The road to completing an innovative, accessible, creative, non-linear, living, multi-media, searchable, web-based, data-collecting exploration and partial simulation of a research journey has not been an easy one and the very nature of the presentation has conspired against me on numerous occasions. I knew from the beginning that I could not make an evocative story without the images or the music and the only way I could think of to keep these two vital aspects within the text was using an html based document. In addition, the fairly short exploratory texts the research process was generating leant themselves to on-screen reading. I knew my skills with web design and coding were insufficient to produce the document I envisioned, so I enlisted the aid of Phil Tyrer, who has turned that vision into a functioning reality via WordPress. Then came YARPP, the relationship builder plugin for WordPress, that re-defined my research process by exposing links within the document that I was unaware of, that assisted greatly in the building of the big picture that I struggle with. As the University's research faculty began to understand the intention, and that the media elements were not simply appendices to the text, or examples to be analysed, I began to find great support for the concept.
But then there is the strangely absurd system that says on the one hand "be innovative, find new knowledge and new insight" and on the other "we can't deal with anything new". Things like submitting a document that is not printed on paper, can not be housed on a library shelf, thats most exciting functions are crippled by the "freezing" process of burning to a CD. The dissertation must be submitted as a pdf document to the Australian Digital Thesis. This is perhaps the greatest irony of all - to enable the web-based distribution of the document, it should be removed from the web and turned into a print document!
There have been many times I have felt like getting into a major rant and writing inappropriate emails to all the wrong people. At the time of writing it is still unclear how or where the final site will be hosted in perpetuity - digital data does last forever, but only if it can be found. On occasion someone will ask me why I'm doing this "the hard way". Why not just write some music and do an exegesis? Well it's all about "truth", people, being true to myself, true to an idea.
- How this web works: The submitted presentation is in a form that reflects my own inner experience as directly as possible, within the constraints of the University's submission guidelines.
- Thematic Analysis: Thematic analysis underpins the process of drawing insight from the narrative and media based data.
- A Living Document: The use of a web format that allows commentary creates a document that has the possibility of life after publication.
- Please don't ignore me ...: Video guide and instructions. How to get the best from the site
- Un-words and art-i-facts: Web-based, non-linear, no paper version, multimedia, reflective of thought process ... These are concepts guaranteed to raise questions in the hearts of university bureaucracies.
- I'm alright ...: Asperger's can be quite successfully "hidden" from the world at large through the development of coping strategies. There is a cost however...
- Dear Reader - the Black Pages: The "Black pages" offer evocation, narrative, creative non-fiction, and inner truth.