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.