I’m Looking for just 20 more people to give me 10 minutes of their time to contribute their thoughts to the survey. Please pass this on to anyone that you know is a contributor. I am looking to wrap this up by Friday, so all of your help in spreading the word is much appreciated!
P.S. If you are not a Fedora contributor, please do not take the survey.
I had a few people come to me after participating in the interview process asking if they could blog about it. At that time I was not finished interviewing people, so I suggested that they wait until the interview process was over. Well now it is! (Has been for a while, I just wanted to get the survey approved and out the door first).
So, if you’d like to blog about your experiences and the questions / answers you gave, you are completely free to do so. Just remember, your participation is currently confidential and you will be exposing your participation by blogging about it. Which, I have no problem with, I just have to make sure you are informed based on the consent notice you signed when you participated in the process.
If you do blog about it, would you be so kind as to post a link to your blog post in the comments here? I’d love to see what you all have to say about it, and I’m sure other readers would be interested as well!
Again, thank you all so much for your participation, without which this research would be non-existent.
Survey Now Available:
I am hereby inviting all Fedora contributors to participate in my Fedora Research Survey by clicking on the banner below!
If you are not a Fedora contributor, please do not take the survey.
All responses are anonymous, so please answer as honestly and thoroughly as you can! Only caveat is that you MUST be 18 years old or older to participate. It should only take 10 to 20 minutes to complete, unless you feel you have a lot to add to the open text areas, which from a researchers perspective, the more data the better!
Spread The Word!
Please repost this in your blogs or anywhere else you see fit!
Feel free to use the code below to incorporate the banner shown above: <a href="http://cyberanthro.limequery.com/44899/lang-en" target="new"><img src="https://www.cyber-anthro.com/images/surveyresearchbanner.png"></a>
First Time Hearing Of This Research?
You can learn more about my research by viewing my introduction post to it here and the research FAQ I created here.
As always, if you have questions feel free to comment or contact me diana [@] cyber-anthro.com!
And of course a preemptive congrats to all your hard work on Fedora 13, only 8 days away!
So, in my last post I talked about coding and no I don’t mean coding as in scripting or writing programming code (though it is just as tedious), I’m talking about coding qualitative data.
For those non-anthropologist among my readers, what this amounts to is tagging subsections out of large amounts of textual data with a taxonomy you develop along the way. This taxonomy is based on the themes that emerge as you sift through all of the data. This, if done meticulously (as of course it is), can take quite a bit of time and requires a bit of resifting of the data to capture and tag everything correctly.
Speaking as not only an anthropologist, but also an information architect, I actually really like this part! It’s to anthropology what sifting through the dirt at a dig is to an archaeologist. Each time something unique emerges from the sand/data there is a little *squee* that occurs. Each bit is just as precious as the last no matter how big or small. We collect each and every one of these unique themes and catalog them for reference later.
What happens after all the sifting has been completed is actually very interesting for dataphiles like me. You can then select any tag you used and see all of the text among all of your data sources that matches that tag. Or, you can line up all your tags as see which tags show up most often. Consider doing that to your blog, or Delicious Bookmarks.
You can tell a lot about an avid Delicious user, or at least what interests them on the web, by looking at their tags as a whole and then at their most (and even least) used ones.
Tagging data and looking at the results of that process is very similar.
Basically, it is in a sense both organizing your qualitative data and quantifying it. As you can imagine, it’s very revealing!
How else do you quantify qualitative data? Well you make a survey of course! Why would you do that? Well it helps triangulate your data. In other words, it helps you generalize your qualitative findings against a broader sample in quantifiable terms.
In order to do this properly we take those themes that emerged through our coding or tagging process then use that data to form appropriate questions and answers to be asked of the same audience but on a larger scale. Thus, we use both qualitative and quantitative methods in the research process giving it both depth and validity.
Could you do one without the other? Well, of course you can and many anthropologists tend to prefer one over the other. I’ll not step into the qual vs quant debate here, except to say that it exists. What I will say is that the goal of the anthropologist is to approach research and the research questions from a holistic perspective. Using both methods, as I am doing here, helps to do this.
Why am I going into all of this detail? Well, if you’ve reached this point you are in for a special announcement! My survey has been approved by my committee and is now in the hands of the IRB for review. Once they approve it, I’ll be releasing it to all Fedora contributors to participate in.
