Sunday, March 21, 2010

Telling any story you want

I have flu. And I'm supposed to be flying to the ARF conference in New York very early tomorrow.

At 2am this morning, I woke up covered in sweat and shivering. While in this state I managed to reach for my iPhone, attach the headphones and begin YouTube-ing. I stumbled across a man called, Charlie Brooker. And above is just one many fantastic broadcasts.

Watch it and think hard. As ethnographic researchers, clients engage with us to benefit from a) our experience, b) our subjective point of view and c) our ability to apply learnings to their business. Subjectivity and intuition, however, is only acceptable if you have a full grasp of all of your material/data. My challenge to you is: how can you possibly have a complete grasp if you are working alone with your data? The story/themes/hypotheses, surely, begin to form in the field. And how you cut and dice your film is governed by your these formations in the field. In other words, you only look for material to support your themes. And the footage above illustrates how easily this can be done.

Is there a safety mechanism to stop this from happening? Yes. It's called collaboration. Or involving lots of different people with different agendas in your process.

If you like this clip, here is another, Charlie Brooker clip which I thing is fantastic.


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