[Air-L] software for online ethnography (Ashley Hinck)

Monica Barratt tronica at gmail.com
Tue Feb 21 17:24:50 PST 2012

Thanks Jay. Unfortunately I'm not a tech person myself so I wouldn't
have the skills to continue actually programming anything! But I can
understand the frustration - I developed a method where I had text
files open on screen to play with the questions and determine which
one to bring in next, to edit the question for the context, etc.
Looking at the screenshots of Ethnochat, I'm sure it would have been
an improvement.

The only concern I would have is that I found my participants wanted
to use the software they already used. So one problem would be getting
participants to use something new - this may not be attractive to
everyone, even if it would work better for the researcher.


On 22 February 2012 12:16, Jason Zalinger <jasonzalinger at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Monica,
> Your paper looks fantastic. Thank you for sending it along.
> Ethnochat was really a proof-of-concept project. We got it working enough to
> play with it, but it's still just in a limbo, pre-alpha stage. I'm not a
> programmer. I came up with the concept after doing online interviews and
> being frustrated that there was no tool specifically for online interviews.
> So, I ended up working with a master's student who did the code and my phd
> advisor who helped us get the initial work published.
> I do have the code if you or anyone wants to mess around with it. My hope
> was that the concept would spark interest and people would build upon the
> Ethnochat concept. It's a great project that could use a grant and some
> open-source community help.
> As for me, it's become a side project, although, if someone wants to work
> with me on making this into a full-fledged digital project, I would love to
> give it a go! I really do think it could turn into something special. I just
> decided to do my dissertation on something else and put Ethnochat on the
> backburner.
> Let me know if you are interested.
> Rock on,
> Jay
> On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM, Monica Barratt <tronica at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Jason
>> I have used instant messaging as part of qualitative research within
>> an ethnographic framework. This is the first I've heard of Ethnochat
>> and of your work. Is it available for use by researchers as I would be
>> interested in trying it.
>> I've just published an article on my experiences of online
>> interviewing which you may be interest in:
>> http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1465-3362.2011.00399.x/abstract
>> And I'd like to thank all of the AoIR community for the many
>> discussions of online interviewing we have had over the years which
>> have helped shape my thoughts/practice.
>> Cheers
>> Monica
>> On 19 February 2012 10:18, Jason Zalinger <jasonzalinger at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Hi Ashley,
>> > I have struggled with this question a lot, and I don't think there is
>> > one
>> > solution. I would include Zotero <http://www.zotero.org/> to the list of
>> > programs already mentioned. I use it for more than just bibliographic
>> > management. You can save snapshots of sites to it, make notes, save pdfs
>> > etc.
>> >
>> > I'm also going to use this opportunity to shamelessly plug a chapter I
>> > recently published about an instant messenger program designed for
>> > ethnographers. "The Story of Ethnochat: Designing an Instant Messaging
>> > Program to Conduct Semi-Structured or Unstructured Interviews"
>> >
>> > http://www.igi-global.com/chapter/online-research-methods-urban-planning/62396
>> >
>> >
>> > :)
>> >
>> > -Jay
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