juices go down, to feed the bulb...

More on: life metaphors 

  Wednesday, April 13, 2005


  Notes on my PhD methodology: reflexive ethnography

In the core of my PhD research approach is active participation, which brings me somewhere between ethnography and action research. I'm still working on positioning what I do between existing approaches, but some elements and connections are getting clear.

I study my own people. This is something that would fall into auto-ethnography category.

The shared similarities among auto-ethnographies are that, in each case, the researchers posses the qualities of other permanent self-identification with a group and full internal membership, as recognised by themselves and the people of whom they are part. [Hayano, 1979:100]

I study my own people by being engaged in something that I found called thick participation, which

implies apprenticeship and practice, natural conversation and observation, lived experience and sensuous research. [Spittler, 2001: 1]

My study is heavily informed by reflecting on my personal experiences of "participating in the life of my tribe", so calling is reflexive ethnography is another option.

In reflexive ethnographies, the researcher's personal experience becomes important primarily in how it illuminates the culture under study. Reflexive ethnographies range along a continuum from starting research from one's own experience to ethnographies where the researcher's experience is actually studies along with other participants, to confessional tales where the researcher's experience of doing the study become the focus of investigation. [Ellis&Bochner, 2000:740]

One day I'll explain properly why those elements are important, but the short answer is that the focus of my PhD calls for it.

My PhD is focused on understanding personal knowledge management through studying blogging practices. For both personal knowledge management and blogging practices there are a few of things I consider important:

  • "actor" perspective and holistic view – I'm interested how different practices are connected at individual level
  • invisible and implicit nature – some elements of practices I'm studying either invisible for an outsider or, even worse, implicit

In this respect my PhD is about articulating the invisible from personal perspective, so personal engagement and reflection make a good starting point. Living between others who share similar practices and sometimes even share my research questions provides a space for learning from observing their practices, reflecting on differences, testing emergent interpretations and feedback on my results.

[To be continued. I also promise to be a good girl and add proper references]


  Notes on my PhD methodology: introduction

The way I do my PhD research in unconventional and complicated. Not because I designed it that way. It just came to be. I had done some conscious choices, but most what I have today is a result of taking chances of opportunities and being passionate about my work (and my passions take me into things I would avoid if I would be good enough to make conscious research choices).

I wonder if writing this now will complicate my life in the future. I know that often working on scientific publication is constructing a view on research where actions, findings and arguments are logically connected to be defendable, while the real process is full of uncertainties, taking opportunities and building on serendipitous connections (something similar to what Dave Snowden calls retrospective coherence). So I wonder if writing this now would bite me back when I present retrospectively coherent view on my research in my dissertation.

Anyway, the jinni is out of the bottle. My blog already documents many of my methodological sins, so I'd rather go ahead and confess :)

Continued in:

More on: methodology PhD 

  Thick participation

I was pretty excited when I read this a few days ago (via pointer from one of Andrea Handl pages, but lost where exactly):

The central method, or bundle of methods, of this project is 'thick participation' (Spittler 2001), the radicalized form of 'participant observation' as brought to anthropology by Rivers (????) and Malinowski (1922, 1926).

According to Gerd Spittler 'thick participation' " implies apprenticeship and practice, natural conversation and observation, lived experience and sensuous research. Because this powerful method is time consuming it is less threatened by its critics than by bureaucratic grant restriction." (2001:1)

The project is 'open research' in several dimensions. My website and weblog simultaneously serve multiple purposes: they are my notebook, writing desk and multimedia online filing system, they maintain world/webwide communication about the ongoing project with fellow scientists, they present my project to a wider public, and -- above all -- both constitute a part of the communication and interaction with the members of "my cyberian tribe". Website and weblog accompanying the project constitute a fusion between spheres, which normally are well seperated in anthropological research: field-data, informal scientific discussion, public-relations work, and a part of the field itself. This diverse groups have access to the same dynamic and interactive material, which contains some risks: What appears perfectly sound to e.g. a game-modder may seem awkward to a scientist and vice versa. My reputation in the modding-community as well as in the scientific community may be at stake -- a fellow-modder jokingly already named me "teh intellectuale" (int. missp. for "THE Intellectual").

This is maxmode-work-in-progress by Alexander Knorr aka zephyrin_xirdal (weblog). See also list of references (re: online ethnography and things around).

