Tag Archives: Comments for Nigel’s EDC blog

Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

Useful and detailed summary here Nigel – do try to stay within the 250-word limit for these, but yes, sometimes one needs to elaborate. It might be worth trying to extend some of these ideas in a separate post.

‘ To me this is clearly a linking theme and I see possibilities in exploring this in my final assignment for this course.’

Sounds good – so this would be oppositions between ‘pure’ humans and ‘distinct’ technologies? Or dystopia and utopic views of technology? I agree that these are a strong themes that work through the blocks. It would be important to see the different ways this dualism comes about in the cyber- community and algorithmic themes though.

I think you’re right to question some of the dystopia visions of algorithms, and I think we do need to trace the social systems they are embedded in. Some of your examples here are good in this respect: an algorithm that controls a prosthetic limb doesn’t make decisions that ‘plug in’ to the same social conditions as, say, a social media news feed. They are both ‘algorithms’, but the ‘algorithmic system’ involved is more complex?

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Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

Good to see some appropriate and useful literature referenced here Nigel. I think you’re right to highlight and reflect upon the (often difficult and nuanced) aspects of ethnography, including the dilemmas of ‘insidership’ , and we’ve only really scratched the surface with the block 2 task. The Research Methods course, later in the programme, will be a good opportunity to open up these issues again.

Week 7 ends up being rather busy, and I think many other have also focused on commenting on the micro-ethnographies – not a bad way to round up a block on community cultures!

It might be useful to continue some of your thinking about the observation of community as we enter block 3 and begin to uncover some of the algorithms at work on the web. While the researcher has ‘prejudices and biases’ (De Chesnay 2015) as you suggest, we might find that there are other ‘agencies’ having a say in what we are able to see.

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Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

I really enjoyed this Nigel. It is really fascinating that people share very personal and (presumably) honest stories about themselves with total strangers, potentially numbering thousands. This balanced by those who are masking prior knowledge/experience for strategic purposes certainly makes an intriguing basis for research.

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Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

Nigel, this is brilliant! Your visual artefact is so rich in detail and I’m in awe of your ability to pack meaning into it. I really like the (ethernet, perhaps?) cable, not plugged into anything, and with an obvious kink in it: a sign of being slightly removed, not quite connected, perhaps?

I’m also interested in your decision to put a union jack on the keyboard when – as you say above – lots of people were posting in Spanish and possibly using an online translation site. Does that mean that within the image are the course leaders’ expectations as well as what you found in the reality? Or is it that what appeared on the screen was Spanish, but what was put into the text was in English? And if so, can I infer that you’re thinking of the computer in this particular experience as having a fairly instrumental role – a means to an end, rather than integral to the experience?


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Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

Really great detail here Nigel, and some really interesting outcomes.

‘I appreciate that this is what Kozinets refers to as a ‘Survey approach’ and only certain aspects of it might be considered ‘Netnography’ .

Yes, good to acknowledge this. I think, from the way you describe your experiences, that this approach derived from your initial participant observation (which found little in the way of forum interaction), so it is certainly not unrelated.

I think it is also interesting to reflect here on what constitute authentic ‘community’ participation online. Given we might consider ‘data traces’ of whatever form ‘as community’, one could consider this perfectly legitimate ethnography in some aspects. Forum discourse is not all of the community?

‘Even thought there was no requirement to do so, some learners started posting in Spanish and others then followed suit.  As this was right at the start of the course it’s reasonable to assume that most learners had not learned to do this from the course content and I suspect many were using an online translation site.’

Fascinating statement of expertise, isn’t it? Something not uncommon in MOOCs in my experience. You might find Helen Murphy’s micro-ethnography interesting in that respect.

‘In general the learners who were following the most other learners also had the most followers, possibly indicating a social convention where learners feel pressured to follow someone who is following them.’

Indeed, really interesting, as a gesture. I wonder if there is an assumption that people will ‘know’ – that they can easily see somewhere – the people that have not followed them back, and that that might be a community faux pas? Hmm should have said that in Spanish, shouldn’t I?

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Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

I really enjoyed this Nigel and especially enjoyed the infographic.

Good idea to try to glean as much info as you could from things like the profiles, use what you can and I found the spread of reasons to study the course quite interesting, I must admit, I wouldn’t have considered studying Spanish for a career move,

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Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

‘While this has meant less time devoted to looking at resource links suggested by my fellow students and less time in the discussion forum on the digital hub, I do feel it has been the most productive way to use the time I’ve had available.’

Sounds sensible Nigel, and definitely in the spirit of the ‘ethnography’ we’re trying to experience in this block. Immersion in your MOOC community (rather than you EDC one!) shouldn’t take up al of your time, but some engagement will hopefully be worth it. Do try to keep the lifestream going as this is more important overall.

‘Both are facilitated by the same provider but the way the course is constructed is very different. ‘

Yes, interesting, in that while the format can seem a little rigid, different courses can take quite different approaches.

‘So far none of the course facilitators have answered the queries and the only help has come from other learners.’

Yes, I wonder if this is intentional, or perhaps a sign of the difficulty of being responsive in MOOC. Either way, it is perhaps the perception of what one is *supposed* to be doing as a teacher that matters!

‘The level of interaction I’m seeing in both MOOCs I can see that I won’t be able to present an ethonography artefact that delves much deeper than the level of a survey. However, I do think there are some interesting trends in the way the forums are used that I can highlight.’

Ok, that is perhaps useful to flag up as an early insight at this stage. As I think discussed in the tutorial last week, lack of community interactions, or indeed ‘warmth’, could be a valuable result from your ethnography. A few others are also starting to post initial ideas (demographic information, or ‘motivations’), so it might be worth taking a look through peoples blogs (if you haven’t already) to see how this might be approached. Trends in the way forums are used sounds useful!

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Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

Hi Nigel,
I loved this brilliant image packed with interest and meaning. What jumped out at me was your tense shoulder (despite its being bionic) and the fitbit on your wrist. I understood that juxtaposition to symbolise the tension between how far you want technology to ‘augment’ or ‘enhance’ the human?

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Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

This was really well executed, Nigel, thank you. For me, one aspect which stands out is that you are ‘business as usual’ at your screens, complete with business attire, as the post-apocalyptic scene plays out outside. It’s as though we have already entered the post-apocalyptic age, but life continues.. which is not something I’d disagree with.

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