Online Ethnographic Methods: towards a qualitative understanding of virtual community practices
2011 (English)In: Handbook of Research on Methods and Techniques for studying Virtual Communities : Paradigms and Phenomena / [ed] Ben Kei Daniel, Hershey: IGI Global , 2011Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
This paper describes the use of online ethnographical methods as a potent way to reach qualitative understanding of virtual communities. The term online ethnography envelopes document collection, online observation and online interviews. The paper will explain the steps of conducting online ethnography – from defining setting and spelling out your research perspective, to collecting online data, analyzing gathered data, feeding back insights to the studied community and presenting results with ethical awareness. In this process the paper will compare online ethnography to traditional ethnography and provide illustrative empirical examples and experiences from three recent online ethnographical studies on social information and media sharing (Skågeby, 2007, 2008, 2009a). While multimedial forms of data and data collection are becoming more common (i.e. video and sound recordings), the focus of the paper lies mainly with text-based data. The paper concludes by discussing methodological benefits and drawbacks of an online ethnographical process.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hershey: IGI Global , 2011.
Media and Communications
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-39019ISBN: 1609600401ISBN: 978-1609600402OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-39019DiVA: diva2:317975