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Bachelor – Mediedesign NTNU Gjøvik

Min bachelor i mediedesign ved NTNU Gjøvik.


KOLUMNETITTEL Objektiv MK1 Regular 6 pkt Journal of Technical Writing and Communication Vol. 45 No. 1 2015 FOTNOTE Objektiv MK1 Lght 7/9 pkt (1) As of September 2010 this number was over 16,000. (2) Continuous glucose monitoring. (1) members of Tu Diabetes shows a recurring pattern in the answer to the questions «How did you find out about us? What were you searching for?» While many of the newest members mentioned a specific search for the organization because of a segment on the television program The View, other members indicated that they were looking for general information on the disease. Just a few such answers include: occlusion, searching for Thiamine and Diabetes, and just surfing the web for issues of diabetes, googled cgm(2). This pause raises a question: If the people were searching for information about the disease, what makes them stop long enough to become and remain a member of this community? From the answers in members’ profiles about what they expect from Tu Diabetes, there seems to be a shift in what people expect from what they were initially searching for when they came across the site; along with information, members of Tu Diabetes expect what several members describe as «fellowship.» While such extended pauses may indicate members trust the site as an information source and a support system, more interestingly these pause scan give insight into the values of this particular community. This article provides the results and analysis of a study using ethnographic methods to examine the texts posted by members of Tu Diabetes and fantasy theme analysis to analyze these texts in order to discern the values held by this community. After placing the role of community, and online community, in the context of current diabetes care models, the article describes the Tu Diabetes site and membership and discusses four discussion threads that appeared on the site during the 2-week study period: March 16 th to March 30, 2009. In studying the values of a group not «activated» by the healthcare community but by patients themselves, I hope to provide a better understanding of the Tu Diabetes community and other diabetes-related online sites outside of the context of the healthcare community. With over 24 million Americans living with diabetes and the estimated cost of treatment topping $174 billion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007), this understanding could play parole in the decision-making process of health communicators as they consider how to reach out to populations living with diabetes. Researching In Online Social networking Health Spaces Early work into online communities focused on various issues. Sherry Turkle’s Life on the Screen (1995), for example, examined the way people interacted in muds and role-playing games on the SIDETALL Objektiv MK1 Regular 6 pkt 16 34 MARLENE ANGELICA SJONSTI-BJØRNSEN BACHELOR MEDIEDESIGN NTNU I GJØVIK

Journal of Technical Writing and Communication Vol. 45 No. 1 2015 Such studies are rife with paternalistic language. Winkelman and Choo’s (2003) study, for example, suggests that provider-sponsored virtual communities for patients with chronic illnesses may socialize them into communities of practice that encourage knowledgeable patients to become knowledge workers in that particular community. Lester, Prady, Finegan, and Hoch (2004) expressed «surprise» at finding «That thousands of patients and their caregivers had already created an impressive variety of online health resources.» Because of the growing interest in «partnerships» with peer-to-peer communities, a community that is currently unmoderated by any medical entities provides a pristine environment of sorts to study what the processes of true peer-to-peer interaction, education, and social support are. Methods Internet research is still being defined as a method (Hine, 2008) and some advocate for an evolving approach to studying this particular field site: «The hyperlinked, co-produced and evolving characteristics of the web necessitate reconsideration of traditional research methods, and the development of new ones» (Schneider & Foot, 2005, p. 157). Within the field of technical communication, Gurak and Silker (1997) note that ethnography, rhetorical analysis, and surveys may be useful methods for technical communicators to study computer-mediated interactions. The research for this study follows this call combining ethnographic field methods for data collection and fantasy theme analysis, a type of rhetorical analysis, to analyze this data. Upon receiving IRB approval, a total of 3,158 text-based messages posted on the Introduction forum and Type 2 forum of the Tu Diabetes website between March 16 th and March 30, 2009, were collected and analyzed. E-mail interviews also were conducted with the site organizer, Manny Hernandez, and three active members of the site. As Moran (2002) notes in his fantasy theme analysis of historical documents of the first English commercial report of North America, this type of analysis has been little explored in technical communication (Moran, 2002). And while researchers have used other types of narrative analysis on research into online health communities specifically (Barton, 2008, for an example), there is not an extensive body of work that employs fantasy theme analysis (see McCabe, 2009, for an example). This form of rhetorical analysis, however, provides a method that TITTELNIVÅ 2 Objektiv MK1 Regular 9/12,5 pkt 18 THE JOURNAL OF TECHNICAL WRITING AND COMMUNICATION TIDSSKRIFT 35

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