Interview with Teemu Mikkonen

By Juliana Brunello

I was trying to find some information about you and your thesis online, but I was not very successful. Could you tell me more about it?

It is not online, because it’s not published yet. It should be soon…

Have you completed your Masters, or are you still working on it?

I’m still working on it…I’ve been quite busy with my other research projects in my university and that’s why I haven’t finished it completely yet.

What is your thesis about? How does it involve Wikipedia?

I’ve been studying the talk pages of the Wikipedia article about the Kosovo War.

Why are you interested in Wikipedia as a topic? Are you a Wikipedian yourself?

The whole concept of Wikipedia is interesting. There are many sociological, epistemological etc. issues, which could be revealed by observing the interaction and content in Wikipedia. I’m an active user and not-so-active producer in Wikipedia. I’ve also studied the social dynamics of the open/free source movement, which is the background, still influencing in Wikipedia.

For your research, do you follow a specific sociological model or methodology, or do you use a mix of models, methods and theories? Which one(s)?

I’ve used the method which contains the principles from ethnomethodology, ethnography, new rhetoric, discourse analysis and conversation analysis. My methodological orientation is concentrated more to the philosophical backgrounds of the wiki-knowledge than the empirical research. The most inspiring theorists are Michel Foucault, Jurgen Habermas and Harold Garfinkel.

Anything else you would like to add? Comments, ideas, thoughts?

I think it’ll be very interesting seminar and I’m sure we have great debates there.