Blog networking study: interviews

by Lilia Efimova on 20 November 2008

In summer I did interviews with several bloggers writing on “around knowledge management” topics about their practices of networking via weblogs. It took a while to work out summaries for those interviews (mainly due to all kinds of research issues), but now I’m happy to share them online. A bit of the “methodological” details are at the end of this post; the results of the study are coming up as a series of blog posts.

Interview summaries:

When selecting bloggers for interviews I aimed to represent a variety of blogging and networking experiences. Bloggers were selected by what I call a “diversity snowball” approach. Since I wasn’t following KM blogophere as actively as before I first talked discussed a list of KM bloggers that might be interesting to interview with Jack Vinson and then proceeded by asking the interviewees to suggest other bloggers they thought were different from themselves. I contacted more people for the interviews, but had to stop somewhere due to the logistics around summer holidays and looming PhD deadlines. I’d love to be able to hear from more bloggers about their own practices – hopefully sharing the results of this study online helps to have a public conversation on those.

When asking bloggers to participate I indicated my intentions of publishing summaries of the interviews and draft results online, as well as using their real names and links to their weblogs in the reports. Semi-structured interviews covered the following themes:

  • professional background of a participant and characteristics of her network in KM field prior to blogging
  • changes in the network or networking practices because of blogging
  • uses of weblogs for developing, maintaining and activating relations as a starting point for articulating stages of the process at more granular level
  • place of the weblog in the ecosystem of networking tools (mainly focusing on what weblogs are good for and when they do not work).
  • important networking-related issues that haven’t been discussed

I did all interviews via Skype, recorded them and made notes. I then used anonymised summaries of the interviews to discuss emergent themes with two other researchers (colleagues who are aware of my work, but not blogging themselves or doing research on blogging). That discussion served as an input to start working on the study results and on revising summaries to make sure they included important information. Revised summaries were sent to the participants, edited to address their comments and then published online.

An overview of the study as a whole and links to the results are here.

{ 5 trackbacks }

Ton's Interdependent Thoughts
20 November 2008 at 20:20
Theoria cum Praxi » Network effects of KM blogs
21 November 2008 at 03:44
John Connell » Blog Archive » Weblogs are passionate
21 November 2008 at 22:19
Knowledge management and blogs « Brave new world
22 November 2008 at 05:56
Blogs, information relationships and imaginary friends « Charting the Labyrinths
22 November 2008 at 17:13

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