Few things:

  • Nice to see that I'm not alone in bridging separated spheres :) 
  • Thick participation is something I'm going to look at. Unfortunately the reference seems to be in German.
  • It's great example of writing online. Wonder if I can find tools that would work for me - PhD wiki is a very tempting idea, but I'm not sure it would fit well between work in progress hypertext of weblog and linear documents I need for publications. I still write and edit bigger pieces in Word, not sure if wiki would be a nice addition...

  PhD invasion

Recently I try to schedule a day or two each week to work at home - on my PhD research. This is the only way to get something done: at home I feel less pressure to work on all other things (btw, it's funny how changing location changes my mind :)

As a result there are signs of "PhD invasion" everywhere in the house. Papers and books are everywehere: on the dining table where I sit with my laptop, on the desk in the study next to the desktop's big screen, on the table in the living room where I read and even "there is life next to work" bedroom books have to tolerate thick Research Methods in Anthropology that I picked up last week browsing through a second-hand bookstore.

More on: PhD 

  Tuesday, April 12, 2005


  Blogging and my PhD research

During a really nice conversation on my PhD with Janine I thought of a picture explaining how blogging is related to all other things. Not sure if it's self-explanatory, but it was fun to draw :)

Difficult to explain diagram on relations between blogging and research in my case

Studies are about research I do. Some of them are on weblogs and those usually part of my PhD. Others are part of my work next to the PhD and they could are on all kinds of knowledge management topics (e.g. searching for in-house knowledge or information overload...)

Publications are external resources that I read. Some of them are on weblogs, but others not.

Developing ideas is my main value-added activity :) Usually they are tested in the studies, which are informed by publications I read (and many other things not in this picture :)

Blogging is a way to connect pieces of all (not everything) in one space. In this sense my weblog is an external snapshot of my brain where all those things live articulated and linked.

***

This picture started as an attempt to provide a visual view on my PhD methodology. It didn't work that way, but it shows one important thing: there is no clear cut between my PhD and all other things I read and do.

So: one day I'll have to add PhD borders on this picture - to decide which influences are strong enough to be described in my dissertation and which could be ingnored. I have to stay withing the genre boundaries, so can't put my whole life in my dissertation :) Fortunately weblog is much more flexible and much more forgiving (and I'll know one day if it's much more rewarding or not :)


  Hypertext writing

Lois on writing her quals paper:

I keep wanting to add links. Links to definitions, links to more information, links to blogs that have discussed the academic article that I'm presenting, links to other sections of the paper itself that build upon this section. I have been subsumed by hypertext linking.

Somewhere along the line I have stopped just thinking non-linearly and have begun expecting my world to function on multiple planes. I think this is good...but frustrating since this paper has to be presented on paper and paper is boringly, traditionally linear. *sigh*

Very recognisable:

[...] it pains every time I try to squeeze a web of ideas into a tree structure when writing.

In a context of my PhD blogging is drafting in hypertext before it's ready for a linear representation...

More on: blog writing PhD writing 

  Monday, April 11, 2005


  Just a dream...

I wish I wouldn't have all those important and interesting things I have to do, just me and my PhD research...

More on: PhD 

  Friday, April 08, 2005


  Action research vs. ethnography?

Can someone explain me (or point to something) differences between action research and ethnography?

My feeling that the differences should be somewhere around:

  • role of action (~action as intentional/explicit goal of action research)
  • process (cycles in action research)
  • data collection/documenting focus
  • ...

  Hypertext book reading

Have a strange, but nice experience of reading several books on ethnography at the same time (re: yesterdays's posts). It feels pretty much like hypertext or web browsing - I start somewhere, with the topic I'm working at, move along one book till I need a break or clarification or see interesting reference to another book. Then I switch - either looking for a relevant topic in another book or by following a reference. Then read a bit more, till the next switch...

This is the first time I do that with books. I often read several books in parallel or start from random/interesting chapters, but they are rarely so many on the same topic, so it never feels as hypertext browsing experience.

Of course, I do something similar when working on a paper - going through papers/books/printouts I reference, checking and cross-checking things, but then it's something that I have read before, over time, and not discovering new ideas.

I like it - as I like being online - being able to discover connections between things as I want when I need - not in the logic their authors assume...

More on: reading 

  Thursday, April 07, 2005


  Weblog as a research notebook (4): field notes are overrated

And something different:

In my opinion, field notes are the most overrated things since the Edsel. p.161

This is from The Professional Stranger: Informal Introduction to Ethnography by Michael Agar.

