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Just Google it: Netnography in practice

Millennials laugh at Trump’s claim this week that Google is biased — as it only turns up bad news about him (BBC). Some people still have difficulty mastering this basic life skill, to call up and interpret search engine results sensibly and knowingly. Netnographic researchers have the skills. They gather data, information and evidence from the … Continue reading

The death of a public life

You can be excused for thinking that social media presents imperfect insights into human nature. US political comedian Bill Maher excoriated the public personas social media users present online — their polite, politically correct, family-friendly, “prissy” avatars, whose great “super power” is that they remember birthdays! “If you want to know who someone really is … Continue reading

Undisciplinarity

What is the value of interdisciplinary research? According to a review of research published by the UK funding councils, “Crucially, many major discoveries and breakthroughs have occurred at the boundaries between disciplines resulting in new fields of study, such as biochemistry, health economics, social psychology, development studies and informatics” (Davé, et al., 2016, p.8). If … Continue reading

Big corpus

UK publishers produce over 180,000 books each year. (About one third are in digital formats.) So that’s a lot of words, even before the outputs of other countries are taken into account, and all the other words generated online — self published, or unpublished — and journal, magazine and newspaper articles. These large text corpuses are more than … Continue reading

Post-digital humanities

This week I’ll participate in a round table discussion about the digital humanities at an event called Methodological Intersections at the Trier Digital Humanities Autumn School in Trier, Germany. We’ve been presented with 5 questions, which I’ve reformulated here in my own words — with some tentative responses. Q1: The digital humanities (DH) presents itself as cross disciplinary. Does the idea of the digital humanities weaken the … Continue reading

How to grow a project

It’s good to be ambitious, to aim for impact and to make a difference. Here are some ambitious project ideas: create an exhibition, build a pavilion in a city square, fabricate a dynamic sculpture in a workshop, produce an interactive computer app, make a film, run an elaborate experiment, conduct a massive survey, embark on a Kickstarter campaign, run … Continue reading

The Internet as research tool

Good research draws on evidence — at the very least a body of literature that supports the answer to a research question. Can you draw on the Internet for evidence? As well as a body of literature most researchers would admit as evidence the results of experiments, observations, surveys, interviews, and questionnaires. In architecture, the arts and some other fields (engineering, … Continue reading

What have the arts to do with ethics?

Ethics checklists, committees, codes of practice and approvals came late to the arts. The place of ethics in the practical arts and their study looks like an afterthought, as if peripheral to the act of creation. After all, art has to begin at least with the freedom to say and do what you want. The ethical may come later to … Continue reading

Academic writing and publishing online

This is a metablog: a short blog post about blogging, a blog that links to other blogs, and it links to a PDF that is a print friendly collation of a selection of other blogs on the subject of blogging — from this site. That’s not unusual. I ran a workshop yesterday called “Developing a writing and publishing … Continue reading

What’s wrong with the digital humanities

I’ve just read the online Digital Humanities Manifesto (2011). I wouldn’t have, were it not that Stanley Fish, the doyen and defender of the humanities, references it in his guest Opinionator blog post (2012). The Digital Humanities Manifesto appears with anonymous authorship on a dormant Wordpress blog site attached to the UCLA Digital Humanities research and teaching centre. … Continue reading

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