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Monday, January 26, 2004

The study, "Codes of Online Sexuality: Celebrity, Gender and Marketing on the Web," was very informative. The format allowed easy understanding of how and why the study was conducted. Using People Magazine to identify the subjects to observe, coding the images, the chart constructions, and the insight given to readers in the discussion and conclusion sections enabled this report to grab and keep readers' attention throughout.

Chapter One of Qualitative Researching, offers an interesting approach (football spectator analysis) to addressing the differences between quantitative and qualitative research. The box with keywords at the beginning of each chapter makes me feel the need to locate my dictionary. However, I found-at least with this first chapter, that the authors do a decent job of explaining each. The charts with separated examples of each topic (i.e. formalization and informalization of research-1.4) are easy to understand and provide clarity.

In chapter two, Bauer and Aarts begin by defending corpus construction and explaining the difference between it and representative sampling. They want to avoid confusion by pointing out that a corpus typifies unknown attributes and sampling describes attributes already known. This was helpful and the need for focus groups involving discussion in studies is more apparent.

The step-by-step explanation of representative sampling on page 21 was elaborate, but necessary in order to understand the rationale behind each action. Definitions of the word corpus, including its roots and examples are found under "The notion of 'corpus.'" The language corpora, from what I can assess is a collection of a type of language. A type of dictionary with analysis by linguists? I'm a little foggy on this section.

Page 25 tells the researcher that a computer program is needed with grammatical constructions (I would've just said labels) to organize data. Aah, o.k. page 26 and 27 with the example and chart would've been great a page ago. Things are clearing up a little. At this point I think a corpus begins with a time frame or a topic and then the researcher lists all the elements present that will be analyzed. Later he/she will use the corpus to comment on each or the most prominent elements and their influence on the outcome of the study. Page 31-"How to construct a corpus in the social sciences," and page 35, "Steps in constructing...," are useful.

I think if this chapter were written backwards, it would've made more sense. If the authors explained to the reader how to construct a corpus, showed the reader an actual corpus, and then provided pointers on how to decide on elements of a research topic minds wouldn't constantly be reaching for and needing the next bit of info. to make sense of the last bit. The definition section is in helpful order (first).

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

The other night on channel 8 news there was a report giving the public a look into the future of technology and info gathering. Electronic tags are going to be put into all sorts of products people buy to track their usage. Barbie dolls will be able to shop on their own by a chip placed inside that will send the kid an email asking them if they want to purchase certain Barbie accessories online. Kids are predicted to beg their parents for this new doll that shops and corresponds with them. The report informed people that this new technology has the potential to cause problems for the average consumer. Tags can be placed in clothes, shoes, anything and the tag can send info. back to the manufacturer. Stickers can be placed on the ground in shopping malls and shoppers can be tracked to find out which shops they frequent the most.

Monday, December 01, 2003

A technology and information gathering connection was found in the book, Reporting Live. The ENG system of recording news stands for electronic news gathering (I, for one, didn't realize this). The technological development, during its debut, was credited for shaving time off editing film for news broadcasts. There were difficulties making the switch from film in the beginning, but the benefits far outweighed (literally, at first-lbs.) the previous method of getting video.

Friday, November 28, 2003

While working on a Readings' paper, I came across something useful for this paper also. An article called, "Tick, tick, tick...Stahl's Web Remarks Spark E-Mail Blast." has a few interesting quotes from Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes. "When are they (journalists) going to gather information?" "What journalists will have to be are one-man bands." "I worry about the time that's going to take from reporting." "We will have to change the way we operate, " she said. "There are many things I fear, such as the loss of credibility, because we make more mistakes, and this will speed the process up even more."

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I thought of two movies to use as examples of privacy invasion or information gathering gone too far. They are Runaway Jury and Anti-Trust. Runaway Jury's Gene Hackman digs up dirt concerning the personal lives of jurors to ensure a verdict. A short summary of Anti-Trust is as follows: A computer programmer's dream job at a hot Portland-based firm turns nightmarish when he discovers his boss has a secret and ruthless means of dispatching anti-trust problems.

Monday, November 03, 2003

I was at Brookshire's yesterday and the checkout lady asked if I wanted to sign up for one of those scanner things. I said yes because I noticed as I was shopping that things were significantly cheaper if you have that thing. I asked her what the information was going to be used for (name, address, phone number). She said they might send me some coupons and I told her I was asking because of I was gonna write a paper about information gathering. She then offered that they use it to see how much people spend on groceries and what people in different demographic groups buy for advertising purposes. She said Brookshire's uses it to keep track of how well employees are asking if customers have signed up for the scanner and reminding them to use it for discounts on their purchases. She said she found this out right after she started working there, sort of impling that they have checked up on her before.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

I'm trying to edit a post and blogger won't let me for some reason. I'll try again later. Let me see if this will post. Is this gonna let me edit now? Aahh! I give up. It'll let me edit this one, but not the others. The change I was going to make was to Oct. 24th. I was going to add the Information Sciences library after Willis. Anyway....

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