My colleague Dr Eve Forrest and I are currently undertaking a small study into the practices of the members of the online photography community Blipfoto. Last Thursday we met colleagues at Blipfoto’s Edinburgh office to confirm details for two focus group meetings of Blipfoto members (“blippers”). These will take place in Edinburgh next week on Thursday 6th February, with one in the afternoon, and the other in the early evening. (It is anticipated that some members may like to continue the conversation afterwards, so these meetings may well transform afterwards into mini-blipmeets.)
The main purpose of the focus groups is to discover more about the “routes and routines” of blippers. We’re interested in hearing how they visit the site, and how they interact with the photo journals of others. We also hope to find out about the general photographic habits of members to see how the site fits into their wider photographic life. These themes relate to topics that Eve investigated in her PhD on everyday photography practices, which she completed in 2012. My own interest in this work aligns with the broad topic of information sharing in online environments, and the social motivations for such activity.
The findings from the focus groups will contribute to the writing of a paper to be presented at Helsinki Photomedia Conference in March. Blipfoto is a unique place in the vast world of online photography and attracts an international following. We’re hoping that the experiences of the local blippers will speak to others in the wider audience at the Helsinki conference.
There are still some places available at the focus groups in Edinburgh on Thursday 6th February 2014. If you a blipper within easy reach of Edinburgh and are interested in taking part, we’d love to welcome you to one of these special blipmeets. Please contact Eve by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know that you would like to join us at one of the sessions. Each will last about 90 minutes.
Blipfoto members can find further information about the research on the Blipfoto forum pages (under Blipfoto meet-ups and Blipfoto chat). Our work also features as the second story in last week’s Blipfoto blog.