Michela Clari (a Flick’r ethnography)

I was particularly taken by Michela’s chapter and how she approached her ethnography (Library of Congress’ collection of Abraham Lincoln portraits)

In particular, her questions with regards to my potential study are worth considering in the task ahead:

1. Is this a good place to study given the overall cultural themes we are tackling?
2. Can the individuals we see interacting here be described as a culture-sharing group?
3. What might be the main themes emerging from the investigation of this group and how does one go about identifying them?
4. What level of involvement is to be justifiably expected of the researcher? How will the participants’ perspective be given an appropriate voice? What are the ethical
issues at stake?
5. How does the personal experience of the researcher come to bear on the analysis and the proposed interpretation?
6. How transferable to different sites is an approach which might work here?

In addition:

As a passing visitor after the (media) event, all areas of ‘activity’ struck me as useful –i.e. exchanges about the picture, about the tools, about the purpose of it all – and gave me pause for thought as I found myself looking at the picture in different ways, sharing in some of the notes-related irritation, and reflecting on rights and duties of participants (to conclude, for my part, that no one should really tell others ‘how to do thing’). Interestingly, Rose (2007, p 23) suggests that the social is perhaps the most important modality for understanding the audiencing of images: the ‘meta-discussion’ on the purpose of the place, on ways of making things work better and on what participants do or not do, definitely heightens the experience of coming into contact with the photograph. For sure, the experience here feels very different from one of staring at a picture on a museum wall, or just admiring it on the Library website: something else is happening, something that engages all concerned, observers like me included, and prompts the asking of new and different questions.

in addition, Clari  mentions the ‘metaphor of the stage’:

Returning to the theatrical metaphor I touched on earlier, this environment strikes me as fitting in well with the idea of a stage: like a stage this place very much exists and can be traced through an address – its url; like a stage, however, it is also an invention, and as such potentially temporary, created by a designer to enable a performance: as Hine says, the production of a web page ‘is made meaningful primarily through the imagining of an audience and the seeking of recognition from that audience’ (2000, p 136).

I believe the conditions surrounding creating dialogue (textual and visual), as well as the role of metaphors will play an important part in how we perceive aesthetic expereinces.

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MOOC pinterest board – final pin


I have made a final pin (and updated the anchor image) on my board explaining the activity would no longer be monitored (thanks to Jen for the advice on this). Having been set up for a particular purpose which had now more or less expired, I felt I could no longer give the board my  full attention.

As I was surveying all the comments made, it struck me that due to the board’s layout of having the first pins appearing at the bottom of the screen, and the newest ones appearing at the top of the screen, the image that was most appropriate for this activity is that of a loom.

Indeed, I feel Pinterest can be compared to a digital loom with patterns appearing, spread around the selected photos, reflecting the discussions and interactions.

I think this is a metaphor that works very well, reflecting the smooth/striated analogy that Sian Bayne’s refers to in her paper, when discussing Deleuze & Guattari:

The technological model Deleuze & Guattari provide as illustrative of these two types of space is one of textiles. Here, woven fabric is necessarily a striated space, with its gridlike form consisting of intersecting warp and weft. It is a space of closure: ‘the fabric can be infinite in length but not in width, which is determined by the frame of the warp; the necessity of a back and forth motion implies a closed space’ (p. 475).

I think this is such a beautiful metaphor, it totally appeals to my imagination!

With regards to Pinterest itself: although it is a creatively engaging platform, getting any analytics from it, is actually not that easy. Pins are listed individually and monitored against re-pins and likes. To get figures for the MOOC board, I know there are 71 followers and 24 pins. But for the comments for  each, I need to do a visual check, i.e. no graphs nor anything like getting the statistics. Perhaps the business model let’s you sign up for this…. (?)  It is something I would need to check in the FAQ (I had a quick look but like anything in this area takes hours to unravel…another nice fabric metaphor!)

So, taking final stock, here are my analytics (as per 16/2/2013):

Top for comments the pin on ‘sustainable learning’: 2 likes, 19 comments and 2 re-pins:

 

 

 

 

 

Top for re-pinned and likes:  the pin on Feedback with 6 likes, 9 comments, 5 re-pins

 

 

 

 

 

The pin on ‘why posts (on the discussion board) get rated’  interestingly receives 6 comments, but no likes, nor re-pins itself.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, pins that have received no comments, nor repins at all:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was quite surprised for the grasshopper metaphor: I thought that was such a visually engaging pin, yet nobody  seemed taken by it….

This has been an exciting activity, useful for evaluating an online platform which is both visually stimulating and participatory.

I believe it can be a great tool for classroom and MOOC engagement, but one must consider that, not surprisingly, the element of ‘feedback’ (itself a discussed pin) is a highly demanding activity and part of the opinion that supporting dialogue is such an important aspect of learning.

 

 

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