Ethnography: ethnos = people and graphein = writing.
Ethnography should be of interest to anyone curious about ICT and human beings. In the very old days, adventurers and officials traveled the world and made written reports of what they experienced. These stories and reports gave a more or less thorough description of the human social phenomena’s they encountered.
As a Social Informatics I am very curious about how humans use digital technology, also in other fields of science.
Digital Ethnography is the application of information technology to the process of ethnography, and there are some very interesting questions connected to such use of new technology. Does hypertexts and hypermedia give us opportunities for richer and more varied descriptions of those human social phenomena’s? Is it possible to implement the traditional rigorous academic linear argumentation in hypertext? What about Web 2.0?
Take a look at some of the videos Assistant Professor Michael Wesch, from Kansas State University, has made and placed on YouTube. His videos explore mediated culture, seeking to merge the ideas of Media Ecology and Cultural Anthropology, according to his own words. You`ll find them in the category of Digital Ethnography.
Apart from giving us an insight into Digital Ethnography, his videos also shows us how lectures in Distance Education could, and should be done. YouTube, the new classroom in Distance Education?