Tag: methodology

Digital Ethnography Toward Augmented Empiricism: A New Methodological Framework

While noting the wide variety of digital technologies already in use, Hsu challenges ethnographers to go further. She describes how she uses webscraping to gather data, reveal limitations of software, and gain further information about online communities. Hsu believes the exploration of digital data gathering needs more development. In this article she provides an overview of software methods, mapping, and “seeing textures” in data. Hsu has practical examples of ways ethnographers can use technology—if they are willing to learn some new skills. Her use of mapping and geo-tagging is particularly helpful, since few online communities are confined to a limited geographic area.


Hsu, W. (2014). Digital Ethnography Toward Augmented Empiricism: A New Methodological Framework. Journal of Digital Humanities, 3(1). Retrieved from http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/3-1/digital-ethnography-toward-augmented-empiricism-by-wendy-hsu/


Christine Hine on virtual ethnography’s E3 Internet

Photo from University of Surrey

The author conducts an interview with pioneering ethnographer Christine Hine. Hine discusses her theory of the E3 internet: embedded, embodied, and everyday. She also points out the challenges of researchers attempting to quantify experieneces on the web and proposes that new research strategies are needed for studying online communities and the internet as a whole. At the time of this interview, Hine was interested in following connections across sites rather than concentrating on a single online location. In true Hine form, multiple readings will likely be required to understand everything she says.


Ford, H. (2013, November 29). Christine Hine on virtual ethnography’s E3 Internet [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2013/11/29/christine-hine-on-virtual-ethnographys-e3-internet/.

Netnography: Redefined

kozinets-textThis updated text includes the latest netnographic research and examples from contemporary social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Kozinets includes step-by-step guidelines to help researchers get started in netnography and addresses research in areas such as geography, linguistics, addiction, and gaming. This book is a forward step in bringing attention to netnographic research and the valuable data it can provide.


Kozinets, Robert V. 2015. Netnography: Redefined. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Six ways of doing digital ethnography

After his research subjects in Madrid were unexpectedly caught up in a wave of public protests, John Postill had to quickly regroup in order to continue collecting data. In order to make sense of what he observed, Postill came up with six different ways to categorize his research, including acknowledgement and examination of viral contents,  digital technologies, and as both a single- and multi-field site. Postill’s article is meant to help other researchers find multiple ways of looking at research that takes unexpected turns, although it could also be used as a starting point for research of a group that is active in multiple online and on-ground locations.


Postill, J. (2015, January 16). 13. Six ways of doing digital ethnography [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://johnpostill.com/2015/01/16/13-six-ways-of-researching-new-social-worlds/

Reconceptualising Fieldwork in a Netnography of an Online Community of English Language Teachers

This article examines the research involving an online community of English language teachers, known as Webheads in Action (WiA). This article provides an inside look not at the community, but at the ways the researchers examined and participated in the community. The article describes the ways the research team experienced netnography in opposition to traditional ethnography. It includes ways of defining the field, fieldnotes and data gathering, dynamics of interviewing, and the importance of having the expertise in multiple online technologies. This article is useful for any beginning netnographer who is looking for practical advice before beginning online research.


Kulavuz-Onal, D., & Vasquez, C. (2013). Reconceptualising fieldwork in a netnography of an online community of English language teachers. Ethnography and Education, 8(2), 224-238, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2013.792511