Thursday, April 10, 2008


I am in the process of writing up an evaluation proposal at work. To get a reminder of the more technical terms for some qualitative research methods, I headed over to Wikipedia. I've come to use this site as an entry-level shortcut, when true depth of subject matter isn't required.

I searched the term "qualitative research," and one of the page editors had added the concept of coolhunting as a methodology. I was struck by this term, knowing it from William Gibson’s novel “Pattern Recognition,” so followed the link. Embedded in this page was the term “uncoolhunting” which I hadn’t yet heard, along with a suggested external link. I followed. The Uncoolhunter seemed like more of a blog, listing a few stories and stating their manifesto. One of the stories, dated 4/8, was about Leslie Hall, who I had seen on youtube a couple of years ago, showcasing the song “Gem Sweater” and other fantastically unfantastic ditties (one of which was clearly filmed in my former home of Jamaica Plain, MA). Turns out she has a mobile museum of the sweaters, along with a pretty fab photo gallery.

So I started at a genuine research question, and ended up at Gem Sweaters. All in the span of about 5 minutes.

And that is why I love Wikipedia.

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