Last week the group met with Erin and Julia in a coffee shop in San Francisco. Melanie, from KALW, joined as well in order to teach us techniques on how to use a microphone properly and how to get the best results when audio recording. She gave us a convenient cheat sheet we intend on using in future interviews. Once we became familiar with different audio recording techniques, we were able to talk with Erin and Julia about the people we had selected to interview for the mapping project. We selected 14 different people that we felt provided a wide range of demographics and were a well-rounded representation of those affected by no-fault eviction. We presented the potential interviewees and received feedback from Erin and Julia as to the effectiveness and feasibility of those choices. We then composed both email and telephone conversation templates to use when asking evictees if they would be interested in being interviewed, which we submitted to Erin for her feedback, which we received.
We are still in the process of reaching out to potential interviewees, but already have two interviews scheduled for this coming Wednesday, the 12th. As for the rest of the interviews, we hope to be able to schedule the rest of them on two separate Saturdays, so that we can take turns heading up to San Francisco in pairs. Our plan is to make contact with every interviewee by Monday, February 10th so that we will have time to arrange an interview with each of them on either February 15th or 22rd. We all agreed that conducting the interviews in pairs would be a better option than all three of us attending all of them, as that could be intimidating and detrimental to the comfort of the interviewee. Jordan or Caroline will alternate driving to the city so that we will be able to easily navigate San Francisco and get to each interview site in a timely fashion. We also hope to conduct the interviews in the homes of the interviewees, but if that is not a possibility we will be looking for a quiet space we can use with good acoustics, one possibility being a room in the public library, which Erin tells us is free to rent. We are working on securing proper recording equipment and checking with Melanie form KALW to make sure it is what we need to get proper sound quality. In the meantime, Jordan will be working on creating a template in ArcGIS online, so that once we acquire our audio and visual components, we will be able to complete the Story Map in a timely manner. He has continued to explore different templates, and has found one that is geared towards audio recordings.
This week in class, during Carly's workshop on making assumptions, our group did some important thinking about the role of preconceptions in the work we will be doing. We thought extensively about the preconceptions interviewees may have of us as Stanford students, including assumptions about our socioeconomic status, intelligence, capabilities, and character. We want to be able to connect with interviewees beyond the facades of our outward identities, and hope that by acting with authenticity and humility, we will be able to connect easily with interviewees, person to person. We additionally considered our unique position of having a fair amount of fairly personal information about our interviewees before even meeting them from the surveys they filled out, and discussed the idea of not allowing our prior knowledge permeate the interviews, as it is important to allow interviewees to have control over what information enters the conversation. If they want to offer us that information, then of course we will be receptive to it, but we want to be clear that only explicitly, directly offered information will be included in the map we create.