Reflecting on data analysis – categorizing posts

By | March 6, 2017

In order to find it easier to identify ideal posts for themes, and to setup for the graphing of themes over time, I’ve listed all my posts in a spreadsheet and I’m listing which ones provide good examples of the key themes that emerged during my initial read through of my blog. Specifically, I’m identifying posts that represent (1) coping mechanisms, (2) sharing emotions, (3) negotiating identity, (4) negotiating new body image, (5) decision making, (6) sharing side effects, (7) Activism, (8) Goal setting and future thoughts, (9) Expressions of fear, (10) Cancer as opportunity, and (11) the medical process.

In addition to tagging, I’m also highlighting which posts are specifically useful for short stories or conference presentations. This is in preparation for the Health Humanities Conference, where I’m presenting later this week. I want to demonstrate some specific themes, but I only have 12 minutes to setup the stories, tell the stories, and summarize the presentation. This means that although I want to demonstrate as many as 6 themes, I only have time to share 3-4 blog posts (stories) that provide evidence of themes. The spreadsheet will help.

I do find it interesting how as I read certain posts become more alive than others. These are the posts that make the most sense for short conversations. They are the ones that speak to me with much stronger emotions than other posts. It isn’t necessarily that they are more emotional posts, just that they are posts that speak to the theme in a way that causes me to feel more emotion about them.

I have a lot of data. I’m probably going to do this theme analysis on the first 350 posts – this brings me to August 2015 – where my focus begins to change a little as I am diagnosed with celiac disease. I do feel a little like I could spend a lot of time doing analysis and write about 800 different papers based upon different angles. Fortunately, the conference presentations are helping me focus. The themes will also help me focus.

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