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!
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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:
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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!
Research design in anthropology is a tricky thing. It is the part of the process you do before you do anything else, and thus you do before you have any real sense of the situation in which you will be researching and the people with which you will be working. It is the place where you lay down the questions to be answered, setup ways in which you will attempt to answer them, try and anticipate all of the ins and outs of the process as well as all the steps necessary to be taken with all of the stakeholders, which in my case includes my client, my masters committee, and my university IRB.
Then you get into the project and start your research, and only then do you start to realize and understand what you’ve got yourself into and just how many things you didn’t anticipate. So far with this project, being a cyber anthropological based research study (all of the research is being conducted online), my problems have all centered around technology.
My first limitation was understanding the process to get my blog on the Fedora Planet blogroll. With help and some ‘hacking the system’ I got on and while at FUDcon I figured out why it didn’t work in the first place (I wasn’t a part of enough groups!).
Now I am realizing my second limitation, that of requiring a signed piece of paper from all interview participants before each interview can commence. Pen and paper is perhaps one of the oldest forms of communication and technology known to man and yet it is the one thing standing between me an several potential interviews.
This was not a hindrance I anticipated when designing my research study, and it is perhaps not something with which people who are not researching under a university have to deal. However, it is something I now realize is important and am bringing attention to in case there are others embarking on similar research studies with similar IRB limitations that require them to have signed consent forms so they can account for this process in their research design.
Were I to design a similar project in the future under the same IRB limitations, I would ask my IRB to approve an electronic encrypted signature on my consent forms.
Here’s to hoping someone out there can learn from my mistakes!
That all being said, if you have a means for returning a signed document to me electronically and you would like to be interviewed for the Fedora research project, but have yet to contact me please do so soon! All interviews will be wrapped up (as best they can) by Friday!
If you would like to participate in the interview portion of the Fedora research project I am current conducting, please visit my informational post on it here!
I need at least 10 more willing participants by the end of next week. The most convenient way of participating for all involved so far has been through email. So if you have a little time and wouldn’t mind answering a few questions about your participation in Fedora via email, please let me know!
If you need alternative means of signing the informed consent documents, please note that you can sign it via a tablet as well as via fax (just email me for the fax number), rather than being restricted to having scan your forms in and send them to me.
I’m sitting here at my computer trying to figure out how to join the Fedora blogroll and notice that the hat I was given on Wednesday night by a friend is in fact, a fedora.
Today my research for my practicum has officially started. As soon as I get on the blog roll I’ll be posting some more in depth information as to what this study is about, what I hope to accomplish, and my side study meant to help other anthropologists as they attempt to do online community research.
I am very very excited about this project and can’t wait to share all of the details!
Also as a part of this I’ll be participating in NaBloPoMo. Here’s to post one of 30 for this month!
Anthropologists and ethnographers. By having anthropologists study and interact with end-customers in their natural settings, Western firms can learn to tailor their business models and offerings to match users’ socio-economic and cultural context. For example, Intel’s People and Practices Research (PaPR) employs sociologists and ethnographers who spend months in emerging markets embedded in grassroots communities to identify the latent needs of local consumers. Dr Genevieve Bell, one of PaPR’s anthropologists, traveled extensively across China and India observing people in their homes to find out how they use and what they want from technology. Her ethnographic insights shaped Intel’s groundbreaking pricing models and partnership strategies for Chinese consumer market.
On that note, I’m proud to announce that I will be partnering with the Fedora Project for my practicum (an applied Masters thesis), where I will be performing exploratory research on their online open source development community. More details to come soon!
It’s been a while since I have updated! My apologies.
You see, I have been writing – a lot even. However, everything I have written has either been papers for class, or the script to my SXSW podcast. This is of course beyond my normal workload as a usability and interface engineer who works for a company that is pounding code on our next release, which has kept me very very busy as well!
While I cannot publish my SXSW podcast as it was accepted and will be published on the SXSW site in April/May, I can treat you to the results of my research and analysis completed last year for Motorola on how people extend their experiences through secondary devices. My particular part was focused on complex multiple engagements which is a combination of multitasking and quick succession of singular tasks made possible by the use of secondary screens / mobile devices.
You can download the PDF here.
This semester I am taking Design Anthropology. I took this class as an undergrad and it is one of the reasons why I chose to pursue my masters in anthropology. The experience in working with a tech company, in both cases Motorola, on a real research issue where we go out and do field work and then as a class analyze the data, is simply amazing. This semester we researched how people extend their experiences through second screens or mobile devices.
I spoke at the beginning of the semester about how I use my iPhone (and previously Blackberry and before that Treo – I’ve had a smart phone since 2002). Several of the things I do include using it to share my immediate experience with my friends such as picture blogging (Twinkle for Twitter and Flickr to Livejournal), actual blogging, looking up information for class while listening to the lecture and participating in the discussion, and researching products in stores while in the store. This is all in addition to checking my email, chatting, texting, playing games (Spore at the moment), reading blogs, and using many other programs. The class looked back at me as if I was an alien. Most use their phone only for talking or at most texting. So, I made it my mission to actually find someone to do my fieldwork on that did the same thing I did.
