Learning Interviews and Ethnography

As an ethnographer, I care a fair bit about interviewing techniques and styles. Not that interviews are the only method we use. We do participant-observation, preliminary research, quantitative analysis, genealogy… But skills at conducting open-ended interviews come in handy in ethnographic disciplines. It then follows that I enjoy finding examples of effective and ineffective interviewing. … Continue reading “Learning Interviews and Ethnography”


Professors and Online Ethnography

Fellow anthropologist Michael Wesch (of The Machine Is Us/ing Us fame) posted about a video that the The Chronicle of Higher Education has released about his own digital ethnography projects. For those who don’t know, The Chronicle is a well-known U.S. publication aimed primarily at university and college professors. It contains news and job announcements … Continue reading “Professors and Online Ethnography”

Ethnography and Technographics

This one certainly made the rounds among observers of online activities, but I only just got the link through a comment by Martin Lessard, the insight-savvy YulBlogger and “Internet culture” describer. The Groundswell (Incorporating Charlene Li’s Blog): Forrester’s new Social Technographics report Many companies approach social computing as a list of technologies to be deployed … Continue reading “Ethnography and Technographics”

WordPress as Content Directory: Getting Somewhere

Using WordPress to build content directories and databases.

Academics and Their Publics

(Why Are Academics So) Misunderstood?

Moving On

Sometimes, you might as well make radical changes in your life.

What’s So “Social” About “Social Media?” (Podcamp Montreal Topic)

Planning my #pcmtl session.

Beer Eye for the Coffee Guy (or Gal)

The coffee world can learn from the beer world.

Transparency and Secrecy

Musings on transparency and secrecy, related to both my professional reorientation and my personal life.

My Year in Social Media

In some ways, this post is a belated follow-up to my last blogpost about some of my blog statistics: Almost 30k « Disparate. In the two years since I published that post, I’ve received over 100 000 visits on this blog and I’ve diversified my social media activities. Altogether, 2008 has been an important year, … Continue reading “My Year in Social Media”

Ethnographic Disciplines

Just because this might be useful in the future… I perceive a number of academic disciplines to be “ethnographic” in the sense that they use the conceptual and epistemic apparatus of “ethnography.” (“Ethnography” taken here as an epistemological position in human research, not as “the description of a people” in either literary or methodological uses.) … Continue reading “Ethnographic Disciplines”

Blogging Academe

LibriVox founder and Montreal geek Hugh McGuire recently posted a blog entry in which he gave a series of nine arguments for academics to blog: Why Academics Should Blog Hugh’s post reminded me of one of my favourite blogposts by an academic, a pointed defence of blogging by Mark Liberman, of Language Log fame. Raising … Continue reading “Blogging Academe”

Microblogue d’événement

Version éditée d’un message que je viens d’envoyer à mon ami Martin Lessard. Le contexte direct, c’est une discussion que nous avons eue au sujet de mon utilisation de Twitter, la principale plateforme de microblogue. Pendant un événement quelconque (conférence, réunion, etc.), j’utilise Twitter pour faire du blogue en temps réel, du liveblogue. Contrairement à … Continue reading “Microblogue d’événement”

Johannes Fabian on Blogs

via Johannes Fabian conference at Concordia « another anthro blog. Congrats to Concordia anthroblogger (and anthroblogger researcher) Owen Wiltshire for getting Johannes Fabian to comment on his blog entry. Sounds like Fabian has a lot in common with those of us who push blogging, informal writing, and Open Access. Not sure Fabian perceives public ethnography … Continue reading “Johannes Fabian on Blogs”

Buzz Factor

I have an ambivalent relationship with buzzwords and buzzphrases. I find them dangerous, especially when they contribute to groupthink, but I also like to play with them. Whether I try (perhaps clumsily) to create some or I find one to be useful in encapsulating insight. The reason I’m thinking about this is that I participated … Continue reading “Buzz Factor”

Finally! A Drinking Age Debate

This may be more significant than people seem to assume: university and college administrators in the United States are discussing the potential effects of reverting the drinking age back to the age of maturity in their country (18 years-old). This Amethyst Initiative (blog), which was launched last month, may represent a turning point in not … Continue reading “Finally! A Drinking Age Debate”

The Issue Is Respect

As a creative generalist, I don’t tend to emphasize expert status too much, but I do see advantages in complementarity between people who act in different spheres of social life. As we say in French, «à chacun son métier et les vaches seront bien gardées» (“to each their own profession and cows will be well-kept”). … Continue reading “The Issue Is Respect”

Thought Streams about Online Literacy

Interestingly enough, in the last several days, at least five unrelated items of online content have made me think about what I’d call “online literacy.” Not too surprising a co-occurrence, given the feeds I follow, but I think still interesting. Especially because different perspectives were behind these items and the ways I was led to … Continue reading “Thought Streams about Online Literacy”