So, I have collected all of the data that I am going to collect for my research site. I ended up only gathering the dates of posts for each category. This provided me with plenty of data to use, and also reflects even more accurately what kinds of things are important for Military Spouses. I did this by putting the tags in the top row of an Excel spreadsheet, and the dates in columns of the spreadsheet correlating to their specific tags. I also made note of some trends in the posts, or other various observations about the categories under which they fell.
As I went through the site, however, I soon discovered that there are some categories that are highly used, but not on the menu. Because they are so popular and often used, I decided to follow them and include them in my data. I’m happy that I did, because it provided me with 82 more points of data that are very important and I otherwise would not have had.
From here, I only really need to analyze and visualize my data. I plan on doing that in various ways to show the relation between different topics (through tags rather than through title) and their popularity (based on how many posts have been posted in that category since 1/1/15).
The biggest problem that I’ve had with the dual ideal of being a researcher as well as being a member of the community is that I really want to read through all of the posts. Because they all apply to me in some way, I really wish I didn’t have to look at particular things and was able to actually read through all of the posts. But, that would have me ending up with WAY too much data, and although that could be fun… I don’t think anyone wants to sort through it all. Otherwise, there has never been an issue for me in the posts themselves that causes that feeling of alienation.