November 16, 2006

03: Two chapters down…. probably far too many to go

Hurray! I showed my supervisor my chapter 2 today & he OKed it. Two days before my self-imposed deadline, oh yeah!
I wrote the first draft for it in a rather disgusting manner. It’s so hard to write things that are difficult to understand yourself in terms that other people would understand. I struggled at first because the only reference that I had for the models of psychology for communicating via technologies was a psychology book that was pretty hardgoing. It doesn’t make an awful lot of sense in some places & seems to just skim over certain topics without any clear explanation as to their relevance, or what the author is trying to achieve by adding them. Once I’d let go of my obsession with that book (& my fear of developing my own opinion, god forbid!) I manage to settle into being able to critically analyse the models of communication, and not just take them for gospel. I also found I had another book, which, although not complex enough to be of particular use for content and detail, had an intelligent way of discussing the models that enabled me to simplify them in my own mind. I then tried to find or make up analogies for the models and technical terms in the chapter so that the reader would be able to understand it & take it then.
I then forced my boyfriend to read it twice, & he seemed to think that it was readable (mostly!) so at last I was done.

I’m now up to 8k though, & the limit for the project is about 18k. My supervisor said I should get on with tackling the next chapter & see how many words I’m up to then. If I’m veering dangerously close to 18k then we shall go see the coordinator for the projects and OK it being longer. If I do actually get close to 18k at that point then my project might actually end up being about 30k! People keep looking at me in amazement when I say how many words I’ve done… I supposed most Computer Scientists aren’t used to having to write that much. Now that I’ve broken the back of chapter 2, though, I’m going to enjoy the rest a lot more. I’m much more interested in the practical use of blogs because, whatever we think about what might happen or what the cumulative effects of everything that happens are – blogging is such a new phenomenom that all we really have to go on (in my opinion) is how people feel about it & what they do with it.

My next chapter to focus on will be how individuals & groups use blogs. I particularly want to focus on actually having a personal area for your own thoughts or critique from an individuals perspective, and also how the blogging networks & blog-based social networks are a big part of communication, relationships and social or activity/interests groups these days. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to approach this chapter, so I’m going to try & get my hands on as many papers & relevant things to read as possible. I might try & split both the individual and group outlook into good and bad impacts with some sort of summary.

I’ll try & update while I’m doing the research for the chapter rather than just writing a summary about it at the end as I have done with my last two! This one’s probably going to require a lot more thinking about so I’ll try & use this blog as a “thoughtspace”, rather aptly. It’d be interesting to see if anybody has any comments on bloggings through personal experience or any interesting links on it.

This entry was almost as long as my dissertation, so I’m going to shut up now.


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  • Mine was literature based rather than research based so I didn't do a questionnaire. Have you tried … by Raeeka on this entry
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