Reports and Zines and Blogs: Oh My!

In my previous post I explored the benefits of using the autoethnographic approach to my research. The critical benefit is that I am able to vividly, and more accurately, convey a woman’s experience online as I am able to intersperse my own voice amongst the research. In light of this, it seems fitting to present my work in a way that matches the vivacity of autoethnography.

My strength lies in writing. Considering this, when I began my research I leant strongly towards writing a research report – something that was familiar and comfortable. But as I have developed my project and looked further into autoethnogaphy, I have realised that this is perhaps not the best outlet for my research. A research report would be plain, boring and limited – three things that are the opposite of my research and its method.

While still focusing on playing to my strengths, my mind moved to zines. Zines offer the comfort of writing but also combine it with creativity and personality. Dajska describes designing a zine as an opportunity to be the writer, editor, designer and publisher of your own obsession (2012).  In my view, creating a zine is an opportunity to create a piece of material that is all about the author and their interests, which is fitting for research focused on autoethnography.

However, I was unable to find an online zine creator that I was satisfied with. Many offered little flexibility with layout, and because of this came off as basic and unprofessional. Making a zine was about personality, and having to fit into a certain layout with certain colours and fonts did not seem to live up to this.

I decided to move away from the zine idea. Again, my mind turned to a research report. But I remained adamant that I wanted a creative outlet with flexibility. And then it hit me. Why not a blog? Blood describes every blog as both having an impassioned author and as a reflection of the authors individuality (2002).

A blog would offer me the comfort of writing and of a familiar format, while also allowing me to create something more interesting than a simple word document. Of course, flexibility is a problem. Without paying for privileges, I am limited to choosing a pre-prepared layout but most still have a more professional finish than the magazine builders I’ve found.

Most importantly, by creating a blog I would be building an environment that I can build on past the due date of this assignment. I have enjoyed researching Reddit’s community and its perception of women, and I would like to continue researching it in the future.

Reference List

Blood, R 2002, ‘The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintain Your Blog’, Basic Books

Dajska, E 2012, ‘How to Make a Zine’, Rookie Mag, 1 May, viewed 13/10/14, <http://www.rookiemag.com/2012/05/how-to-make-a-zine/&gt;

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3 comments

  1. Interesting analysis of your available options! Keep in mind that all successful produced media has a deliberately standardised and appropriate voice, so if you focus on continuously articulating your ideas in a style you believe is relevant to your readership, then the actual format becomes far less important. Professional production involves many specialised individuals, so if you acknowledge your focus on written aspects, I believe your work will succeed regardless of how you chose to display it. If you can’t perfect the visuals of your work, then autoethnographically reflect on this with the skill set you have available rather than agonising over aesthetics that will hopefully become irrelevant as your readers absorb themselves in your textual work.

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  2. You’ve really gone in depth when considering what format you want to use for your digital artefact, it’s a shame there don’t appear to be any good online zine creators because that would’ve been a really interesting format to use. It’s also great to see that you’ve thought about the future of the blog past the due date of this assignment, shows a real interest in the topic you’ve chosen for your study. Having an interested in the topic makes it hard and easy; it’s fun for you to research because you enjoy it but hard because more pressure to exceed.

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  3. It seems you have really put some thought into what format you have chosen to use for your digital artefact, and consequently I think your choice seems to be reflective of both your preferences and your research. Also interestingly, because you have focused on women and a feminist topic, a zine would be the perfect fit having been one of the first kind of zines around, however you could say that blogs have become the new outlet for this kind of topic and your choice of it also sits well with your topic.

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