Microstudies of Microblogging

Here at Ball State, researchers in the Rhetoric and Composition Doctoral Program and the undergraduate program in Professional Writing and Emerging Media have been conducting microstudies of microblogging and other forms of networked writing, using qualitative and mixed-methods approaches to data collection and analysis in order to develop rich profiles of social networking site (SNS) activity.  The 2011 #9ine Collaborative consists of faculty member Dr. Brian McNely, graduate students Emily Crist, Jason Parks, Stephanie Hedge, and undergraduates Melissa Ditty and Sarah Luttenbacher. 

Over the course of several weeks, these researchers explored the fascinating micropractices of everyday SNS use, studying individual, particular cases to learn more about the ways that writing and/as technology function(s) in peoples’ everyday lives. Deliberately small in scale, these studies introduce a starting point for further research into pervasive forms of writing work, hopefully raising some interesting questions for ongoing scholarship of dynamic mediation in practice. The findings shed light on the specific ways that users position themselves online—in the classroom, in relationships, and in the world. 

The resulting white paper—“Microstudies on Microblogging”—is the first of its type to be produced in the department. You can view the paper below, or download it from Scribd. 

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