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Workshop: Digital Ethnography: Finding and Working with Online Data


WHEN:  March 25 – 12:00-1:30 pm


GOAL: to provide participants with a basic understanding of the principles of digital ethnography with an overview of practices and digital tools for retrieving different sets of data from online social worlds.


DESCRIPTION: This workshop is the second session of a three-part Digital Ethnography series that the Carnegie Educational fellows will facilitate in collaboration with GC Digital Fellows and the GC Digital Scholarship Librarians. This workshop complements the theoretical considerations of the first workshop by introducing specific practices and tools to retrieve online data and analyze it. A basic understanding of practices of ethnography and digital ethnography will be expected for this workshop, which will delve more deeply into the different kinds of data available to be analyzed via digital ethnographic methods. We will discuss capturable and non-capturable data, synchronous and asynchronous data acquisition, and also explore more pragmatic considerations such as how to organize and store this information and how to incorporate practices of digital ethnography into IRB protocols. Participants will also learn from the projects of researchers at the GC who are applying practices of social media scraping and digital ethnography for a variety of analytical perspectives. This second workshop will provide participants with an overview of tools for scraping content from social media without the use of developer tools or programming language, which will be covered in the third workshop in the series.


Topics and discussions will revolve around:

  • Digital tools best suited for your analytical questions.
  • “Capturable” and “non-capturable” methods for social media scraping.
  • Ethical considerations when researching social media.
  • Adding methods of remote/digital ethnography to your IRB protocol.
  • Dealing with Transient/short life data
  • Workflows, data hygiene, and storage.
  • Examples of researchers incorporating digital ethnography into their projects.


TAKEAWAYS: Attendees will leave with a toolkit for basic social media scraping skills, mainly on capturable media, and the practices that are expected to complement this kind of data retrieval and analysis (data storage, IRB planning, research workflows, etc.). Participants will also learn about the ways in which peers are applying some of these methods in their own research.


TARGET AUDIENCE: Students and faculty with basic knowledge of ethnography and digital ethnography looking to learn about specific practices to incorporate in their research.


LENGTH OF WORKSHOP: (75min + 15min for questions)


Software/Technology Required: None

Register for the workshop here