The great and not-so-great thing about my diss work is that I “get” to read blogs.
There are 19 blogs in a bloglines folder called “diss blogs.” The great thing is that to gather my data, all I have to do is open my bloglines account in one window, my notes.doc in another, and see what the writers are saying.
The not-so-great thing is that everytime I open my bloglines account, the number of bold entries nearly bowls me over, and I feel this enormous compulsion to keep on top of them and not let the entries pile up unread.
Another thing that I haven’t categorized as great or not-so is the fact that these are writers I am generally unfamiliar with; I set up the corpus selection essentially to be as random as possible (though still admittedly not-random). So I don’t know these writers; none of them is uber-famous or from my own personal daily reads.
Even though I don’t “know” them, I’m beginning to have relationships with these writers. I have made it a policy to not comment on their posts–if I did so, the project would take on ethnographic qualities that I’d like to avoid. For that same reason, I’ve decided to not link to the writers here, either. But I am learning these writers, some of them I am developing a kind of affection for, some of them annoy the crap out of me. As I read and code, I’m working to make myself aware of these personal judgments. For instance, I had to resist the urge to create a category called “Non-critical use of Biblical verse”–and that was the kindest of several other category titles I’d cooked up (one actually had the word “ignorant” in it–how horrible AM I?). I’m learning that I have to think harder, and think past my own values and trappings, to be able to make this project work.
Though I can’t link to what these writers are posting, I will give you a sampling of those more interesting posts I came across this morning. I learned:
of a theory that Anna Nicole’s daughter’s father is Anna Nicole’s son (ew).
strategies for purchasing Preparation H in the most subtle possible way (block it with the cereal boxes).
that one should be extremely careful about mixing up one’s own lunchbox, which contains needles for Heparin (must look that up?), with one’s daughter’s lunchbox.
that the new iPhone is “aescetically pleasing.” *sigh*
that Pep Boys will charge one $5 for “Miscellaneous Tools”–and if one asks to be shown those miscellaneous tools, the $5 charge will be taken off the bill.
that dooce’s Monthly Letter to Leta has pervaded mom blogs with memetic vengence; essentially, Heather Armstrong has invented a genre that other mom bloggers follow to a ‘T’, even the smallest details (like signing the letter “Love, Mama”).
and that a dog named Ollie has a penchant for barfing in unusual and hard-to-clean places.