a shameless online stalk – online communities and engagement

Through a shameless blog stalk, I’ve noticed how students within BCM241 are becoming a lot more aware of the patterns between people and their media usage, they are becoming critical of what they see, paying attention to detail and asking questions: “Why are things the way they are?” After asking this, a motive is constructed, and a desire to find out more is formed. They begin figuring out ways to find the answer by asking: “How can I research this?”

 Collaboration is vital to executing proper ethnographical research. Luke Lassiter claims “In the communities in which we work, study, or practice, we cannot possibly carry out our unique craft without engaging others in the context of their real, everyday lives” (2005). This engagement mentioned can involve the sharing of each other’s research, and the underpinning cultural and social influences which caused a researcher to dig deeper into a particular issue. Reading the works of other ethnographers can also pose of great importance to your own work, being able to access a wide range of other opinions and consult to their own observations and findings to support your own work can bring more depth to your research. This can be further extended to discovering more useful resources and references to your research and writing.

The personal touch to the blogs posts, as writers often reflect on their personal experiences is important to the exploration of the weekly topics. When drawing upon these experiences, the writer is discussing something they are very familiar with and have substantial knowledge of, which allows them to be critical and reflective on underlying issues on the selected topic. It also adds an element of interest for the reader as personal stories can be surprising, interesting, and often humorous, thanks to people’s writing skills. These experiences can either be similar to your own or offer you new and different perspectives on the topic. Communicating with fellow researchers on topics you share interest in can enrich the research process, not only is this clear through interaction with blog posts, but also through in-person discussion during tutorials. This form of communication holds some advantages over blog posts, including a more immersive, two-sided discussion, and it’s effective to use the blog platform as a follow up, allowing researchers to reflect and back-up their knowledge and opinions on a certain issue.

References

Lassiter, L.E 2005 ‘Defining a Collaborative Ethnography’ inThe Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography https://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/468909.html

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