He talks about 1:6 observing/recording ratio, memory problems, how-to field note writing and researcher personal diaries. I need to read more to put it in the context, so just another quote:

[In contrast to field notes] a personal diary is a record of another sort. Diaries focus more on the reactions of the ethnographer to the field setting and the informants, the general sense of how research is going, feeling of detachment and involvement, and so on. It is just this sort of material that goes into "personal accounts," bringing the ethnographer's role more explicitly into the research process. Personal diaries would profit from more careful development as an ethnographic method in their own right. p.163

More on: ethnography 

  Weblog as a research notebook (3): my own experiences

In the previous post I discussed possible types of research notes for ethnographic research of blogging practices. This one is a reflection on research notes I have for my research (which wasn't designed as an ethnography).

artifacts

  • when participating: link or quote in my weblog
  • when observing: adding to del.icio.us collection

process knowledge

  • when participating: indicators or summaries in my weblog
  • when observing: not documented

personal experience of observation/participation

  • I blog heavily on it, but not about all the things relevant (due to the lack of time or sensitivity)

emerging interpretations and ad-hoc analysis

  • I blog heavily on it, but not about all the things relevant (due to the lack of time or sensitivity)

coding and analysis

All kinds of issues with my research notes:

My data (artifacts) are not stored locally - there are obvious risks and unconviniencies involved.

Huge part of process knowledge is not documented. Of course, having experience and access to artifacts helps to recall and reconstruct, but relying on memory could be a problem.

Obviousely, I do not write down all things relevant (experiences, analysis). Wonder how different are those that I wrote and those I didn't. May be there are structural differences.

What is very different from other ethnographies (if looking at my reseacrh through ethnography lenses) - personal experiences and analysis are documented in public, feeding back to the blogosphere and influencing (see more on researcher influence in my research).

The bottom line: wonder if ethnographic lenses make sense for my research and what/how much I have to change if I adopt them.


  Weblog as a research notebook (2): types of notes

[Continued from Weblog as a research notebook (1): reading 'Life online' and del.icio.us as bookmarking history]

Next to the "Life online" I'm reading Virtual ethnography by Christine Hine (also: reviews) and Ethnography: Principles in practice by Martyn Hammersley and Paul Atkinson. The first one is a "difficult to read" introduction to ethnographic research online, but it also says a lot about ethnography offline and connections between those two. The second is much easier to read. I really enjoy it and I guess will order my own copy.

Hammersley and Atkinson distinguish between fieldnotes and fieldwork journals. Fieldnotes are documentaries of observations in the field, while fieldwork journals are about documenting researchers' emotions and involvement, as well as emergent interpretations and analysis of the data.

The distinctions are similar to reporting vs. reflecting styles of conference blogging. One is about documenting events as they are (although this is anyway subjective :), while another is about adding the next layer - emotions, associations, assumptions of what is behind the case and so on.

For the time being I'd like to leave online/offline connections aside and focus only on thinking about types of research notes one can make while studying blogging practices. I could think of several levels:

Artifacts. The nice side of studying online phenomenon is that interactions are documented digitally anyway - one could study weblogs, weblog posts, links between those, data of various tracking tools, etc.

Although artifacts alone may not be enough for understanding blogging. One may need to observe "interaction in action" rather than archives or participate actively to gain understanding of the phenomenon through personal experience. I discussed it in Archaeology and ethnography in weblog research (1) and (2), but found similar discussion and references in Virtual ethnography as well (pp. 22-25).

Next to that there is reflective meta-level: notes on emerging interpretations and ad-hoc analysis. And, at the later stage, some kind of coding and analysis.

Now to documenting those things:

  • artifacts - transcripts of "who blogged what when"
    • do not need to be documented - created by bloggers "out there" on the web
    • have to be found
    • may dissappear, so researcher may choose to have a copy locally (publicly, e.g. as a quote in own weblog, or privately, in whatever software)
  • process knowledge - "interaction in action", hidden or dissapearing aspects of weblog interaction (e.g. back channel communication or deleted posts)
    • partially documented by bloggers - in posts that include references to backchanneling or in summaries (examples are in this paper)
    • may be traced by weblog tracking tools
    • not necessarily documented fully and may need researcher's work to observe and write down
  • personal experience of observation/participation
    • definitely need researcher's presence and documenting work
  • emerging interpretations and ad-hoc analysis
    • researcher's work anyway :)
  • coding and analysis
    • something researcher does once data collection is over

Choices for documenting:

  • what? - pointers (links to relevant material) or full-text
  • how? - paper or digital
  • where? - one space (all types of notes together) or multiple spaces
  • for whom? - public (accessible for others) or private

[One more post follows]


  Weblog as a research notebook (1): reading 'Life online' and del.icio.us as bookmarking history

I'm reading through several books on ethnography, switching back and forth, thinking about all kinds of connections to my research. This post is a bit of reflection about research notetaking in ethnography and my uses of weblog in this respect.

