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This article is substantially identical in content to the listed URL, as well as several PDF documents found via a cursory Google search [1]. The source documents do not include any definitive copyright information. --Alan Au 00:54, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

The first paragraph of Methodology section is an exact quote of from the link to which is referenced. It should be made clear that that is a quote, or rephrase it substantially. Poderi (talk) 09:17, 9 March 2008 (UTC)


I started this article with some material on Virtual Ethnography that I had had on my computer for some time - the original source of the material lost / forgotten / never recorded - OK, I should have looked harder.

The original article I submitted clearly had similarities to the web site you listed - thanks for searching it out - but I don't believe that it was really an infringement of copyright. Within an academic setting, you might have argued that it was plagiarism, but I don't think it amounted to "a copy of substantial portions of the original work".

Nevertheless, I have now edited and expanded the article to make it even less like "a copy of substantial portions of the original work" and placed it on the temporary pageVirtual Ethnography/Temp. Finally, to avoid any accusations of plagiarism, I have also tried to make sure that all of the original sources are clear.

I hope this solves the problem to everybody's satisfaction.

Compo 17:50, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Also, if this survives the copyvio process, it should be renamed to "Virtual ethnography" (second word lowercase); just a side note for later. --Alan Au 19:51, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Done. Chick Bowen 01:38, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

I was assigned to revamp the article as part of a graduate Internet research course (Ph.D. in communication) I tentatively renamed it to Cyberethnography which seems more inclusive and clearer than online or virtual given the information that my research yielded. ElodieSF (talk) 02:08, 13 April 2015 (UTC)ElodieSF


The current article title "Ethnographies of Online Cultures and Communities" has a variety of WP:TITLE issues. I would recommend returning it to Online ethnography. Madcoverboy (talk) 20:35, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

More title[edit]

This is from a discussion on my talk page but I thought I would include it here, just for the record:

Hi there. Thanks for your editing work on the online ethnography section. I was wondering why you were using "online ethnography" as the generic term to represent the section. I prefer the term "ethnographies of online cultures and communities" but I'd be happier if someone came up with something else other than "virtual" "digital" or "cyber" or "online." It seems to me that "online ethnography" is likelier a school of this ethnographic approach (like "virtual ethnography"). Do you have any references or citations to back this up? That would be most helpful. It's still a confusing, emergent, area. It would be nice if the wiki entry could help to clarify things a bit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kozinets (talkcontribs) 15:12, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Ethnographies of online cultures and communities has some pretty serious WP:Title issues for starters. Given this, it seems to me that Online ethnography is a pretty good, generic title for what are all essentially related methods. As far as I've seen, all of the various terms you have given above are used interchangeably.
I did just attend the NEAA conference (North Eastern Anthropological Association) and went to a talk about the ethnography of Second Life. The anthropologist did prefer the term virtual for some theoretical reasons, but by-and-large it is my understanding that we are talking about the same thing. It would seem to me this generic title should work, which could be followed by different reasons (if any) for the differing naming conventions of the related methods.
It is a fairly small field and relatively new and as such I would expect there to be quite a bit of variation in terminology but I just don't see any real, differing schools-of-thought, methods, or theoretical issues between the different terms. Unfortunately I have not been able to find any references that directly deal with naming conventions for this. All I can find are people using related terms to describe what is essentially the same thing. --Woland (talk) 16:10, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
As a naive first cut, gScholar has ~64k hits for "online ethnography", ~27k for "virtual ethnography", and ~7k for "cyber ethnography". Until there are substantial academic arguments for differentiating among any of the three on theoretical or methodological grounds (eg, a couple of review articles or books), I would recommend keeping them all pointing to the same general article to elaborate on the distinctions there and risking unspecificity and overgeneralization rather than replicating academic turf-wars and navel gazing with ghettoized topics. Let the "school" of though build up here and we can spinout later as the case may be. Madcoverboy (talk) 22:18, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Structural Issues[edit]

Hi, I'm an Information Studies student who is editing this article as a part of her assignment. It appears that this article currently is not serving much purpose besides serving as an umbrella for netnography. It would be ideal to see other online ethnographic methodologies included here as well. Perhaps an expert can look into what the hierarchy and structure of this article should be?

I'd just like to list the changes I made and the rationale behind them: - I added a paragraph under "Advantages and Limitations of Ethnographic Research in Online Cultures and Communities" that mentioned some advantages, since there were none mentioned at the time of my addition. - I also removed a sentence in the introductory paragraph that I saw to be treating online ethnography, virtual ethnography, and netnography (see history) has discrete, independent kinds of research, whereas the structure of the article suggests otherwise. Sf0708 (talk) 22:13, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Hi, I am also a student in the Information Study field and editing Wikipedia is a requirement for my assignment. I agree with the above student that netnography covers a big section of this article. Additionally this article needs to be more consistent in the content and headings.
My contributions are as follows: I noticed that the paragraph under "Advantages and Limitations of Ethnographic Research in Online Cultures and Communities" was repeated under the previous section, so I removed that part. I also added a paragraph about privacy in online netnography under "Netnography Methodology" that could be expanded in the future editing. User:NahidAzari (User talk:NahidAzari 11:57, 25 October 2011
Hi, I added an ethics section apart from the one under the netnography section. There is a separate article for netnography, which implies that ethnography is a component of netnography, but that netnography is "faster, simpler, and less expensive than ethnography." I am not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds like an important distinction. In future edits, it might be less confusing if the bulk of the information under netnography on this page be moved to the netnography page. Also, the netnography article (and the netnography sections on the online ethnography page) seems to describe netnography from a consumer research angle, which might suggest a different set of ethical problems. --Bginf1001 (talk) 20:12, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
New editors, please indent your comments with colons to improve readability. I'd also recommend that digital trace ethnography be added as distinct from netnography. See [2] and [3] for motivating peer-reviewed papers. Madcoverboy (talk) 01:49, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Netnography be merged into Online ethnography. I think that the content in the Netnography article can easily be explained in the context of Online ethnography, and the Online ethnography article is of a reasonable size in which the merging of Netnographhy will not cause any problems as far as article size or undue weight is concerned. SueTwo (talk) 18:37, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

This is my first contribution to Wikipedia. I am currently taking a course on digital ethnography and am interested in joining the discussion. As for the merger proposal, I suggest merging the Online Ethnography article into Netnography based on (1) the discussion over an appropriate title ("...I'd be happier if someone came up with something else other than 'virtual' 'digital' or 'cyber' or 'online.'") and (2) in the book Netnography by Robert V. Kozinets he makes the distinction between "online communities" and "communities online." Let the Wikipedia article on ethnography address "communities online" and an article on netnography address "online communities" and this could solve the title debate by having "online ethnography" addressed in both article. Please forgive any errors in editing/formatting conventions; again, this is my first post. --Curioseth 23:43, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

As a digital ethnographer, I am deeply suspicious of the proposal to merge 'netnography' (a term I have *never* heard used by actual anthropologists of digital media and which is decidedly consumer market research-driven) into the wikipedia entry for 'online ethnography'. While there are some good sources in this article as a whole, it has become dominated by the personal agenda of Dr. Kozinets. --Tunabananas (talk) 23:23, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Through research and careful readings of academic literature on 'digitial', 'vitural' and 'cyber-'ethnography, the term 'netnography' never appears. As doctoral student in communication studying online research, I back up Tunabananas above and vote against a merger given that the practices and goals around cyber-ethnography and nethnography differ greatly. ElodieSF (talk) 02:04, 13 April 2015 (UTC)ElodieSF