Tuesday, July 12, 2005

You Read It Here First

In my current article/book chapter on the research implications of blogs and blogging, I make the point that since blogs automatically date stamp and archive each post, researchers can establish who had a particular idea first by simply mentioning it in their blog. So, let me take my own advice and mention a couple of neologisms regarding blogging and data collection that I coin in my article:

The sustained asynchronous focus group': researchers initiate their own topical blog to solicit postings or comments; the researchers direct the resulting 'conversation' as they would a focus group.

directed journal entries: researchers identify a sample population and request that they keep a topical on-line diary. (Getting people to keep diaries is a fairly common research technique, but only a couple of done this on line so far, but online provides all sorts of logistical advantages....)

Found data: pre-existing material created for other purposes that the researcher is able to access and analyze as data (in this case, blogs) The spontaneous commentary of a blogger is 'found data', in contrast to the 'created data' of the survey or interview where the subject's responses exist only because they were asked the question. We cannot know whether the issues we are asking the respondent about would be sufficiently salient in their lives that they would have spontaneously raised them outside the interview context; with found data, the subjects are more likely to write about issues that are salient to them -ie., less leading of the witness because there is no question asked....

Okay, those are mine now! Oh, feel free to use them. In fact, I'd appreciate you dropping those phrases into conversation whereever you can, so that they spread and come widely into use. Then once everyone is using my terms, I can prove that I said them first, and everyone will have to cite me whenever they want to use them in an article.

Okay, it lacks the money making potential of Trump copywriting "You're Fired", but same basic principle.

No comments: