Lincoln Park: Allegorizing the Ruins
As I continued collecting data, temperatures dropped. While I could easily enough snap pictures to keep my fingers warm, especially since I was at this point walking everywhere I went, I had fewer people who were willing to participate in my interview process. Rather than receiving a polite “No thank you” as a response, I was now more often met with silent stares almost as cold as the temperatures. After hoping in vain for Mid-Western winter temperatures to reach above the teens for two weeks in a row, I turned to Social Media to continue my research. In addition to interviewing people in the real public spaces across Chicago, I opened my discussion into the virtual space Palfrey and Gasser (2003) identified as the “participatory culture” of the Internet (p. 129). While I uploaded images from both Jackson and Lincoln Parks, the majority of my responses were directed toward works in Lincoln Park.
This approach was highly effective, yielding over 11 interviewees in less than an hour and over 20 pages of transcript within a week, another enlightening factor in my research. Palfrey and Gasser (2003) noted the “democratizing effect of the Internet is a great thing on many levels” (p. 160). They stated Social Media is a medium most frequently used by those who were “Born digital,” identifying the “digital natives” as those “born after 1980” who “have access to networked digital technologies” (ibid, p. 1). With its democratizing effect, on-line space-based pedagogy may serve as an effective alternative to on-site place based pedagogy, as evidenced by the rapid, voluminous and “critical” comments I received.