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Ethnozine: July '12 edition

Just because summer is here doesn't mean that ethnographers slow down.This month Heather Ford updates us on her Wikipedia research. She shares with us screenshots from her digital ethnography of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, revealing how Wikipedians manage sources in breaking news events. Tricia Wang finished up a few years of fieldwork in China and shares with us a new process for writing ethnographic fieldnotes, live fieldnoting. We have four guest contributors for The Ethnographer's Reading List. Sam Ladner's list mixes creativity with time, religion, and humor. Nicolas Nova's list takes us back to objects, public spaces, and lines. Christina Dennaoui's list brings us some science, emotion and pain. Elisa Oreglia's list gives us something new, something blue, and something borrowed. 


Other tidbits:
Jason at Living Anthropologically compiled a list of anthropology communities with a facebook page. We saw familiar communities like Savage Minds, but we also discovered new ones like Neuroanthropology,  ALLA (The Association of Latina/o Anthropologistsa) and How to be an Anthropologist.  We've added several their blogs and a few new ones to our blogroll. Do let us know if you would like to suggest a site to add to our blogroll! 


Do you have a post that you would like featured on Ethnography Matters? Or would you like to be our next guest contributor? Here are some ideas for how you can participate. Email us! We'd love to hear from you.  


The Ethnographer’s Reading List: Nicolas Nova takes us back to objects, public spaces, and lines….yes lines 

by Nicolas Nova

This summer I’m spending the months of July and August in California for a visiting researcher’s residence at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, working on a project about rituals and gestures of the digital everyday. Because of that topic, the books I’ve bought for the summer are quite influenced by this project. They’re not about methodologies, but more about case studies concerning design, material culture, ethnography and architecture. Each of them seems to be feeding our investigation here:

Read the story.

The Ethnographer’s Summer Reading List: Elisa Oreglia brings us something old, something new, and something borrowed

by Elisa Oreglia

… something borrowed, something blue… no, I’m not talking about ethnographies of weddings, even though weddings, funerals, and all social rituals are a staple of anthropological writing. This is my guiding rhyme to choose summer readings, and make sure that they deviate from the usual goal-driven reading of the rest of the year.


The Ethnographer’s Reading List: Christina Dennaoui brings us some science, emotion, & pain 

by Christina Dennaoui

In my ideal world, I would use the summer season as an opportunity to catch up on recently released works of fiction or non-fiction. This summer, however, has been the start of a somewhat ambitious project: actually reading all of the books on my bookshelf in their entirety. Crazy, right?  My goal is to take my time with each book, actually “sitting with” the author’s arguments rather than voraciously consuming theory like I did in graduate school. My graduate studies focused on religion, anthropology, and communication theory, which means that I have shelves full of work that relate to my professional work in digital strategy and planning. Although there is no grand theme uniting all of the books on my list, there are a few sub-themes worth calling out: archiving and identity, personal branding, quantifying individual interests, and the meaning of “strategy.”

Read the Story.

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Beyond reliability: An ethnographic study of Wikipedia sources

by Heather Ford

lmost a year ago, I was hired by Ushahidi to work as an ethnographic researcher on a project to understand how Wikipedians managed sources during breaking news events. Ushahidi cares a great deal about this kind of work because of a new project called SwiftRiver that seeks to collect and enable the collaborative curation of streams of data from the real time web about a particular issue or event. If another Haiti earthquake happened, for example, would there be a way for us to filter out the irrelevant, the misinformation and build a stream of relevant, meaningful and accurate content about what was happening for those who needed it? And on Wikipedia’s side, could the same tools be used to help editors curate a stream of relevant sources as a team rather than individuals?

Read the story.

Writing Live Fieldnotes: Towards a More Open Ethnography 

by Tricia Wang

I just returned from fieldwork in China. I’m excited to share a new way I’ve been writing ethnographic fieldnotes, called live fieldnoting. I spoke about live fieldnoting in a recent interview with Fast Company that also featured a slideshow of my live fieldnotes. I want to elaborate on the process in this post.

Read the Story.

The Ethnographer’s Reading List: Sam Ladner’s summer reading list mixes creativity with time, religion, & humor 

by Sam Ladner

Grad school has a way of ruining the pleasure of reading. You have stacks of books and articles, many of which you have no hope of ever finishing, much less enjoying. Since leaving grad school, I’ve reveled in the freedom to read whatever I want. Imagine my horror when I realized I continue to read academic books! Yes, when left to my own devices, I tend to gravitate to heady theory and dense research.

Below are a few of my crazy picks. Unlike when I was in grad school, however, I allow myself to read as much or as little as I choose.

Read the story. 

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