Open-Ended Online Diaries: Capturing Life as It Is Narrated
Weblogs and life journals are popular forms of reflecting and reporting online about one’s everyday life. In this article the author examines whether solicited online diaries can be used in qualitative research. She discusses advantages and disadvantages of the online research, diaries as a source of data, and narration as a method. The discussion is exemplified by the presentation of an online diary study conducted in two parts in the spring and autumn of 2009 with students from Tartu, Narva, and Tallinn, Estonia. This article shows the illuminating potential and richness of solicited online diaries applied in an open-ended, qualitative understanding as a way to investigate everyday life. At the same time, the main challenges are presented and discussed.