December 14, 2008

In Press

That says it all. Time for holidays :)

Posted by hrantavu at 07:25 PM

November 19, 2008

Revision nearly over

I've once again confirmed to myself that I can only finish written pieces through a stage of rush and related agony.

I started revising the text in September by reading it through, marking corrections, searching for literature. Nice, calm things. In October, I have to say for my defence, I was swamped at the office, and progressed slowly. November, deadline conscious, said no to all engagements and spent all my free time hunched over my laptop. Introductory chapter first, that was still fun and interesting. Next, one of the chapters, started to feel high-strung already, and finally the conclusions on a night shift, in a state of panic. And corrections of bits and pieces of chapters here and there. (I'm not supposed to revise anything else but what the pre-examiners pointed at, but I'm glad they made both specific and broad comments so I've been quite free to do the revisions in a way wanted to make them.)

Now I'm ready to send the latest version to be checked for language. Not a nice job. My nightly sentences can be incomprehensible and easily expand over four lines. But my sister told me that according to the authors of all great theses they have been written in the nighttime - there's that touch of passionate scientist (or martyr glamour) that I can claim now as well. Good or not, that's where the final opponent has his say next February in the public defense.

Posted by hrantavu at 06:34 AM

September 01, 2008

Pre-examination is over

After 5 months from the start of the pre-examination, the other statement arrived. Now it's time to roll my sleeves and finish the thesis by making the most out of weekends. Rewriting, adding, and explicating; language check; lay-out with a graphic designer; printing; only then it's time for the public defense. Far away, it seems. But it's surprisingly ok to return to reading the text after a 6-month break.

Posted by hrantavu at 09:52 PM

June 10, 2008

Pre-examination continues

In Finland, two pre-examiners are nominated for a thesis. They can be from Finland or abroad. My Finnish pre-examiner submitted his statement last week, on the last days of the 3 months that the pre-examiners are suggested they use for examining. The statement presented good, precise, and constructive criticism, and most importantly, showed the green light for proceeding to publish the book and defend the thesis in the final public examination (or, as it's called, defense, with a yet another opponent.) The other statement, from Britain, however, is still pending, so let's see how far the process will be delayed. University organs have their say in all of this and they only hold their next meeting in the autumn. I kind of mind and kind of don't, as I've just started in my new job at Nokia, Espoo headquarters, developing online methods for user research. I'm pretty happy about it :) But please keep your fingers crossed for the statement to arrive - I'm so ready to put an end to the thesis work which once again feels like a neverending story.
Posted by hrantavu at 03:49 AM

March 09, 2008

Käsikirjoitus esitarkastuksessa - Thesis in pre-examination

Hurray! I submitted my thesis manuscript Connecting photos: A qualitative study of cameraphone photo use for pre-examination on March 4th. I hope to receive comments by the end of May.

It's about time I gave a summary. A very short one without the jargon. The thesis is a cultural study of cameraphone photo use. I interviewed sixteen Finnish cameraphone users of 17-53 years of age and examined what they thought of cameraphones, cameraphone photos, and using them as part of their other photographic and communicative practices. I did not study what was in the photos, but approached them as data files, tracking their use.

I found that using cameraphone photos became defined as something else but domestic photography, although some conventions of domestic photography persisted. I also found that people used their photos not only on the phones but also on computers and the internet. It was not only significant which photos were shared with whom, but particular groups also gathered around particular communication applications (instead of everyone using the same, freely available channels from picture messaging to instant messaging.) However, the technical side of using photos was not unproblematic for everyone. Transferring photos brought up questions of gender related to digital domestic photography and ICT use.

Based on the results, my thesis concludes that people's digital media use should not be understood only through focusing on individual devices (as has been customary in cameraphone research, for example), but also through examining how people use their media content: how the content is made meaningful side by side to other media contents; how the files are circulated and used across devices; and what technical, social, and cultural issues facilitate or complicate the circulation and use.

Once the thesis is published (most likely autumn 2008), it will be freely available in the internet, and I'll include a full academic abstract here soon.

Posted by hrantavu at 09:29 PM

February 01, 2008

Kalkkiviivoilla - last stretch


I've been telling everyone for the past three months that I'm almost done with my thesis in order to make it reality. I suppose I am almost there, but there is still a heap of sand to shovel within a month.

Anyway, we were chatting the other day at lunch with Petri and Mariana
about our blogs and I said I never really knew what I should or could write about. As you've noticed. Sorry. But I got inspired enough by the discussion that I now think there may be a brighter future ahead after the thesis work, which this blog has tried to keep track of, eases up. I've been thinking of starting to follow discussions as well as my own thoughs on the topic "international" or "becoming international" or "making" something international. Or maybe I'll pick an area in visual culture. Or start a cooking blog. As you can see, I'm getting pretty excited about submitting the manuscript (way prematurely) and there's no knowing of where my energies and attention will turn after. Who knows, maybe I'll just eat and enjoy and travel and meet people and keep away from the keyboard.

Posted by hrantavu at 01:43 PM

December 20, 2007

Almost there


The first full draft is there - what a relief. From now on it's filling in, revising, sharpening, rather than full blast writing. Been enjoying the normal daily routine again and making preparations for Christmas, with the thought at the back of my mind that after, it's hard work again. Finishing seems like a far-away point in time - I'll believe when I see it. Meanwhile, waiting for the snow to fall. Haven't tried out my new skis yet - the little snow that we had last spring melted the day after I bought them.

Posted by hrantavu at 11:39 AM