elizabeth lane lawley's thoughts on technology, academia, family, and tangential topics

Thursday, 20 February 2003

weblogs and sense-making

With the grant proposal done, it's time to turn my attention to how to formalize my interests in what's going on with blogs. Without a plan, I'm likely to spin my wheels for too long. And without making that plan visible, I'm unlikely to stick with starting to give it shape here makes the most sense.

The emergent democracy discussions that Joi has started have got me thinking about how to combine my interest in qualitative methodologies like Sense-Making (which I used in my dissertation) with my interest in the interactions occurring in weblogs.

The Sense-Making methodology--which was developed by Brenda Dervin, a communications professor at Ohio State--has been used to study a variety of communication tools and media. The potential for this methodology in the context of weblogs is significant, since past Sense-Making studies have included topics near and dear to the hearts of webloggers--gaps between audience and media, online communities and "ideal speech" situations, and assumptions regarding the relationship between information and democracy.

As I've been pulling together the cites for this post, my thoughts are clarifying a bit...which is one of the most interesting and powerful aspects of weblogs, I think. They bridge the gap between private notes and publication, providing a structured but still malleable environment for idea forming.

So, that's where I'm going right now, I think. Time to think about what the path to that place will be.

Posted at 10:06 PM in: research

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Comment from meg on February 21, 2003 2:20 PM (Permalink to Comment)

It will be interesting to see how one makes sense of the moving targets. The blogs seem to be ever-changing easels that change with the seasons like fashion designs change. We're off to read more now...

Liz sipping melange at Cafe Central in Vienna