To write an online fieldwork diary is a challenge. Too many important questions are linked to it: Why doing it? How can I share knowledge from my ethnographic research in Amsterdam? Where are the limits of doing so in terms of anonymity that keeps my informants in a good feeling? For whom do I write this fieldwork diary – an anthropological method that usually is not shared and accountable by the public? What is a good way of representing findings, stories and ideas that came up during the research process? Should the diary only be text based or include other forms of representation like photographs, sound recordings and videos? If yes, how to connect this genres in an inspiring way? Having this questions in mind I manage my Amsterdam fieldwork diary with the philosophy of “work in (on-going) process”. That means representations could change continuously.
So, why this online version of a fieldwork diary?
First, it is a way to share knowledge with my local research partners and informants. My aim is to invite them to discuss my fieldwork notes, thick descriptions and other aspects related to my Amsterdam case study. Let me also say some words about “language”. There is a reason why I have chosen English – which is sometimes a barrier; for my informants as well as for myself. It is always more convenient to talk and write in one’s own language. But it is the only possibility to have a smooth working language. Another point concerns anonymity. As long as the actors I am working with do not explicitly agree to share their names and places, I guarantee their right for anonymity. Finally, don’t hesitate giving me feedback. Feel free to comment, suggest or just read to see what is going on in my field study in Amsterdam. As you maybe have noticed I connect my usual blog content with social media platforms like Facebook. Concerning my fieldwork diary this will be not the case. Sure, on a blog it is public, but I want to have it in a space for its own. The only case I will use Facebook is to inform interested people that there are “news” in the fieldwork diary. But comments on my texts remain in this shell of my own Internet space.
See the philosophy of my fieldwork diary as a contribution to open source culture – which is about sharing knowledge!
Please note that the content presented here is raw material. Concerning my research question there is a very broad scope in the diary. That means that I grasp the most possible!
One last point! If you want to quote from my diary or link it to your networks please ask me before!