Coding Data With Pinboards: My Pinterest Adventure

My Pinterest Page

Rhetoric scholar, Laurie Gries’ notion of “iconographic tracking,” a research method that “makes use of inventive digital research and traditional qualitative strategies to account for an image’s circulation, transformation, and consequentiality” helped me think about how pinboards within the site of study might help me track and keep visual messages that support my claims (and the observations of participants) that Pinterest circulates problematic and normalizing messages about femininity (334).  Like Blair and Almjeld who attempt to not only study online composing practices, but to examine how we might best go about practicing that study, Gries piece helped me understand that methods for data collection can be creative and innovative.  Instead of folders to “code” visual data, however – I will explore how the use of pinboards can help a technofeminist researcher code data within the geography and social network of her subject.  On my Pinterest page, I created pinboards to “re-pin” or organize and save images I found disempowering and empowering for women.  As I continued my research, I coded this data in more detailed ways, inventing new pinboards as I saw patterns emerge from both the visual pins and the participant feedback I gathered.

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