Digital Ethnography: Internet Research Survival Guide: Photograph of a computer workstation with a monitor showing a virtual world where an avatar is looking at a virtual world in a monitor

Digital Ethnography: Internet Research Survival Guide

Digital Ethnography. Internet Research Survival Guide. Photograph of a computer workstation.

The Prodigal PhD Candidate

Hello iRezzers! It’s been a while since my last post! I’m hoping to post on a more regular basis. It’s been a tough year. A dissertation to write. Various illnesses. A woman who hit me head on while heading home from a doctor appointment. While STOPPED at a stoplight no less! Did I mention I have a 3 year old?

Digital Ethnography. Internet Research Survival Guide. Photo of a person with a globe head.
How I feel some days.

Digital Citizenship

I’m interested in digital citizenship. Specifically, digital citizenship in particular technology platforms. You may have read my preliminary discussion or Canary Beck’s excellent post. I want to continue that discussion at some point. I’d like to look at ways new residents acclimate. How they become “naturalized” into the culture of particular platforms.

Internet Research Survival Guide

But I’m still working through those ideas in my dissertation. It’s disorienting to cover them here while I’m also working on the dissertation every morning and evening. For now, I’m excited to think about an Internet Research Survival Guide. I want to discuss practical issues that are important in the practice of Internet research. Things that you never hear much about.

Things like:
• Choosing your computer.
• The difficulty of leaving the field. (it’s always there!)
• Organizing the massive amounts of data you generate.
• Problems of getting stable population estimates.
• Managing your time effectively.
• The importance of exercise. (internet research is a leading cause of “flat bottom syndrome”)
• Preventing carpal tunnel syndrome.

These are things that I think about daily.

I am talking about all the minutia that make generating big ideas even possible.

What are some of your everyday issues and concerns when doing Internet research?


I am a PhD candidate in Anthropology at University at Buffalo (SUNY). My dissertation work explores the process of becoming a citizen of a virtual world and, particularly, that significance to disabled participants.

3 thoughts on “Digital Ethnography: Internet Research Survival Guide

  1. Hi Katie! Welcome Back! We’ve missed you. I’m so excited about this new series. Partly because I’d really like to develop a stronger Digital Ethnography conversation here on iRez. Partly because I think many of your topics will be important to lots of peeps who aren’t digital ethnographers at all. Many are common issues for Avatars, Bloggers, and other knowledge workers.

    I haven’t heard the phrase “flat bottom syndrome,” but I have heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” Did you know that I use a treadmill desk?

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