In the mirror...reflective jottings.

This space is for personal reflection on the research project "Packaging Identity". It shall act to document and journal the process of developing a virtual ethnographic community, "myfrockrocks" and gathering data through the reflective practice model.

While the project was designed and developed over the past year, going live, blogging online with ethical clearance began in earnest in May 2012. A very slow and steady start, some responses from my close circle of friends triggered sporadic bouts of inclusive commentary. There was however a large white elephant sitting in the project-it was very clunky to get participants formally enrolled in the data gathering process as they needed to e-mail me, and then I would forward them a participation form. It seemed commitment was daunting to all but a few die-hard participants(so very Gen Y I thought to myself!). Realizing this was really jeopardizing my ability to use the data, (it was also diminishing the scope and quality of the data), I have forsaken gathering any further demographic information about the participants, and am using the comments directly from each post. This step was taken after consultation with Dr. Tiziana Ferrero-Regis and spurred on by a great suggestion from Dr. Ruth Bridgestock.  In order to do this, I have added a phrase in the comment box which confirms participants understanding that their comments may used in research. It has freed up the system enormously- today over 10 very insightful and useful comments were posted by readers, beyond my immediate friends and followers. I also dedicated a facebook page to the research and invited a broader and more diverse set of friends based on my places of education and work. This seems to have raised the traffic to the site and it feels a bit like I am a surfer waiting to catch the right wave. Slightly addictive too, watching the comments come in felt a bit like watching the polls on election night-seeing which post people respond to, where they put their comments, it's all very exciting and I see which of my comments have reached the audience and effected action. And hence...the reflective cycle begins as I look at responses to my prompts as if through a mirror.

3 comments:

  1. I blog, therefore I am!

    It seems to be a blogger has high regard in the fashion scene at the moment, it's a position of considered influence and strangely, I've begun to feel influential. It's not that I am actually doing any influencing, it's just that when I ask people to contribute to the blog, their response is not, "Oh Wow, your working toward a doctorate", or "Gee, research hey? No, their response is "cool, you blog!" So now, I blog...

    It seems fashion and blogging have a close relationship, some of the front row seats at the designer runway shows are now populated with key bloggers, these seats were once the prize of influential journalists and magazine editors. I noticed that during the last Melbourne fashion week, friends and students were posting on Facebook pictures of the bloggers, and who they were photographing and if any of them made it onto someone's blog it was as close as the front page of Vogue.

    In some sense, it all seems slightly fraudulent, secret squirrel writing, faceless, nameless, while on the other hand it is liberating! In this existential experiment, this Kafka-esque duality,of self-indulgence and public exposure, metamorphosis begins.

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  2. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the busiest of them all? Blog, schmlog...at the moment so many things happening. spiral reflection, like Alice falling into the looking glass...Start of semester, new students, new classes, new units for me...loved that my first unit as a student this semester got me talking to really smart people about singularity and zeitgeist...the future of design in a world of artificial intelligence...oooh shivers down my spine. Meanwhile, the project flies along, getting some lovely side comments on private e-mails and facebook about peoples views and attitudes towards clothes. It seems more are interested in the topic than care to join the blog page...I can kind of understand that. I'm getting a strong sense that the relationship with clothing, jewellery and adornment etc is very connected with memory, and nostalgia, and a theme about the influence of Mothers on daughters...must investigate this further!

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  3. Stream of consciousness...all the words fall out on the page and the sense of it is not clear, who are we, why do we do what we do...I love the thrill of reading a new post, and I think of how to be creative in response. The virtual world has such freedom, be yourself, be your avatar, be free...

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