These past two weeks, I’ve immersed myself in literature about building trust and the role of social capital in disaster preparedness. I found some really useful articles that helped me refine my methodologies to produce clearer results. Through Porter et al. (2008)’s analysis of building trust in firm-sponsored virtual communities, I was able to split my trust-building criteria into benevolence, integrity, and judgement, which clarifies what I was looking for. They also mention that quality content, embeddedness, and interaction plays into building online trust, which fits in well with the survey questions I distributed. This was really helpful in justifying my methods as well as providing me with more guidance.
In an article by Aldrich and Meyer (2015) about social capital, I found useful terms and references about social capital that will also help me further dissect my results. They bring up the concept of community currency which could be useful in justifying why meeting in person is helpful. They present literature about the helpfulness of moderator-led discussions of topics, which reminded me of the recommendation posts that people very readily comment on. They also bring up bridging and bonding social capital, which I had read about before, but now that I’ve already finished my methods it makes much more sense to me. It’s basically a literature review on relevant topics to my thesis, so although it was helpful it also elongated my reading list quite substantially.
Overall, it’s been really refreshing to be able to fine-tune things (finally!). The 5 page thesis was somewhat unsatisfying for me because it forced me to cut things out and brush over them when all I really wanted to do was learn more about them. This week has been much more helpful in that regard. The readings I did combined with the feedback from AnaCapri and Liz allowed me to really nail down my introduction. It also helped me with organizing my methods and results, because I found a study that was incredibly similar to mine (they analyzed posts and distributed a survey) so I was able to create some tables to clarify my methods.
The past two weeks I’ve also thought about and discussed with Liz options for my alternative outcome. I was getting stuck on the generalizability of my research, since it’s just in Collins View and Collins View is so specific, so I didn’t feel comfortable giving advice to people based off of my findings. It was hard to think of something then, because alternative outcomes seem to be instrumental. Liz pointed out that it could also be descriptive, or just be another way to display my findings. I suggested creating an infographic, and she suggested creating a kind of manual for NET teams to identify trusted neighborhood leaders. I’m thinking of making an infographic to distribute to NET teams, but that idea may still evolve.