Comments on Nigel’s EDC Lifestream Blog

Really great detail here Nigel, and some really interesting outcomes.

‘I appreciate that this is what Kozinets refers to as a ‘Survey approach’ and only certain aspects of it might be considered ‘Netnography’ .

Yes, good to acknowledge this. I think, from the way you describe your experiences, that this approach derived from your initial participant observation (which found little in the way of forum interaction), so it is certainly not unrelated.

I think it is also interesting to reflect here on what constitute authentic ‘community’ participation online. Given we might consider ‘data traces’ of whatever form ‘as community’, one could consider this perfectly legitimate ethnography in some aspects. Forum discourse is not all of the community?

‘Even thought there was no requirement to do so, some learners started posting in Spanish and others then followed suit.  As this was right at the start of the course it’s reasonable to assume that most learners had not learned to do this from the course content and I suspect many were using an online translation site.’

Fascinating statement of expertise, isn’t it? Something not uncommon in MOOCs in my experience. You might find Helen Murphy’s micro-ethnography interesting in that respect.

‘In general the learners who were following the most other learners also had the most followers, possibly indicating a social convention where learners feel pressured to follow someone who is following them.’

Indeed, really interesting, as a gesture. I wonder if there is an assumption that people will ‘know’ – that they can easily see somewhere – the people that have not followed them back, and that that might be a community faux pas? Hmm should have said that in Spanish, shouldn’t I?

from Comments for Nigel’s EDC blog