Sunday, October 14, 2012

Interviews & Blogs

Earlier this week, I received constructive feedback on Chapter 3 of my research proposal from one of my co-chairs.  Since then, I have made most changes.  Yesterday, I started on rewriting the interview questions and writing a list of features to look in blogs, and I just completed both this morning.

For the past two years, I've had the same interview questions.  Last year, I piloted the questions when I was a visiting professor at the International University of Japan.  I wrote about it here.  Because I thought the interview questions tested well, I felt no need to change them.  However, I have modified most of my secondary research questions, and that was enough to make the old interviewing procedures irrelevant.  I was able to use about two-thirds of those questions, but they were reordered to better fit the new research questions.

I am quite happy with the new interview questions and protocol.  The most noticeable change is that I now have about 5 pages of interview questions for one or two meetings.  Before I had planned to meet with my participants at least 3 times over a 6-month period with a different set of 2-3 pages of interview questions each.  I intend to pilot this new set of questions on a friend who fit my description of a participant, but the only the purpose of this pilot is to see how long the interview could last.

I also wrote up a list of features to look for in a blog written by potential participants of my study.  I feel like I'm charting new territory here as there has been very little written about blog data collection and analysis.  There is a great overlap between the blog analysis and the interview questions, and I hope that will strengthen the validity of my study.

While writing this blog analysis guide, I realized that with the potential blog data of my dissertation, I may have a few studies or even more papers based on the data alone.  I could see this helping me with my research agenda.  Speaking of research agenda, data from my ongoing pilot study has revealed another area of interest strongly linked to my current study.  This has prompted me to keep a more centralized document concerning my research agenda.  At the moment, I have a Word doc, a Google doc, and scraps of paper with ideas for future study.  If I have this many ideas now, I can't image how many I will have when I near completion of my current study.

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