Rainbow Family Tree

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Hi all

As most of you know I've been muddling my way through a phd on Digital Storytelling (read about it here) over the last couple of years... and I'm just pulling all the threads together. Some of you provided some very excellent answers to a quiz I sent out a month or so ago... and I have a few more FINAL quick questions. If you've got 10 mins free I'd love your responses (by 27/08/12 - next monday - if poss!)

I'm attaching word docs of these questions for your convenience - you can mail them back to me at sonja@incitestories.com.au or private message me here.

I'm also attaching a QUT info and release form if you haven't already supplied me with your consent!

Cheers, Sonja

Last ever ‘Rainbow Family Tree’ phd related quiz…


Any answers, short or long, are appreciated BUT I need responses ASAP! Honesty and/or humour also appreciated ; )


1. How much personal sharing (use your own definition) do you do using digital technology? Indicate those that are relevant and describe the kind of personal sharing you do, who with and how often?


  • Phone calls
  • SMS
  • Facebook
  • Email
  • E:lists or forums
  • Twitter
  • Rainbow Family Tree website
  • Other social network – what?
  • Digital Storytelling



2. How much personal sharing do you with… ? Specify face-to-face, online or both… How would YOU define each category? Approximately how many people in each group?


  • Partner/Lover
  • Close friends
  • Acquaintances
  • Old/Lost/Newly rediscovered friends
  • New acquaintances
  • Strangers


3. Over the last 5-15 years how have these patterns of interaction changed for you?


4. How do you describe the Rainbow Family Tree web space to people?


5. What do you like/not like about the space?


6. I’m happy to donate hosting fees for the space ($360 p/year) but would like to step back as primary facilitator and become more engaged (and active!) as a community member. With this in mind…


How would you like to see it change over the next year or so? Be honest!

Last Questions Document! Research Participant release form


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Comment by Greg Kelly on August 23, 2012 at 16:22

The most digital sharing I do is on facebook but I am very aware, that what goes out there, will possibly be recorded for a very long time.I try to be relevant about sexuality and HIV status to my younger cousins and relations.

Phone calls are obviously, more private details as they are in my experience still only a one to one connection.

Emails I would be still a bit guarded in what i say as i am always aware of it being recorded somewhere. Where as a phone conversation has less threat of being recorded.

My  experience with digital story telling is new and I am still seeing how powerful the medium is!

2) Personal sharing with lover is probably a bit low on internet as he does not have internet and dosent want internet

Close friends who are on Facebook and email get my messages and I like sharing political viewpoints on facebook with friends.

The other catergories I tend not to share much with. I am distrustful of acquantances old and new as I feel a need to protect my friends and family from unwanted information

3) I suppose they have changed me as they are a new medium that is taking over how society communicates. All relevant health information for example is online so it has forced me to learn how to use computers, email and mobile phone technology. I can also communicate with my extended family who are spread over long distances easier.

4) A great space for GLBTIQQ members to tell their story. It will grow as more younger people know of its existence. And the skills needed to make a story are part of school curriculum and not as daunting as it was for me mmaking a story.

5) I dont dislike anything for me as a more mature man I suppose its about making me feel a bit older and left out! As the computer skills needed are still a bit out of my grasp!

6)All things change if RFT changes then so it does as long as it grows then thats all that can be!

Comment by Melina MIchelle Magdalena on August 21, 2012 at 20:28

1. Email - as much as I can get away with (much better than face-to-face). Email to friends, family, associates, clients.

Facebook - more than I'm really comfortable with, but it's so easy and fun; much more (I gather) than my partner is comfortable with! I share lots of stuff and air lots of stuff on facebook for reaction as well as self-indulgence. 

Rainbow Family Tree website - a little, but mostly in response to when others post something.

2. Personal Sharing - with my partner as much as I can; things go better when we have time to talk and share face-to-face. Sharing with my partner via writing and online is where things go awry. It comes across as talking behind her back, and is something I resort to from time-to-time when nothing else seems to get her attention. 

Close Friends - rarely, but that's because I don't spend much time with close friends. If I spent more time with close friends I think I would share much more, and, I would hope, in a reciprocal way. I find that personal sharing via a mediated forum such as facebook is much less reciprocal than face-to-face. However, it is also satisfying for me to get some attention when I'm craving it!

The other categories fall in a lump for me. I tend to share personal stuff with this lot in order to generate some connection; where possible through sharing common experiences. I'm not so reserved that I try to give nothing away, because I know from experience that in striking up a connection we need some kind of handle to shape the communication. 

I can say that I've 'met' my overseas cousins on Facebook and feel I even know them a little, though prior to Facebook I had no forum for making a connection with them. 

3. Facebook and SMS are new technologies for me. I've used email for a long, long time. I still like snail mail, too. I have become fairly addicted to facebook, and check my facebook too many times every day. I feel compelled to respond to others and consequently feel much closer to the real day-to-day lives of my Facebook friends who post a lot, even if I have never met them in person.

I always feel disappointed when checking email, if there's nothing personal in there. I always feel excited when there's something in the letterbox, even if it turns out to be a bill, or not for me at all. I don't think these responses will ever change for me, even if the technologies I use to communicate with the outside world, change. 

4. I describe the RTF webspace as a place to see provocative, interesting, relevant and moving digital stories made by storytellers who are not professional IT film-makers. I usually describe it to people who I think might enjoy or benefit in some way, from watching the stories. 

5. I find RTF webspace less immediate than facebook, and for me that's not as satisfying. I still find it quite hard to navigate and find places that I'd been before. This would probably change if I spent more time here, but I don't! 

Good luck, Sonja - next time we talk we should set a date for dinner here at ours. And I read Terrible Girls but didn't like it until the end. I'll re-read it soon. Hope I wasn't too rude in extracting it from you, and thanks for lending it! xo 

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