PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

ommarshucl
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:25 pm UTC

PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby ommarshucl » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:37 pm UTC

Hello,

I am a current PhD student doing research into online conversations about science, and I've been studying the Science subforum as one of my case-studies. As part of my study I'd like to compare the Science subforum to other subforums on xkcd. This would basically involve putting lots of text from other subforums through some automatic software which creates topic clusters (by working out which words frequently occur close together), and also reading some conversations to see if the themes I've found for the Science subforums apply to other forums too.

The key point is that I would not refer to any specific incidents or conversations on any subforums outside Science. I'm also only using publically available information and avoiding safespaces. Nonetheless I wanted to check if any of you would be uncomfortable with this and you'd like me to exclude your posts or comments - if so please do let me know. In case of interest more information about my study can be found at ucl.ac.uk/sts/students/marsh, in particular the 'what I am doing' and 'get involved' sections, and an earlier discussion about my project can be found here viewtopic.php?f=18&t=111904 .

Also, I was wondering if any of you would be willing to talk about your experiences of using this forum? I am interested in hearing about all sorts of use, from lurking to regular posting. This could be carried out through any medium you would prefer. Equally if any of you have experience using any other form of publicly available science-focussed online discussion group - barring blogs, they're not included in my research for various reasons - I'd be very interested to hear about that.

I am happy to chat further or answer questions, so please do comment below, or email me at oliver.marsh.13[at]ucl.ac.uk, or PM me.

Oliver

User avatar
doogly
Dr. The Juggernaut of Touching Himself
Posts: 5448
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:31 am UTC
Location: Lexington, MA
Contact:

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby doogly » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:31 pm UTC

Sure, more than happy to.
LE4dGOLEM: What's a Doug?
Noc: A larval Doogly. They grow the tail and stinger upon reaching adulthood.

Keep waggling your butt brows Brothers.
Or; Is that your eye butthairs?

User avatar
Dthen
Still hasn't told us what comes after D
Posts: 553
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:35 pm UTC
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby Dthen » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:37 am UTC

I'd be happy to answer any questions to may have. I can't promise that my answers will be useful, just that I will (eventually) answer.
Dthen wrote:I AM NOT A CAT.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:09 pm UTC

Yup.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

ommarshucl
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:25 pm UTC

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby ommarshucl » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:08 pm UTC

Thanks v much folks, expect some messages soon.

User avatar
Jumble
Posts: 1184
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:48 am UTC
Location: London(ish), UK.
Contact:

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby Jumble » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:12 pm UTC

Count me in.
Spoiler:
Giant Speck wrote:You're a demon! DEMON!!!!

Oregonaut wrote:CURSE YOU VILLAIN!!
PhoenixEnigma wrote:Jumble is either the best or worst Santa ever, and I can't figure out which. Possibly both.

User avatar
Diemo
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:43 pm UTC

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby Diemo » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:21 am UTC

Im also happy to answer any questions you have
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
--Douglas Adams

User avatar
Jorpho
Posts: 6212
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:31 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby Jorpho » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:30 pm UTC

I'm not the only one with the impression that things have kind of stagnated here compared to several years ago, am I? Possibly due to the disappearance of the Forum link from the main xkcd page? This is surely a factor of considerable import.

User avatar
Sungura
When life gives you banananas, make bananana bread
Posts: 3816
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:32 am UTC
Location: AL

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby Sungura » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:05 am UTC

Id be happy to answer questions. Been a long time member and changed a LOT - for the better - thanks to this place. Pm me and id prefer email.
"Would you rather fight a Sungura-sized spider or 1000 spider-sized Sunguras?" -Zarq
she/<any gender neutral>/snug

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:55 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:I'm not the only one with the impression that things have kind of stagnated here compared to several years ago, am I? Possibly due to the disappearance of the Forum link from the main xkcd page? This is surely a factor of considerable import.

I feel like there are fewer general posters, and obviously some people have left, but there are still a lot of names I've recognized for years.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

ommarshucl
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:25 pm UTC

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby ommarshucl » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:09 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:I'm not the only one with the impression that things have kind of stagnated here compared to several years ago, am I? Possibly due to the disappearance of the Forum link from the main xkcd page? This is surely a factor of considerable import.


Somewhat unsurprisingly I'd be interested to hear more about that - do you mean in terms of numbers of users, frequency of posting, input of new people, something else? (I only started looking at this forum last year, so have no opinion on this myself).

User avatar
doogly
Dr. The Juggernaut of Touching Himself
Posts: 5448
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:31 am UTC
Location: Lexington, MA
Contact:

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby doogly » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:14 pm UTC

All of the above.
LE4dGOLEM: What's a Doug?
Noc: A larval Doogly. They grow the tail and stinger upon reaching adulthood.

Keep waggling your butt brows Brothers.
Or; Is that your eye butthairs?

User avatar
Deva
Has suggestions for the murderers out there.
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:18 am UTC

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby Deva » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:39 pm UTC

Suggests looking at this. Explains itself somewhat poorly. Presumes "reads" to refer to unique views and "writes" to number of posts. Cannot guess y-axis's units. Finds it interesting, nevertheless.
All Time Read.png
All Time Read.png (6.64 KiB) Viewed 8736 times

All Time Writes.png
All Time Writes.png (6.79 KiB) Viewed 8736 times


Spiked with Time's release.

Edit: Questions its accuracy, though. Looked up newer members. Listed incomplete information. May only collect data periodically.
Changes its form depending on the observer.

ommarshucl
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:25 pm UTC

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby ommarshucl » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:22 pm UTC

@Deva - thanks for the above, I share your concerns but perhaps I'll be able to triangulate it with other sources later.

ommarshucl
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:25 pm UTC

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby ommarshucl » Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:24 pm UTC

Hi folks,

Just a note to say many thanks to the people who I've been talking to already, starting on my final stretch of data analysis now and they're proving really useful. But if anyone would still be keen to talk to me about their experiences on the forum, I'd be very keen to hear them - more interviewees and more interviews always welcome!

ommarshucl
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:25 pm UTC

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby ommarshucl » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:06 pm UTC

Hi all: very delayed update, I submitted and had viva in October, passed with minor corrections (British system, viva =/= completion...). I should have the corrections finished by mid-January, and then I'll make the thesis available to those who'd be interested in reading it. In the meantime huge thanks to everyone who offered help with it, and hope everyone is well!

ommarshucl
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:25 pm UTC

Re: PhD Study of xkcd Forum

Postby ommarshucl » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:47 pm UTC

Hi everyone,

I’m pleased to tell you my thesis is now available here. Apologies for the delay, a combination of life admin my end and university admin at UCL’s end.

I’m also working on a blog post which summarises the thesis, and I’ll post that when I’ve managed to complete it.

The thesis is very much a start point, not an end point – I’ll be working some bits into journal articles, and hopefully carrying the key themes through to future projects. So if you do have any thoughts that I could take up going forward, or more experiences to share which might add to the material in the thesis, I’d be very keen to hear them.

Thanks very much again for all those who feature in it. By the standards of many PhDs, I had a great time collecting the data.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 15 guests