Monday, November 15, 2010


I have to begin by saying that Hine’s piece confused the heck out of me. Maybe its because I am dizzy from writing so many papers, I’m not quite sure though. Nevertheless, here is my interpretation. Please clarify me if I’m wrong:
The Internet is a conduit for complex social interaction. Consequently, the meanings generated by this medium will be complex and hard to decode. In other words, like in any situation, the sender’s information will be interpreted by the receiver in a way that conforms to his or her own sense of reality, except the internet is not any situation. The internet is a sender-receiver situation multiplied by the tens of millions and with a global reach. How do we as social scientists begin to decode such messages? Where do we begin? What are our boundaries? I think Hine is right to suggest that the first step is to develop a “reflexive” methodology for defining our boundaries?????. Having fixed boundaries around such complex and interwoven “sites” (which transcend the offline-offline divide) would be too limiting. So I think the main point in Hine is that when defining the boundaries of online research, reflexivity is paramount??? Please help. 

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