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Balaji Parthasarathy is a co-Principal Investigator of the Infomediary in-depth study along with Ricardo Ramirez and Andy Gordon. He is also ICICI Associate Professor at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore. His teaching and research interests focus on the relationship between technological innovation, economic globalization, and social change. Within this broad focus, his work follows two threads. One thread examines the impacts of public policies and firm strategies on the organization of production in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. Another thread deals with ICTs for development (ICTD). His research includes studies of e-governance projects in India, studies of ICT deployment to enhance agricultural productivity, and analyses of the institutional aspects of the globalization of electronic waste.
So let’s apply this analogy to ethnography and I’m going to refer to the ethnographer’s audience as the end-reader. End-readers in the traditional style of writing fieldnotes can only access fieldnote content by waiting for the ethnographer’s big reveal in the form of a book or article. If you want to read any form of fieldnotes from an anthropologist, you had no choice but to wait for their book, the point is that you have to go to them, you have to go to the bookstore and buy the book. And by the time you read the book, the actual fieldnotes are quite diluted or hidden because you’re seeing a highly edited presentation. This parallels how end-users in Web could only access content by going to the webpages themselves. There was no content syndication that alerted the end-user to pull new updates. So if you wanted to find out what was happening on a site, you had to go to the site itself.