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Playing at being an ethnographer

Designing the ethnography was a tough task and I spent a lot of time, perhaps too much, preparing for it and then writing it up. Towards the end I felt it grew out of proportions and somehow took over me, to an extent that I could not figure out how to put it into a coherent whole and how to present it. This is perhaps noticeable in the final design as well as lack of focus between the parts, especially ‘community’ and ‘ethnography’ bits.

I think no matter how objective I had meant to be, I did harbour some a priori assumptions throughout the project. I had problems deciding what ‘community’ means and whether it equals a personal learning network, a term usually used by the chat participants themselves. I quite liked the idea of Bund and thought it suited my purposes but I didn’t know how to relate it to the textual approach to ethnography and the focus on connectivity of texts, other than the sign of the participants’ passion and charisma. With the connectivity approach, it turned out that it is not only the chat but a number of other sites to explore, which would be a great idea but possibly beyond the scope of the project. I’m pleased with my prezi visualisation but I think the text-heavy bit on the community aspects introduced massive disproportion into the final product and affected its coherence. Focusing on the connectivity also meant change to ethical considerations – I am aware I should have got in touch with all the blog authors to ask them for consent to use fragments of their writing. The selection certainly fails to fairly represent the community – due to time constraints I went for blogs of people I know are active participants so hard to talk about randomness of choice.

observing .. them and myself too ...

pic from this site

Anyway, no matter how much I would like to work more on it, especially in terms of content and presentation, I cannot go on any more. Perhaps that was the thing I struggled with most – when to say stop! So unfinished and slightly untidy, here it comes! Voila!

To my virtual ethnography


~ by Ania Rolińska on November 6, 2011 . Tagged: ,

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