Monthly Archives: December 2014

Last one of the year

Last blog post of the year.

Things are great with my PhD research.  I have submitted my ethics application and hope to hear back in the new year.  It would be fantastic if I could get on with my data collection in the New Year.  I have formulated so many ideas about why revenge pornography attracts some people to exact revenge against an ex in that manner, and why others would want to participate in that form of revenge.  I really want to get going collect data and analyse it to see if any of my ideas match what is being said on the actual site.

I have also identified a new source of information, one that I did not previously consider.  I was sent a link to a Google forum where someone posted asking how to remove pictures of an ex they had posted to a revenge pornography website as they no longer wanted the images on the site and felt unhappy with their actions.  I had not considered the impact that posting material may have on the person who breaks trust with their ex.  I hope this will prove to be an interesting area of research, even if I am still trying to understand it.

I am currently reading ‘Hanging out in the virtual pub‘, which is proving to be an interesting read.  HP Lovecraft is on my fun reading list, and mainly read when my brain is so saturated with other stuff that I feel it will burst.  I will be taking a few days off over Christmas, I have some really great people I want to see and spend time with.  I will also be cleaning up my Endnote library and bringing my Nvivo project up to date.  I am also planning an ‘Adventure Time‘ weekend with my boys, where they will no doubt question my love of the Ice King and wonder why I want to be Marceline.

New Year’s Eve is my favourite part of the Christmas Holiday.  I love the pathos of saying goodbye to all that happened in the previous year while welcoming the beginning of the new year.  It is sad and yet simultaneously full of joyful anticipation.

Have a fantastic holiday and brilliant New Year.  Love to you all.


Evaluating the first year of my PhD

I am now in the second year of my PhD.  I have completed and had accepted my first year report and I am now moving into the next stage of my PhD, namely data collection.

My first year I seem to have spent doing a lot of reading and getting involved in other projects within the Web Science DTC.   I have been to Shenzhen in the Guangdong province in China, stopping off in Hong Kong on the way back.  I have been to LA.  Both trips were taken in order to work with the Web Observatory created at the University of Southampton.  I love the idea of the Web Observatory, from my point of view it will open up data sets to other researchers and hopefully research will be more robust as a result.  As a result of this work, my co-workers were happy to have a publication at the Web Science Conference in 2014.  I also worked with a fantastic group of people on what is commonly called legal highs but are more accurately named novel psychoactive substances (NPS).

My reading has been done in three phrases.  My first phrase, and it is amazing how much of it has not been used, was relating to power, relationships and intimacy.  My second phrase focused on pornography and theories relating to pornography.  The last phrase of my reading focused on online community, members of online communities, and social networking technologies.

Reading about pornography proved to be very interesting.  Pornography can be a tricky problem and I also found it to be so.  During this time I found myself wavering between different points of view regarding perspectives on pornography, censorship and female empowerment.  Pornography is always going to be subject to an individuals opinion.  For me, some pornography is good, some is terrible.  Some objectifies women, some does not.  I find I can apply similar opinions to literature, film and almost all types of media.  The main issue I have with pornography is with consent, and the importance of informed consent.  When pornography is produced, it needs to be done so with the full consent of the adults who will be displayed.   This obviously is very important in my research into revenge pornography websites.

I am now undergoing the ethics process in order to allow me to begin data collection.  I am very excited about this and cant wait to start looking at the data I collect.   I am also working on some other projects with the Web Science DTC, and this year I am especially looking forward to industry week.

Researching for a PhD can be incredibly stressful, but doing it is so rewarding.