It is about 28 questions (depending on how you answer) and will take most people less than 10 minutes to fill out. I say most, because I do give you places for long text descriptions if you so desire, so those people who have a lot to contribute may take a little longer. From my perspective, the more data the better!
I have lofty hopes of getting about 100 of you excited enough to participate. So, once I release it, I will need the help of all of the Fedora contributors that read this to pass it along and to tell those people you pass it along to, to pass it along as well!
An interesting side note to the survey is that it was created with the free and open source LimeSurvey! So, by taking it you’re not only helping Fedora, but you’re also supporting a pretty cool FLOSS project!
During the process of creating the survey I’ve become quite the LimeSurvey user. So, if anyone needs help with it, please feel free to ping me. When I’m done with this project I may even find a way to lend some of my user interface design and usability skills to the LimeSurvey project, if they want them. I have a few ideas that could make it a bit easier to use after having been a user myself.
I honestly cannot wait to get the survey out and start getting the data back. This part of the process is always so exciting!
First, Iâ€™d like to introduce myself. My name is Diana and I am an anthropologist currently in the midst of attaining my Masters degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of North Texas. As a part of my studies I will be working with Fedora, and hopefully many of you, to better understand the culture that surrounds open source software development.
As an applied anthropologist I want to stress that I will be doing research FOR and with the Fedora community not ON the Fedora community. My goal is to find ways to make your lives as open source developers better! And, if by some chance it canâ€™t get any better than it already is, find out why it is so great so other open source groups can follow your lead.
My research methods will include participant observation, which means I will be hanging out with you all as you do what you do both in an online and offline context, interviews, and surveys. I will be using this blog as my major means of communication with everyone and as a way to make my research both open and transparent.
When my research concludes I will be providing the community with a report as to the findings of my explorative study so that everyone has access to them and can hopefully find ways to use them to your benefit.
As a side note for all anthropologists aspiring to do research online, I am documenting my entire process and will be providing a side report as my contribution to open anthropology.
For those of you who will be in Toronto for the developer conference in December, I will be there as well and will be providing a topic for discussion so that we can all get to know each other a bit better.
I want to stress that participation in this study is strictly voluntary! If for some reason you do not want to participate, or would like to speak to me in confidence, I will be more than happy to oblige.
You can contact me here by leaving a comment, or by emailing me Diana [@] cyber-anthro.com.
I look forward to working with all of you and to any feedback you may have, even this early in the process!
I just finished reading Two Bits by Christopher Kelty.
I haven’t really had time to sit and think too much about it yet, but one thing that does jump out at me immediately is that the author is an anthropologist first and a ‘geek’ second (if at all).
This makes me a bit reflexive in my own work in that I think of myself as equally a geek and anthropologist. To me, they go hand in hand.
While he seemed to look at his research and knowledge of open source software and the culture that surrounds it in such a way that it was, say, elevated due to its scientific nature (take chapter 8 for example), I want mine to be on the level and completely accessible to those for whom it is about. Scientific of course, but purposeful and usable as well.
I suppose this is also the difference between applied and theoretical anthropology in that it is my goal to perform my research FOR an open source community rather than ON open source culture.
I think I’ll definitely give this book a second read, it deserves at least that. I have to say though, it’s not quite what I expected it would be.
At the end of my quantitative methods class this semester my professor listed out these points as what we are now capable of doing from an anthropological perspective. I found it helpful and think others would to!
Selling what youâ€™ve just learned : (What you can do with this course- my own list)
community/ organizational needs assessment
“intervention” evaluation/ assessment with case-control studies
product / program evaluation
survey construction, evaluation, and implementation
behavioral data analysis/ discover meaningful patterns within data
construct culturally appropriate sampling frames
exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory research design
apply cultural knowledge to enhance study validity and reliability
integrate quantitative-qualitative methods
analysis of culture as an element of problem solving/ decision-making
apply a “holistic” perspective to system-wide detail
construct exploratory, explanatory, and descriptive research designs
approximate longitudinal studies in cross-sectional design
community empowerment/ advocacy/ action research
apply methodological and theoretical toolkits to discover and explain behavior