I admit it has been awhile since I've posted anything, but I've been overwhelmed with various projects lately. I've recently returned from a month of fieldwork in Ethiopia followed by multiple speaking engagements in Canada and the US. Here are updates on some recent activities and hopefully I can soon return to writing.
Over at the Fulcrum blog you can read my recent article on how to use mobile applications for qualitative data collection. Too often social scientists dismiss the capability of mobile applications for ethnographic research, citing that mobile devices create barriers between the researcher and the research subject. Also there is an assumption that mobile data collection requires rigid planning that is not suited for qualitative research. In the article, I break down these assumption by explaining a step-by-step methodology to fully engage the phenomenological elements of social research while leveraging the advantage of spatial data.
I recently presented some ongoing research at the workshop "Making Sense of Syria" at the School of Visual Arts, MFA Interaction Design. In this workshop we have been looking at the wonderful work by Nate Rosenblum on Syria street-level data collection, the data compiled by the Syria Conflict Monitor, and the Carter Center. At present, various working groups are assembling new tools based on these data sets. I'm teamed up with Matthew Brigante, a MFA IX student and look forward to announcing our project in the near future.
My research and design company, Sutika Sipus, has also launched a new website at sutikasipus.com. All of my consulting and research work is now conducted through the company. I'm very lucky to have an extraordinary team of specialists around the world.
I've been deeply saddened, moved, and completely unsurprised by the escalating attacks in Afghanistan. I do not believe these recent attacks will do anything to destabilize the elections, although they are an obvious effort to do so. Having lived in Kabul for nearly 3 years, these problems have become very personal, and I am deeply concerned about those who must daily face them. It is difficult to describe the stress that comes from living in such a place, although a friend of mine caught a recent attack on video. While you watch this, imagine trying to fall asleep during or after such an incident.