1. Taking the project seriously. I had many problems looking at my outline and deciding that, “Hey, this is a great and very scholastic project that is worthy of everyone’s full attention.” It’s LiveJournal, for heaven’s sake. The internet is not the serious business that it is sometimes presented as. Therefore, sitting down and getting to work seemed utterly pointless, as any information I managed to pull would be marred by the fact that it was posted to an electronic journal service that is full of young people who are just finding their internet legs. Its also very easy to get sidetracked on LiveJournal, and easily outraged as well. After looking around, I had my fill of information and needed to get away from it. In fact, for this project, I could not even bring myself to look at rating or pro-ed communities. I’ve had my fill.
2. Sources. Most of the information presented here has been my observations of LiveJournal as a whole in my three years of constant usage and on and off for about five. Therefore, a lot of the topic articles were written from memory. In some cases, I have listed other sources of information that can be used as backup for what I have said. However, I am not sure if I should fully credit them when I knew this information already. I want to avoid plagiarism if at all possible, and frankly I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that. But I also want people to know that I haven’t made anything up in the course of this paper, and the best way to do that is to back the info up with other sources.
3. Retaining an authoritative voice. Once again, this paper is mostly based on my own experiences, and because it’s Livejournal, the informal language and first person references are hard for me to avoid.
4. Distribution. In my original proposal, I said that I wanted to get as many people as involved in my work as possible. However, I was so embarrassed with the topic and unsure of my devotion to it that I did not advertise it to anyone else on LiveJournal. Therefore the original idea of having other women involved was aborted.
5. Once again, I must reiterate that I am not taking myself too seriously with this project. It’s the internet, and a part of pop culture. I am not some amazing sociologist who has embedded herself in an isolated society, I am an English major with a Women’s Studies project due who wants to talk about something that I think I know pretty well.
And, even if you can’t take my project seriously, it is something to think about. We are now in the computer age and the internet is becoming easier and easier to access in this country all the time. Even if it doesn’t seem like big deal now, it could become one. Think about how much information has been gathered, and how many studies have been done, on the dynamics of girls in high school or the depiction of women in popular media? This is a venue that allows wide spectrum advertising, spread of opinions and opportunities to communicate with people that you might not have met without this tool. LiveJournal is just one site that needs to be looked at. In the coming years, the internet may still be a joke to some, but its usage has very important impact on women’s studies.