Welcome to the Digital CrossRhodes — the intersection of Vincent Rhodes' academic, artistic & professional lives.

Quality-tative Research

Sunday, September 27th, 2009
Image of NAncy Baym from her web site

Image of Nancy Baym from her web site

I enjoyed Nancy Baym’s chapter “Finding the Quality in Qualitative Research” from Silver & Massanari’s edited collection Critical Cyberculture Studies. Since Tami will be covering background info on the author in her blog, I’ll just be offering my summary of the chapter and some reactions to it here. [Note: You can find/follow her on Twitter. She replied to one of my tweets about her chapter. So, she seems fairly accessible.]

I think the reason I enjoyed the chapter so much is the fact that she directly addresses what makes me most uneasy about this topic:

“Perhaps the biggest problem facing all qualitative research is that the standards for what makes qualitative research good are very unclear” (79).

“How are we to determine what evidence is good enough to make a claim or how may subjects are enough?” (80)

The answers to these questions appeal to my rhetoric background: Qualitative research (like quantitative) is a means of making an argument. The counterarguments may be harder to predict than in quantitative studies, but they should be considered as the research design is constructed and the findings presented. Her challenge to qualitative researchers: Be prepared to answer the question: “Am I convinced by the evidence?” (81)



All A-Twitter

Saturday, September 26th, 2009
Susan C. Herring, Professor of Information Science at Indiana University Bloomington

Susan C. Herring, Professor of Information Science at Indiana University Bloomington

In Beyond Microblogging: Conversation and Collaboration via Twitter, Courtenay Honeycutt and Susan C. Herring examine how Twitter is used (particularly English-language tweets) and conjecture about the potential of using Twitter for collaborative endeavors. They seek to answer five research questions:

  1. What is the breakdown of the language of tweets across time periods, and to what extent is the @ sign used in tweets in different languages?
  2. How do instances of the @ sign function in English tweets?
  3. What do people twitter about, and does it vary for tweets with and without the @sign?
  4. To what extent do English @ messages that are directed to others receive responses, either with or without @ signs?
  5. How long, and how coherent, are interactive exchanges , and to what extent do they make use of the @ sign?

Author Background

Herring received her MA and PhD in Linguistics from UC Berkley and has served as a past editor of the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication and as current editor of Language@Internet. She is a Professor of Information Science at Indiana University Bloomington and has published extensively. In case you are interested in following her, Herring has a Twitter account.

Courtenay Honeycutt received her MA in Speech Communication from Penn State and is a PhD candidate at Indiana University Bloomington. Honeycutt also has published several articles. (Note: Honeycutt did not include a photo on her bio page or CV. The only image I found of her is a “social” snapshot so I elected not to post it.)



World 4.0

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Yes, I know the title for this blog post is a corny take on Web 2.0. Yes, I know “Web 2.0” is a term smirked at by some new media scholars. But it got you reading, didn’t it? Take a look at the YouTube video post from XPlane. It provides some interesting fact about social media, mobile devices, etc. It’s worth the five minutes it takes to watch.

Video not available

When I worked for the public school system, earlier versions of this caught our faculty/staff interest. The original concept was created by a high school teacher to start a staff discussion about what kids needed to be prepared for in the 21st Century. It went viral (see Did You Know and Did You Know 2.0). This version is less education focused, but still intriguing. Xplane did the 2.0 version as well. They do some pretty cool work.

To give credit where it is due, I saw this in a post on Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen blog. He offers great insight about presentations. You should check the blog out… if you haven’t already!