Revisiting Archive Collections

For my Qualitative Research Methods class this week I was asked to find a research article in my field of interest that uses focus groups, and to write up a short summary of the article and critique their use of focus groups as a research method.

Trash Study

For my qualitative research methods class I was asked to visit a particular place twice to experiment with a (very brief) ethnographic field study. All the names included here are fictitious, and were only included to try to help provide a sense of narrative in places. I’ve uploaded most of the photos I took to a Flickr album, but you will see some of them interspersed with the text. This was also an experiment in trying out the technique of live field notes, which is why you are seeing them here.


A few weeks ago Cliff Lampe visited UMD to give a talk about his work on citizen interaction design, connecting the University of Michigan iSchool with the City of Jackson, Michigan and other cities around Michigan. At a high level the goal of the project is to get iSchool students out in the field working with local governments to try to collaborate on solutions to problems that they have.

Data Exercise

This week in my qualitative methods class we all looked for qualitative datasets on the Web in various data repositories and considered how easily they could be reused (secondary analysis). Because of their confidential nature, qualitative studies are harder to find. Even when pseudonyms are used it can often be very easy to identify individuals and organizations in interviews, and observational data.

Craft and Computation

Cheatle & Jackson (2015) provides an interesting view into how the funiture artist Wendell Castle uses 3D scanning and digital fabrication tools in his work. Usefully (for me) the description is situated in the larger field of human-computer interaction, and computer supported work, which I’m trying to get a handle on, to see if it will help me in studying Web archiving practices (more on that below). The article is definitely worth checking out if you are interested in a close look at how a small furniture studio (that has built an international reputation for craftsmanship) uses 3d scanning and robotics to do its work.

Cheatle, A., & Jackson, S. J. (2015). Digital entanglements: Craft, computation and collaboration in fine art furniture production. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (pp. 958–968). Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved from


Some (lighter) winter break reading from Hagen (1977):

Hagen, S. (1977). Buddhism plain and simple. Charles E. Tuttle Co.