Memo’s analysis compressed

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Published on: 09/03/2011

General remarks

  1. Three versions of the research question for the field analysis:
    1. What is the variety among neighborhood story websites?
    2. Or: What’s the variety among story websites with (among other things) neighborhood stories on them?
    3. Or: What meaning do neighborhood story websites have among websites for vernacular creativity (or among story websites)?
  2. Inclusion / exclusion criteria for taking a story website as a exemplary case.
    1. This depends on my analysis question. Maybe I could introduce story websites broadly and then zoom in on story websites with a limited locality (city or smaller) for my analysis. Could it be that all the sites that are made by Mediamatic (the Geheugenvans) are disticntive from the rest of my cases? Then I could also isolate them and propse a study among these cases. Just a hunch.
    2. The stories are not about a neighborhood or city, no locality, instead stories on the website are about other topics (national womens day) or have another scope (country-wide). This is no sharp distinction: the latter may contain stories about or positioned in a neighborhood. Neighborhood story websites containing the broader topics seems a little less obvious.
    3. Maybe I should make a distinction between audio, film and text (with photos). I could put that in the variables. I don’t think I want to exclude any of them.
    4. Maybe I miss creativity in some cases: archiving (digitizing and unlocking) is not an act of citizen creativity (or is it?). Read some of Burgess again: the contribution and creativity of ‘ordinary’ people is central in her theoretical framework on cultural citizenship, so I shouldn’t pay too much attention to examples which lack (one of) those two aspects.
  3. Went from open to axial coding with the codes ‘involved at startup’ (added roles) and ‘aims’ (different scopes), maybe more to come (e.g.’linksmemory sites’). I made extensive notes on these processes.
  4. Public participatory history and vernacular creativity in Burgess: what is the difference in the Sharing Stories literature? Look up, because my cases have both.

About the codes

  1. Code: Type of stories
    1. I do not say anything here yet about the ‘lower-level’ categories (topic, emotion, street, etc.). For now I keep it to the five abstract types of stories (personal testimonies, historical stories, autobiographical stories, daily life fragments and sets of images). This is from the data; the theoretical background for these types (they are not completely mutual exclusive right now) still has to be checked (Olick, Ferri and others).
    2. I have to find out what folklore means with respect to my types of stories.
    3. Nice quote from the verhalenbankbrugge; this might be something to use on the types of stories. “De synchronische registratie van betekenisvolle gebeurtenissen, in het geheugen en/of in schriftelijke vorm, is de noodzakelijke voorwaarde voor het spoor dat in de geschiedenis zal blijven bestaan. De gelijktijdige registratie heeft zijn tegenhanger in de diachronische dimensie: ook het herinneren en het herschrijven van historische gebeurtenissen volgt de logica van wat sociaal-culturele betekenis draagt (Hastrup 1992: 1-13). “
  2. Code: Methods
    1. I should explain Digital Storytelling, Life Writing and Oral History; they are all ‘real’ methods, or at least more or less clearly defined.
    2. Also remember to do something with the editor (the one who writes the story or the one who edits an incomming story)? Hidden here also is the role of the commenter
  3. Code: Affordances
    1. How far do I go here? There is heaps of affordances.
    2. There seems to be a couple of levels of interactions (comment-like things). Stories are in no case directly publishable on the site. Right now I see these dimensions for comments:
      - on the story, below the story
      - guestbook comments in general
      - guestbook comments with a dropdown-topic list
      - who knows requests in general
      Some of these have to be sent by mail, others can be done at the website straight away, so you get a matrix (4 x 2)
  4. Course: a lot is unknown
    1. Change in ownership, in aims,
    2. Spontaneous new stories, new comments
    3. new projects (interventions to gather stories)
    4. just readers
    5. upgrades website
    6. continuity: intervening professionals, backdrawing professionals, overtaking volunteers, new particpating institutions, financial support, support wrt infrastructure (software)
  5. Code: LinksMemory sites – Different types:
    1. buurtwinkel,
    2. joods monument,
    3. countrywide (memory virtual, etc): Like the Historical Memory of Spain (mostly about the Franco period.
    4. songs and stories for kids (memory virtual),
    5. personal story blogs (the 95 year old lady)
    6. With memory sites I mean sites which have something to do with stories about the past or the present.
  6. Code: Aims
    1. difference archival (saving) and historical (interpreting)
    2. Have to remember that the aims might not be explicit on the websites, but are excplicit at one of the launching partners in either one of the three roles..
    3. I use only the aims that are provided on the website up till now (see for example Berit’s Storyhood document).
    4. What about unforeseen effects?
  7. Code: Collective memory
    1. a growing collective memory IS NOT a growing awareness of the local history?
    2. the first involves more the human memory and the local history tends to move towards historical sites (although it claims to be about cuture as well (Wikipedia)
  8. Code: involved at startup
    1. Interestingly enough the Memory of Heemskerk started with one person (Erwin SMit) from the social welfare institute De Welschap. So he is the ‘real’ initiatiator.
    2. Another thing is that the request for funds contains more aims than are written on the website.

Possible correlations

  1. Possible correlations (to check later with the code matrix browser):
    1. Historical stories (code: type of stories) go hand in hand with participating archives and libraries (code: involved at startup). There are exceptions (GvO).
    2. (Obiously, but also to test) Certain aims go hand in hand with certain types of stories.
    3. Most of the digital story websites are not interactive (no comments in one of the four options described elsewhere).
    4. I think on average Digital Stories are less ‘light’ than textual stories, or in other words: the Digital Story Websites are more serious (emotionally impressive) than the neighborhood story Websites. I have to dive into this, because I think it has to do with the mainly ‘daily life character’ of neighborhood websites and the more autobiographical character of DIgital Story Websites (compare milehighstories with the Memory of East.

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  1. [...] See this post for a summary of many pages of my memo’s. [...]

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