And I did! I chose First Saturday, a tech swap meet, to do my research. I knew I’d find SOMEONE that did what I did there. And sure enough, my partner and I spotted someone at about 3am trying to buy a Macbook. What we found out was that during the half hour we observed him he used three phones, 2 Blackberries and 1 iPhone, to chat with his partner who was there with him (he had one Blackberry), look up prices, research the product itself, and research a technical problem the Macbook was experiencing. Aha! I am not the only one! This does, however, bring me to an interesting trend – on the spot researching, and stores seem to be cashing in on it.
Two ads come to mind immediately of stores mentioning how they provide access to a computer right in the store in order to research the product and their competitors prices. I think though, that they should take this one step further – why not offer an in store wireless connection that mobile phones can use to do the research with. Through that connection offer a ‘homepage’ or default page that comes up when they go to connect with all of the in-store specials. These specials then list not only the store’s price, but also their competitors online prices as well as specs, compatibility, and upgrade information about the product itself.
While yes, I agree that few people will use this in the beginning, but imagine those people then SHARING that information with the people around them. Then those people the shared it with learning of it, using it, and then sharing it with others too. It’s an in store marketing device, one that they are already providing through the use of an in store computer, but one that is a bit more private and a hell of a lot more useful than most sales people.
This can then be extended even further than that – say using a barcode scanner or photo recognition software. Just imagine the possibilities when you put access to pertinent information in the palm of a consumers hand.
One example would be utilizing Target’s Amazon relation ship by putting URLs on the tags for all the electronic items in the store. Here I can go an extra step and actually read the reviews for the item I’m looking to purchase. I not only get to look up prices, specs, and other important information, but I also get to see what OTHER people think of the product too. Then, if I purchase it in store I can say perhaps get $5 off my next Amazon or Target purchase if I leave a review thus perpetuating the cycle.
Nintendo sees the light letting you download demos of games right to your DS in some stores. Bookstores should jump on that letting you read reviews of the latest releases right on your mobile device, or go one step further by allowing you to download ebooks/zines after checking out the real thing. Giving people access right in the store to information as well as reviews and then allowing them to EASILY share their experience with others is, in my humble opinion, one of the great ways to bridge the gap between the brick and mortar stores and their thriving digital counterparts.
The trend has already begun. Stores are already giving people access to computers right there in the store to do this – it’s time someone started taking just a bit further.
/end being a dork, usability junky and ex advertising agency information architect…
p.s. My chapter for our report to Motorola is on Complex Multiple Engagements – think of it as an analysis of our observations on how people strive to do things simultaneously or in quick succession through the use of technology – then design implications based on my analysis of these observations.
When attending an event such as a concert, a movie premier, a sports game, or a convention (or really anything else that can be considered an ‘event’) do you extend your experience there by using a mobile device in such a way as it pertains to the event you are attending (not distracting you from it but adding to it)?
If so, I’d like to know where you do this, what exactly it is you do, what do you do it with, and why you do it. It doesn’t have to be with a phone. It can be with any mobile input device (save for an actual laptop – though I’m not completely ruling this out yet). Feel free to comment or to email me [diana at cyber-anthro.com].
Here is the short abstract:
Online culture is becoming ever pervasive in its effects on the offline world. This panel will bring attention to the study of online culture and its purpose, use and effectiveness. Topics covered will be the Internets influence on gaming, community, education, media, marketing, politics, and family.
Extending that excerpt it is my goal to show how anthropology can help us understand the cultural changes that are rapidly taking place online and specifically how to use anthropological methods, theory, and practice in order to discern the meaning and importance behind the motives that not only bring together, but also sustain online communities.
I aim to use the following topics as ways in which to show how focusing an anthropological lens on the Internet is not only useful but necessary as what happens online also directly influences our lives even when we are unplugged.
- How massively multiplayer online role playing games have brought an entirely new dimension to gaming and what that means for gaming as we look to the future
- Ways in which offline communities are extending their reach via the Internet
- The reasons why the Internet should be utilized extensively in the classroom and the possible outcomes if it is not. This topic also touches on the digital divide as it pertains to school age children and their future in a digitally influenced world.
- A look at how people use the Internet to share information, experiences and collaborate online – community thinking and learning versus a singular approach (we are no longer thinking and learning alone and there is no reason why we should be)
- A view of marketing online not only from an anthropological perspective, but also from someone who has experience in the field as an information architect. What works, what doesn’t and why from a consumer/user rather than a product perspective.
- How the Internet with its instant access to news as it happens as well as its replayability is influencing how people interact and are influenced by politics in the US during this election year.
- A consideration of how the Internet has influenced family dynamics in the US from closing the distance gap to a parents role in the protection of children online.
I want to ultimately share that cyber anthropology is more than ethnography or simply a means of looking for ways to monetize communities. I want to show that yes there is a burgeoning culture developing completely online and that it is soon to become larger than any single other culture in existence. Already our laws, language, beliefs, artifacts, and interactions with others are changing because of this. It is my goal to study and share the hows and whys.
It is for these reasons that I did not list my topic under communities and rather under human and social issues. However, I am afraid I am being overlooked because of this choice. I am passionate about these topics and am excited to be even considered and placed on the panel picker. I ask that you help me share my enthusiasm and vote for me.
p.s. If you have an idea that you think would be beneficial to cover let me know! I am always looking for new perspectives to how and what to study in the realm of cyber anthropology. The benefit of this field is not only that it is rapidly changing, but also that there is so much to it.