I’m becoming increasingly interested in the “category” function of blogs. I’ve noticed that as this blog evolves I have had to keep adding categories, which in turn have helped point me in new directions for further research.
This has been particularly true in my Ph.D blog which at the moment is all about exploring the key terms of my research and finding an appropriate typology and framework.
The gradual emergence of key categories is a major tenet of grounded research methodology and in thinking about blogging as a research method it would be interesting to look at the connections between blogging and grounded research. The notion of a category in grounded theory method is much more rigorously produced than blog categories but I think there is certainly value in using some of the thinking about categoires that grounded theorists have done to help us understand better the function of categories in research and academic blogging.
Honoria Madelyn Starbuck for her disertation on internet correspondence art develops a model that links grounded theory research method with the artistic practice of collage. She writes:
In both grounded theory and collage techniques there are a number of things happening simultaneously. Pieces of the whole are moved around and put next to each other and moved away from each other to find their final relationship in terms of the composition.
Interestingly Blogger doesn’t seem to easily provide categories as part of its set-up and this is a major disadvantage of using this free system for student blogs.