Blogademia
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
 
Don't you just hate people who don't update their blogs.

I shouldn't say that though. I've had a number of people respond to the "How do you define a blog" question by saying they don't like the word blog. Interesting.

Anyway, as could be expected, interest in my experiment has waned fairly quickly. I've yet to have a day of zero hits on the experiment page, but we are clearly down in the single figures. Yet still the results are coming in. Only 1 or 2 a day, but it's still something.

So what now. Well, with respect to my blog work, data analysis comes next. The first stage of this is to decide on a coding scheme for my data. Apparently this is quite important, because I don't want, at a later stage in the project, to have to come back and recode everything to include something that I didn't think about before. This is going to be tricky.

This is made even trickier by the various formats my data is in. Ignoring the fact that I have text files, Word files, and even XML files, just the different styles of HTML is going to be a bother. I should be able to process the markers though, using a Perl. Why Perl as opposed to Python? because as i told my supervisor, I've never even heard of python. I don't even know if python is what he mentioned, but i'm sure it began with a P. Anyway, I can use Perl to process text, so I shall do that.

The most important data is the text. The entries. The journal logs. However, text can be littered with non-textual elements. HTML code for italicising, for including pictures, links, etc. People also quote things. A lot. How, using simple text processing can I automatically NOT include any songs/poems etc in the text written by the author? I a, seeing the potential for a lot of manual work. It will be worth it, so as not to include non-author penned text, but it's gonna be a pain.

But before any of that comes some writing. It's six weeks till i offcially start my third year, so we have decided that I should use that time to catch up with all the writing I should probably already have done by now. So I have a number of things to write up:

1) Stylistics. This is straightforward (hah!) literature review writing.

2) Write up the work I did with a smaller corpus at the beginning of the year.

3) Write up everything I know about, and have done with blogs so far. This part maybe tricky, because there aren't many books I can really reference. A lot of what is written about blogs is written online, often in blogs. If anybody knows of anything useful about blogs that I can check out, please let me know. Thanks.

While i am writing this i shall be thinking about my coding and what have you. I shall keep you posted on all the exciting developments.

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