Skip to content

Internet anthropology, an early mind map

July 30, 2009

gviewStill playing with my new toy, Freemind mapping. I’ve now mapped some quick notes towards a JRAI review essay on recent anthropological studies of the Internet and put them up on Google Docs as a PDF. I would’ve normally done this by hand on a large sheet of  paper.

Do let me know what you think (no software salespeople, please!).

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Angels Trias i Valls permalink
    July 6, 2010 11:48 am


    Well, it made sense to me, although I do not know if that is because I use it too, and because I follow your concepts from my own personal interests. I really like your solution as PDF and Google docs, that would made it searchable very easily.

    What I liked about it is that it is easy to grasp all at once. My freemind maps tend to be less lateral, that is left and right, which is the solution you have used here. This maybe is because I also use prezi, which I find it better as a freemind solution (although sometimes I get headaches from the prezi zoom). I think you have a good solution for a clear map of your overview. What it may be interesting to do is to sub-branch references for different areas, which I do not know how well that would work if you go from left to right. What I mean is that, for example, the one that got my attention, are the ‘absences’. If you added some references to that, you would have a map that then moves from left back to right, collapsing at the middle.

    As I said in my earlier entry, because I use a phone application, rather than the desktop one, I do not know yet if this freemind allows for some expanding/collapsing. Mine does, but of course the PDF would limit the interactivity.

    A really good thing about it is that I actually can see your ideas well map out and just from here I could start discussing some of them with you, for example I would need to understand the connections a bit more, but I could agree on the absences up to a point(is it the case that there is a low women/gender divide? in the same area as web 2.0?). Basically, from what you have here I could ask you many questions. I think this would be GREAT when giving a paper, if we had it in advance, so people can then concentrate on the paper differently than it is traditionally done.

    John, why don’t we organise a conference where we use all these technologies together? doing different types of presentations to address anthropolgoy of media? I can open up some space, for free, at my institution in London! (I mean, free conference room, no conference fees), let me know…

  2. July 6, 2010 6:36 pm

    Hi Angels

    Thanks for all those interesting thoughts, plenty to mull over; I’ve noticed when giving presentations or teaching that mindmaps can work really well on a whiteboard but I don’t think I’ve ever tried them beyond that, and I still haven’t dipped into prezi but hope to do so soonish.

    Often when I’m working on a paper or a lecture I’ll quickly mindmap what I remember from my readings (plus any other thoughts that may spring up) and then go back to my notes and add to the map any missing info that may prove useful.

    On a related note, one of the research tools suggested by Jo Tacchi that some students put into practice during a recent media ethnography course I co-taught in Osby (Sweden) was similar to a mindmap: you work with an informant to map out together a region of their lives, in this case their ‘communicative ecology’. It went really well, see

    Yes, it’d be interesting to do something along these lines. I’ll drop you an old-fashioned email.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: