12 November 2008

Lab rats

Many of you know that I am studying a set of texts produced by a particular set people on YouTube. I think there are maybe 7 people in my group now, and I suspect that will continue to grow. I was talking to my brother about it, and he had a vision of me, watching over these people in a maze, taking notes. Since then, I have been thinking about them as my rats, and how I need to check in on my rats every now and then. My rats do this, my rats do this. I am overly involved in the lives of my rats.

There is a careful distinction I am making now about participants in a study vs. texts in a study, and I think it is quite clear from what I have been reading that when one publishes something online, the text is a copyrighted text and under that protection. You should know, however, that fair use laws allow other people to do many, many different things with your text once you have published it online. To that end, I am not going to talk explicitly about what text I am studying so as not to spook the producers, although--given the nature of the discourse my rats are taking part in — I doubt they would be spooked. In fact, I think they would be happy to be watched.

A party tonight at a pub named after a Swan. It sounds intriguing to American ears, I know.