This is a quick update on the state of things.
The fact of the matter is that since I ran out of the scholarship awarded to me by the University Foundation of Vaasa, so far I’ve failed to obtain another one. Thus, at the moment there’s no way I could work on the doctoral project full time.
Nevertheless, it still is going on. By the end of the last semester, I’ve arrived at a scheme to operationalize and measure on-line deliberation; the next step is the calibration of the scale – that is, to equip the project with the necessary standards or points of comparison, so that it can fulfill its evaluative role.
(Meaning that I want to be able to say, using this scheme, things like: this piece of conversation is normatively deliberative and high quality, and this other piece of conversation is non-deliberative, and thus, from the point of view of deliberation, of lower quality.)
And then, the final stage of the project – the survey of social news site users. That’s a tough nut to crack, but once I’ve sorted out the more pressing practical questions of how to make a living while trying to study – I’ll be working on it.