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Post interview debrief- third participant

December 16, 2010

Tonight’s interview was the toughest of the three I have completed so far, yet the one that I have found most rewarding and potentially richest. My participant was clearly heavily engaged with both the Twitter and PLN space, and had thought at great depth about them both. However, I suspect he had also done his homework on me, despite the fact that less than 24 hours had passed between the time I contacted him for the original interview and the time we did the interview.

There were a few moments where he answered my questions with a question back at me and I found it difficult to maintain my naive phenomenological bracketed participant role, and felt the need to share with him on a different level than I had with the other participants. He was clearly engaged with many of the same people I am in the edtech social media space, and I think that altered the dynamic of the interview, both good and bad. I felt I needed to be honest with him about my perspective in order for him to get to the level of depth that I was looking for, yet maintain some distance. I don’t want to say it was an uncomfortable dance because that sounds more pejorative than the conversation was. But it was awkward, and I felt like i couldn’t really think on my feet well enough. I had too many conflicting thoughts in my head – be straight with him, tell him just a little, tell him nothing. In the end, I fear I may have erred on the side of sharing too much of my own perspective on the research question with him, but by doing that was able to get him to open up and perhaps engage with me at a different level – a fairly deep level that I don’t think a fully naive researcher could have done.

I am very grateful for this interview. It has lightened my fear from the last post that what I am getting at is nothing more than a well articulated blog post. It really hit upon some interesting points with regards to the role that Twitter plays in Personal Learning Networks. I think I want this to be the first interview I transcribe as it contains, perhaps, some of the richest material so far.

But that dance of presenting myself as a naive participant and leveraging my own experiences was very difficult during this interview. But I am grateful to have danced it.


From → Thesis Research

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