I started to read from Life online: Researching real experience in virtual space by Annette Markham. I met Annette at AOIR 5.0 last year, but then I didn't anticipated that her work would be that relevant for me (my del.icio.us shows* that I was browsing through her papers while preparing for the conference). This time I picked up the reference to her book from autoethnography chapter by Ellis and Bochner. Funny - how much you need the "right moment" to see things in front of your eyes - how much your current mindset becomes  lenses that sift through the world around you.

Anyway, I got the book. I'm still getting used to the reflective ethnographic writing in it, so just two observations.

1. Having met the people behind the book makes reading experience totally different. I met Annette and talked to her briefly, but I also met one of her respondents, Terry Senft (later: found that book excerpt with Terry being interviewed by Annette is online). I have a sense of knowing Terry much better since I lurk in her blog (journal?) as well. I guess what changes the experience is not only the fact of meeting Annette and Terry, but observing them two interacting, sensing a close friendship between or knowing that Terry joins (joined?) Annette at Virgin Islands for half a year.

It's like discovering the roots of the relation while having a sense of what it came to be... Like reading a book from the end... Funny - I experienced similar feelings while reading my own weblog yesterday, seeing older posts in the light of knowledge of now - ideas and relations that grew out of those seeds.

2. (which is supposed to be the topic of this post :) I realised how heavily Annette relies on her research notes: visibly, by including them next to transcripts, and invisibly, by (I guess) using them to reconstruct the process of interviewing as well as emotions and thoughts around it.

I tried to put myself into her shoes, thinking of how I would write about my research this way, and realised that I'm in trouble.

I have a lot written down or captured in one form or another, but this is definitely not enough to reconstruct my experiences.

[And now I decide to continue in another post :)]

* Of course del.icio.us is not intended to be used as a trace of bookmarking history - there is no way to get permanent link to a page showing that I bookmarked Annette's homepage on 14 September 2004. Now the link is at http://del.icio.us/mathemagenic/people/3 or http://del.icio.us/mathemagenic/ethnography/2 or http://del.icio.us/mathemagenic/papers/10 - and all of these will change as I add more bookmarks on respective topics**.

** And while I was typing this I found out that there is a way to link to the evidence :) It's the history of bookmarks for Annette's homepage. Unlike other del.icio.us pages url pages are not separated by multiple screens (extreme example).


  Wednesday, April 06, 2005


  Re-reading my own weblog and research blogging

Since my discovery of autoethnography I became more serious about my own weblog as a data input. Today I read/skimmed through 329 pages of my weblog in 2004 looking for ideas about blogging as part of research method. This is a quick reflection...

What I found:

  • seeds of ideas and relations that grew over time into something totally unexpected (tracing things developing over time is fun - like looking through family photo albums)
  • countless "I'll do it later" things that I never did
  • several cases of "I woke up with this idea in mind and I have to blog it"
  • ideas I forgot I had
  • errors
  • being surprised that I can write so good (and so bad ;)
  • memories of emotions and stories behind posts (so strange - sometime one sentence moves you back into the past as it was today)

Or a bit more serious - possible coding categories for looking at weblog posts from "blogging research" perspective:

  • publishing/dissemination/announcements (of papers, presentations, events by me and others)
  • research process
    • reflections
    • emotions
  • event blogging
    • notes
    • reflections
    • event planning (including travel planning)
  • paper blogging (notes on papers I read)
  • asking for help (explicit)
  • "enculturation" into research (reflection/learning on research culture, practices, tricks of the trade, etc.)
  • articulation
    • articulation of personal experiences (relevant for PhD)
    • articulation of problems/questions (may be implicit call for help, but often just thinking aloud)
  • writing-related (this is the difficult one)
    • drafting/testing pieces that supposed to go into a paper
    • giving space to pieces that do not fit into a paper
  • reflections on methodology

Not sure if I'll do something with it... I guess some kinds of classifications of research notes (e.g. in ethnography) should exist - would be interesting to compare.

And - I should be back to blogging - was away and had some tech problems.





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This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Last update: 6/30/2005; 11:35:51 PM.