Netnography

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This page will list information about the Netnographic data collection process.

Netnography is a form of ethnographic research, adopting an participant observational approach, taking online interactions as it's fieldwork.

Robert Kozinets 2010 (Author of 'Netnography; Doing Ethnographic Research') believes that there are five steps of achieving a successful netnographic study:


  1. Planning- creating a research question & targeting groups
  2. Entering the field- entering the community with respect and acceptance. Learning from the culture for research purposes.
  3. Data Collection- three types of data collection
    • Archival Data
    • Elicited Data
    • Field Note Data
    • Analysis
    • Recording

Netnography focuses on qualitative data through gaining trust, empathy and understanding from the participants, feeling involved and passionate for the study and noting information that is thought to be valuable within the research study.

Ethnographer's principles being:

  • Location
  • Participation
  • Interviews
  • Journals
  • Reflection

Three main sources of data being;

  • Observation
  • Participant Observation
  • Interviews

The mix between a ethnographic and netnographic study would be the combination of approaches, including data for instance, gathered in face to face as well as online interaction.

“The Internet has frequently been understood by social scientists as providing a new space for social interaction and for the development of social formations, and innovation in research methods is needed to address these new spaces. However, this does not mean that the traditional sites of re-search into everyday life become irrelevant” (Hine, 2005, p. 109).

“Data collection in netnography means communicating with members of a culture or community. That involvement, engagement, contact, interaction, communion, relation, collaboration and con-nection with community members – not with a website, server, or a keyboard, but with the people on the other end”(Kozinets, 2010, p. 95).

“Netnography is a specialised type of ethnography. It uses and incorporates different methods in a single approach focused on the study of communities and cultures in the Internet age. Qualitative online research such as netnography is ‘essential in shaping our understanding of the Internet, its impact on culture, and culture’s impacts on the Internet”(Kozinets, 2010, p. 157).


The Good Research Guide, Martyn Denscombe (Link to downloadable PDF).