My research has gone through quite a few stages in this term (even more in this last week, though I’m almost embarrassed to admit it). I started out with a squishy little grub of an inkling about gender and fan/producer dynamics in Doctor Who, and by the time I submitted the thing today, I was wrestling with a big Twitter and participatory culture creature that bore very little resemblance to that little SSHRC larva – though I held on to the Doctor Who online fandom as a focal point, but other than that, I ended up citing wildly different theorists and settled on a startlingly different methodology. In all honesty I’m still not satisfied that I got a good enough grip on what makes for a persuasive research proposal, but I do know that I now know a lot more about research methods and proposals than I did in September.
I didn’t expect to get so caught up in Twitter’s terms of service – that surprised me – but I did. I don’t know how I managed to miss the problems there for the earlier part of the course (I think I may not have been reading quite current enough materials), but it turns out that during the past year, Twitter has become startlingly unfriendly to researchers. Well, when I say unfriendly, I mean that they intend to monetize researchers. I do wonder what effect this is going to have on scholarship in the long term.
In theory, the Library of Congress’s Twitter archive will provide the access that Twitter has been slowly chocking off, but so far it seems the reality is that the LC is stuck in a technological trap, and it will be a long while yet before they will be capable (much less willing) to provide access to the Twitter archive to anyone, much less a student researcher such as we are.
It’s been a pleasure reading about all of your interests. You all have some very intriguing ideas. Have a good winter break, everyone! (and good luck on those exams and final assignments!)
As a last note on this blog, I’d like to invite all of you lovely people to click on this link and take a quick break to read a funny little comic strip. Especially those of you who posted about infographics in week 8!