Erkan Saka, one of the most active blogging anthropologists, has published his paper Blogging as a Research Tool for Ethnographic Fieldwork that he presented at the annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers in Brisbane six weeks ago.
The paper is a good introduction into the topic. It was inspired by recent discussions on anthropology blogs.
His main points:
- Blogging occupies an interesting place between the personal and the public. The moment one starts blogging, s/he becomes public.
- Blogging brings immediate feedback; not only from the limited scholarly circles but from a wider public/audience which in turn exposes exposes the ethnographer to a much more effective issue of accountability.
- Moreover, blogging urges to see motives in a more regular sense, thus creates a strong sense of regularity that forces the ethnographer to produce on a regular basis which in turn produces a constant appeal to narrate what would normally remain fragments of field notes.
- Finally, blogging might be a remedy to the anxiety of being in 'after the fact' that is shared by many anthropologists. Blogging takes place in the present tense while actively engaging with 'the fact', with the emergent phenomena unlike the later edited institutionally accepted monographs most of which become outdated.
In this paper, Erkan Saka also compares blogging to traditional journalism and reviews relevant literature on blogging.
>> read the whole paper
UPDATE: An updated version of this paper was discussed in the Media Anthropology Network.
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