ESR 6 Blog March 2021: Bilge Hasdemir

Let’s face it- creating new content for the blog on a monthly basis might not be an easy task for some of us. Despite blogging being rather informal compared to many other academic activities, deciding on the ´right´ writing tone and style, which is accessible for a readership both within and outside of academia and also a good fit to the platform in use, can still be a challenge, especially for the first couple of posts in the beginning. I have been thinking about whether following a particular editorial guideline would have been rather helpful in deciding on the writing style and to start writing. Not necessarily.

Well, what is the problem then or is there a problem indeed? I have no idea why I am feeling stuck in the midst of the questions which were initially raised to decide on where to start from but led me down to the rabbit hole instead.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Soon afterwards I decided to follow the questions meticulously to find a way out again and take it from there. And here they are:

What a (semi)academic blogging would serve for? ; What are the deliveries of the digital and social infrastructures of the FEINART website, in what ways do they affect my practice of writing? ; How does (academic) blogging operate alongside the reputational economy? ; What are the further ethical considerations that I should take care of while communicating my research through blogging?; What would be the best strategy to maintain an online public record of the research development and project progress?; Would a piece of reflective writing, where I am still forming the ideas by using a technique closer to freewriting, be counted as share-worthy content as well?; What kind of contribution doing an online autoethnography would provide to my research during the time of a global pandemic and how can I benefit from blogging for this? ; Would bringing together a number of semi-finished texts from the research diary and synthesizing them into a story work for a blog post?

Apparently, issues related to formality appear as secondary compared to the matters of what the current text is (going to be) about and construction of the blog space. This is also very much related to the question of how to better manage my online presence so the online academic identity together with the digital footprint I am leaving behind. It also relates to the ethical decision that I as a researcher have to take about the sharing and representation of the qualitative data. Of course, I don’t mean to publicize the field records here, it is rather the question of whether I should consider sharing some excerpts from my field notes in the future – as I haven’t started doing the fieldwork yet.

In the meantime, Iceland’s Minister of Health has decided to impose stricter domestic Covid-19 regulations in response to a rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Iceland. All these sudden changes in the regulations, which have become distressingly disruptive, not only bring limitations to research, but also make planning and coordination of the fieldwork immensely frustrating. It has been a month since I arrived in Reykjavik, but I haven’t had a chance to make any headway with fieldwork coordination yet; unless I mention the attempts to get prepared for and respond to issues of safety and risk in relation with the ever-changing conditions of Covid-19 pandemic. Maybe the question of this post should have been: Considering the way covid-19 pandemic has affected our capacity to carry out qualitative research, what kinds of fieldwork may or may not be possible in the month(s) or week(s) ahead? But I can leave it for the next post and go back to my study to revise the plans – again.

By the way, is this blog post supposed to have a main focus or issue that I should have been afraid of straying away from? I hope not.

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