Ethnography Study: part two
What is Erowid?
Before one can delve too far into exploring the community, one should understand what constitutes their digital world. Click on the link below to watch a brief tutorial of erowid.org for an overview about what can be found on the site.
Experience Vaults: Here, visitors can read first-hand accounts about a drug of their choice. They fall into many categories, as can be seen in the caffeine and cannabis screen shots (below). The experiences reports can be searched by substance, author and category, or a combination. Experiences are submitted by individuals and are then reviewed by the Erowid crew and volunteers. According to Fire Erowid, “We reject approximately 50% of all experience reports for a variety of reasons.”
Earth Erowid elaborated on some of those reasons, saying, “There is always the possibility that someone is fabricating their experience report and that’s part of the reason for the review system as it stands. The main reason for the review is that much of the content people produce is poorly written, somewhat incoherent, and of dubious value as data.” There are guidelines listed on the site on how to submit an experience report.
Event Calendar: On erowid.org, there is also a calendar that lists site-related events.
Ask Erowid: Visitors can submit questions to the. The crew of Erowid request the uses take the time to search through past questions and articles throughout the site for the answer to your question, as they cannot always answer all of them. Click on the image below to take you to the “Ask Erowid” page.
Erowid Crew: The crew is made up of four to six people and they also manage a group of volunteers to help go through submitted articles and reports. According to Earth Erowid, “The main crew (4-6 of us) communicate on a daily basis by email, IRC, and phone. We’re in close contact, have weekly phone meetings, and are planning and working on ongoing projects together.” Erowid is based in California, but the crew and volunteers come from all over the world.