Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Penn State Launches Study of Episcopal Blogs

I was recently contacted by Niyati Kataria, a doctoral student at the Pennsylvania State University. She is doing research on Episcopal blogs for a project entitled "Qualitative Study of Episcopal Church Blogs." I don't think I'll say much more about the details of the project, for two reasons; first, unless you are part of the academic world, the explanation probably won't mean much to you (I'm not exactly sure what it's all about), and secondly, I think I might mess up the quality of the research if I say too much.

Niyati will be studying selected posts and comments here at Jake's place, and some of those materials may end up in her final paper. Consequently, she has asked me to post the following announcement:

Dear bloggers,

My name is Niyati Kataria and I’m conducting research for my graduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University. I would like to use data in the form of your blog posts and comments (posted from October 2004 to the most current entry) on this blog site for my research. The results of my study may be published and if and when this happens, the following measures will be taken to ensure your confidentiality:

1. This blog site name will be disguised. The site will be called by a pseudonym such as 'blog1'.

2. The usernames you use on this site will not be used to refer to your posts in my paper. Instead I will assign pseudonyms such as 'blogger 1, blogger 2' etc. to refer to the identity of the person who posted the blog that is selected to be included in the paper.

Despite the above measures, if you would like me to not use any particular posts posted by you, please let me know which posts you would like me to withdraw from the study by emailing me at nuk133 (at) psu (dot) edu. Please do so by 15 December 2007.

Additionally, if you would be interested in the results of the analysis of this paper, I would be happy to send you a copy of the same if you request it by writing to me at the above mentioned email address.
Thanks and best regards,
Niyati Kataria
I've given Niyati permission to use my name and the name of this site in her research.

So, there it is. We are doing our part to further higher education.

I had the opportunity to talk with Niyati for about an hour the other day. She is a delightful young lady, so everyone relax and be yourselves. If being quoted makes you nervous, I'd suggest you choose some new catchy nickname. Something with "eccentric" or "heretic" in it would seem appropriate.

I have no idea what sites are participating in this study. So far, the only other place I've seen this announcement is over at the Episcopal Majority. That's a fine place, run by a great group of people (hey, Lisa!), so we're in good company.

One final note on another matter; I had a good conversation with Harry today. The "Sail in the Wilderness" school project in Tanganyika is moving forward. We want to do this right, which means taking the time needed to properly set things in motion. The website will be back up within the next few days, and Harry will be giving us an update soon.


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