Presentation on theme: "Context and hypermedia ethnography Presented at QUADS Context Workshop, May 3, 2006 Bruce L. Mason and Bella Dicks."— Presentation transcript:
Context and hypermedia ethnography Presented at QUADS Context Workshop, May 3, 2006 Bruce L. Mason and Bella Dicks
Ethnographic Hypermedia Previous project created an Ethnographic Hypermedia Environment (EHE) based on an ethnographic study of a science centre. EHE - a multimedia, hyperlinked presentation created on DVD using XHTML. Includes both: representation – the ethnography; Multimedia data set – cleaned and hyperlinked.
EHE main page
Ethnography and messiness Ethnographic fieldwork unplanned Ethnographic data records extremely varied Ethnographic authoring associated with thick description but printed ethnography tends to be thin Hypermedia can represent the thick, complex messiness more adequately.
Compatibility and complexity How do we share something as complex and messy as an EHE? Just the facts? Keeping it complex? Keeping it secret, keeping it safe? Whatever the approach it has to be built into the fieldwork.
From data to metadata Data is constructed by the fieldworker(s). A data record is a recording of a fieldwork activity. (e.g. photograph, fieldnote, audio recording) Each data record should also have metadata attached. This metadata can be used to capture some of the context (e.g. methodology, participants, date and time). Metadata can be thought of as the common ground for data records of various media.
Metadata as context The facts - who said what when where and to whom. Mode and medium of the activity. Motivation behind the recording. Methodology. Consent information.
Into XML Best practice is for fieldworkers to provide appropriate metadata/context for each data record. Metadata requires a common language hence use of XML. XML facilitates common descriptions of diverse data sets. Best practice does not require fieldworkers to know XML.
Resistances Systematising the research process may create cookie-cutter research. Potential for reuse may inhibit ethically difficult research. Extra workload may deter researchers.
Requirements Adoption of an archiving mentality E.g. Oral History, Folklore Early adopters Technical infrastructure
Post workshop thoughts links and context In hypermedia/text, linking provides immediate context. Linking can be internal to the EHE or to external sites. The problem with linking, as with providing context, is knowing when to stop. Linking can be considered to be form of relational context.