Category Archives: PhD completion progress

using index

Book index can be a great way to see what the author thinks about a specific subject. You can see the important theories, concepts, key authors…
Since I have no memory, bur still wants to quickly see what was really important in a book, I make little mind map of a concept.

For example with Al-Deen, H. S. N., & Hendricks, J. A. (2012). Social media : usage and impact. New York, NY: Lexington Books.

index of social media in (Al-Deen, 2012)

index of social media in (Al-Deen, 2012)

I have an image of this in my endnote, so if I need to refresh my memory, I can just look at it. It is also useful for the lit review. That book was centered around education, strategic communication and legal issues. So it’s not the place for me to look for information about social media and relationship maintenance. So 5minutes wasted doing the mindmap, can save me time later on when I have to go back and search in all of my references for something specific.

cluster analysis

I am writing the analysis section of my thesis. And I have to go back to the data. The other day and wanted to look at the coding in a different light, so I play around in Nvivo. I did a “nodes cluster by coding similarity”.

Cluster analysis is an exploratory technique that you can use to visualize patterns in your project by grouping sources or nodes that share similar words, similar attribute values, or are coded similarly by nodes. Cluster analysis diagrams provide a graphical representation of sources or nodes to make it easy to see similarities and differences. Sources or nodes in the cluster analysis diagram that appear close together are more similar than those that are far apart. A horizontal branching diagram where similar items are clustered together on the same branch and different items are further apart. Dendrograms can be useful for comparing pairs of items.

I discover that my 10 participants (they have a node as well) were paired with another nodes. And it describe in one word how they feel about online videos or how they use them. So, my coding is not too bad. Here is the list of the codes : aesthetic, nostalgia, mobility, concert, emotion, anchor, instructive, easiness, keyword, and pleasure. It just shows the range of reasons for sharing online videos.

I also take screen captures of the different things I do with Nvivo, keeping an archive of what I used and what I found to be useful. And this helps me thinks about the congruity between the methodology use, the  analysis, and the final writings. This is part of my strategy to be transparent in writing, to show where my conclusion is coming from. Because “transparency is necessary for accountability” (Bringer, 2004)




Bringer, J. D., Johnston, L. H., & Brackenridge, C. H. (2004). Maximizing Transparency in a Doctoral Thesis1: The Complexities of Writing About the Use of QSR*NVIVO Within a Grounded Theory Study. Qualitative Research, 4(2), 247-265.




Questions to ask yourself before writing an analysis chapter

As I was confused about (and procrastinating) what to do exactly in the analysis section of my thesis. After watching a 5 min video on the matter, I got inspired to write a blog post.

Here is the main point from the video that I turn into questions  :

  1. interpreting your findings, what does it mean?
  2. What is important?
  3. What are the majors themes the emerge from the data?
  4. What connection can you make with other findings? (Reintegrate your lit review)
  5. What’s your problematic? (Bring back the research question at the beginning of the chapter)
  6. What is the structure of your analysis? How are you going to organise all this? (This will help your reader to understand what you are trying to do here)
  7. what is your contribution? (bring something new to science)

I am going to go and answer those, I am sure it will help with the section of the thesis.

Different types of uses of copyrighted works in shared online videos.

Aufderheide and Jaszi (2008) compiled a list of 8 types of uses of copyrighted works in online videos.

 1)Parody and satire, 2) negative or critical commentary, 3) positive commentary, 4) quoting to trigger discussion, 5) illustration or example, 6) incidental use, 7) personal reportage or diaries, 8) Archiving of vulnerable or revealing materials, 9)pastiche or collage

In my PhD proposal, I said I could use this list to start my analysis on how and why people share online videos. I did not use it to start, but now looking back at the data from the interviews, several types are much the same.

Here are some examples from the interviews (since they were in French, I will translate the best quotes) : Online videos are shared on Facebook to comment on a political situation. Viewing video together with friend triggers discussion on new topics. Instead of trying to explain something complicated, one can simply show a video in order to illustrate a point. Creating and sharing online video have similarities, since they are both part of today culture.

“Online video making is part of a much larger process in which the people formerly known as audiences of mass media or consumers of popular culture are asserting themselves as participants in culture-making”.(Aufderheide, 2008, p.5). Sharing content on social network site is also part of culture-making.



Aufderheide, P., & Jaszi, P. (2008). Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video (p. 1-20): Center for Social Media.

sharing feelings

I realize that my participants used many different ways to express their feeling regarding online videos that they watched and shared. I am organizing them in groups :

Feeling Love (Affection, Love, Attraction, Desire, Craze, Excitation, Passion, Sympathy)
Feeling of joy (Fun, contentment, proud, happy, humor, pleasure, satisfaction, sensation)
Feelings of sadness (displeasure, insecure, loneliness, giving up,discouragement)
Feelings of anger( hatred, aversion, frustration, disgust, contempt, aggressiveness, anger)
sense of fear (panic, fear, concern)
Feelings of shame ( shame, insult, regret)

I used a list I found online to check if those specific feelings were express. This also made me read again the interviews with an eye for those emotions. And I got to use the text search query to explore the use, context and meaning of words expressing feelings.

The participants brought up their attitudes, feelings and behaviors to the stories they were telling me, creating a dynamic narration that is the result of an active interview (Holstein, 1995)

Below is an example of what I found and what I did not. The one in bold are the strong ones, The strikethrough are missing altogether, and the normal one where present but did not lead to anything.

Sentiments d’amour





















Holstein, J. A., & Gubrium, J. F. (1995). The Active Interview. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

illustrating coding

All kinds of metaphors can be used to describe how I make sense of my research process. In a nutshell, I did 30 interviews and use grounded theory approach to analyse them.  As I start rewriting my methodology section, I found this artist, Ursus Wehrli, who create visually stunning photos by deconstruction and reorganization all kinds of things. The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy  can also be a good way to explain what I am trying to do when I code my interviews.

I get a “now what?” after all the first coding is done. Everything is neat and tidy, but it still does not make sense by itself. The image above illustrates well where I am, looking at my reorganised bits of interview and think about the next step. To be continued




how to survive transcription

Some few tips and ideas to survive the transcription of interviews. All those step-up came little by little over time. Some I wish I used at the beginning of transcribing.

Hot keys for fast typing

Express scribe not only is free but it can be customized.

First you need to enable system-wide hot-keys (in the options). I step up to make it easy to reach while typing.

F1 : rewind

F2 : play

F3 : stop

F4 : fast forward

F9 : Play fast speed

F10 : Play slow speed

F11 : Play real speed

Track progress…minute by minute

 transcription 1

This is part of being organised. I am just too lazy to waste time looking for stuff or thinking about what is the next thing to be done. There are plenty of project management, task management, to do list out there. I use exclusively Task merlin for my PhD ( I will not go into how many apps I tried. A good way to find one that will fit your need try and use their “help with software”

Take note while transcribing


For this I use Onenote. docked OneNote window on the side of the screen while working in Word. I put ideas, images, definitions, links, questions. This gives a head start for data analysis. I imported all my transcription note in Nvivo as part of my memos. (

Since I typed a couple of words over and over, I used  a text expander for windows. The abbreviation is replaced immediately after it is typed. This help protect my sanity. Also, it works in any software, so I use it in Nvivo as well.