Managing a material and how to choose

I know I have to do it. I have had this hanging over me for a long, long time. My intention to choose a material for an empirical study has been in my head for the last year and I’m still afraid of taking that step and dip my toe in the water. I have to try to organize my concerns in some way:

  1. I’m looking for blogs by researchers – who is a researcher, can e.g. I choose a blog by a PhD student?
  2. In what subject area or discipline should I start. I’ve got the advise to choose something that I’m familiar with not to have the problem of not being trusted to understand the culture I’m observing. On the other hand it can be very hard to not be too involved if it e.g. would be in my own discipline of library and information science. I’ve read a lot of blogs both Swedish/Nordic and others written by people interested in communication. Would that be a problem and construct to much of meta level if I should study their way of using the blog?
  3. Should I try to find a group of bloggers that somehow are connected to each other and within the same subject area? Is it important?
  4. Would it be good to choose Swedish or Nordic blogs or a bad idea? Maybe they’re to close and there will be a problem with anonymity?
  5. How will I go about when actually choosing a blog and handle the research ethics. Should I tell that I’m studying a certain blog or not?
  6. Can I use any of the blogs that I found last autumn when I tried to make a map of what Swedish research blogs there are, I found 52 blogs then listed here: http://del.icio.us/sakj/sv-blog
  7. Postgenomic is a very interesting service but how the blogs are chosen is very uncertain. By today there is 735 blogs in the search service: http://www.postgenomic.com/blogs.php
  8. 65 blog by researchers are found in Scienceblogs which is hosted by Seed Magazine: http://scienceblogs.com/ are they too influenced by the template to be useful?
  9. How should I handle people moving around on the web. One blog I where considering is now closed down http://climatesci.colorado.edu/, one has moved to Scienceblogs http://scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology/
  10. In the end of 2006 Nature published top 50 Science blogs: http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060703/multimedia/50_science_blogs.html they choose blogs from Technorati but how they identified the science blogs from others is not told
  11. Carnivals is another thing to study like this one about “This is a blog carnival that compiles posts written about the broad topic of “women in STEM,” (STEM=science, technology, engineering and mathematics)”: http://scienceblogs.com/thusspakezuska/2007/09/unleashing_scientiae.php
  12. Anonymous writings? Like this one http://sciencewoman.blogspot.com/
  13. Today someone mentioned to me the concept of “going native” and yes it is a bit troublesome that I haven’t my self been very active blogging…
  14. People tend to be technology geeks and interested in the blog phenomenon itself like http://pimm.wordpress.com/ see also point 2.
  15. Why do I tend to get stuck with blogs in Physics…I certainly not can be part of this discipline myself…:

To be continued…

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