Friday, October 11, 2013

Data Analysis #2

I collected my second set of data from a Facebook thread.  This data set was collected from my niece’s timeline.  Similarly to the last data set, she was tagged in the post.  However, this particular post was a personal video rather than a meme.  Like the previous post, this one was school related as well.  One of my niece’s friends made a video about her most influential teacher in high school.  She chose the music teacher at her high school, and then she tagged all the other students who were in the same program.  My niece did not comment on this particular post, but there were far more other people that did.

My second set of data is slightly different from the first set in the sense that it includes far more items to research.  For that reason I have not included the actual thread in this post, it would just take up too much room.  I will, however, forward a copy of the thread to each of the people in my group so they are aware of what I researched.  There are also some adult influences in this post that were not there in the first data set.  Also, there was much more data to sift through.  I focused specifically on the difference in the language used in the presence of adults, even if it is in an online community.  My first data set focused on the changes in typographical differences in comments, the use of internet speak or lingo, the use of emoticons, and different uses of vernacular.  

I looked at the some of the same things in my second data set.  For instance, I found that there were just as many uses of emoticons in the second data set; however, the internet speak and use of vernacular was significantly curbed.  Not that it is particularly interesting, but I did find that the high school students changed the way they use language when they are around adults.  I do think it is interesting that it still happens online.  I will continue to look at the specific differences in vernacular used by the group of participants.  The more I look at both sets of data, I do think that will be the most useful piece of data that I have encountered thus far.

I found the readings for this week to be particularly relevant to my research.  Although the reading by McLean focuses on a hybrid cultural identity of an adolescent girl; I still think it important because it does speak to identity on social networking sites.  I also found the article by Jacobs to be enlightening.  It focuses specifically on IMs, and although it’s somewhat outdated, it still pertains to my research.  The article focuses on AIM, but that gave way to Yahoo chat, and then MSN messenger, and finally now Facebook chat is the biggest thing in IMing.  I believe some of the readings we will discuss on the 24th will be relevant as well.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Data Analysis #1

I collected my data from Facebook, specifically from a thread on my niece’s page.  I had a difficult time finding an amount of data that I felt would work for my purposes.  I ended up using a thread from July 30, 2013.  The thread started as a meme posted on my niece’s wall with three other individuals.  The thread then elicited 25 comments, which I felt would be enough to study for this particular assignment.  Although, I do hope that I will be able to find a larger data set for our next analysis.  The comments are from the individuals tagged in the post, but was also liked by other individuals as well.

The data set includes comments from five people, one male and four female.  I originally was hesitant to use this because it does include a male participant.  However, I was unable to find any other data set that would work.  I won’t be focusing much on the male participant, but it does provide some context that is important to the conversation.  My research focus relates to how teenage girls use language on Facebook and how it helps to create their online identity.  This particular thread helps me with that because it includes multiple aspects of digital literacy that I can use.  For instance, I’ve noticed the following—typographical differences between comments, the use of internet speak or lingo, the use of emoticons, different uses of vernacular, and some numerical data.  

As an outsider, there are some issues that I could not possibly understand.  The original meme is a comic strip-like picture, and I wonder if that particular picture is an inside joke, or is it just something that the original poster thought was funny?  Interestingly, while our group was talking about this data set and reading it aloud, someone not affiliated with the group was listening and immediately recognized the language as that of a teenage girl.  I’ve been wondering if this is something else that I can look at as well.  I think it would be interesting to see if others can recognize the same thing in the data set.

I’m particularly interested in the readings by the New London Group and their work the pedagogy of multiliteracies.  Even though their article is somewhat out of date in terms of technology, I do think it is still relevant.  I also think Brian Street’s article on New Literacy Studies will be interesting in terms of literacy events and practice.  I think the use of Facebook is definitely a literacy practice.  Street’s article also discusses how children’s experience with NLS are important.  I’m intrigued by the ideas of how the intersection of home and school in terms of Facebook plays out within my research.  Since all of the participants go to the same school and their entire thread discussing the upcoming school year, I think this is an important distinction.  I think the most important reading for my research will be the second article from Knobel and Lankshear.  This particular article focused expressly on Facebook, and although the data from the article is somewhat out of date, I do think it will be important.