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NETNOGRAPHY is an online research method originating in ethnography which is applied to understanding social interaction in contemporary digital communications contexts. It is defined as a specific set of research practices related to data collection, analysis, research ethics, and representation, rooted in participant observation. In netnography, a significant amount of the data originates in and manifests through the digital traces of naturally occurring public conversations recorded by contemporary communications networks. Netnography uses these conversations as data. It is an interpretive research method that adapts the traditional, in-person participant observation techniques of anthropology to the study of interactions and experiences manifesting through digital communications (Kozinets 1998 ).

The term netnography is a portmanteau combining "Internet" or "network" with "ethnography ". Netnography was originally developed in 1995 by marketing professor Robert Kozinets as a tool to analyze online fan discussions about the Star Trek
Star Trek
franchise. The use of the method spread from marketing research and consumer research to a range of other disciplines, including education , library and information sciences , hospitality , tourism , computer science , psychology , sociology , anthropology , geography , urban studies , leisure and game studies , and human sexuality and addiction research .

CONTENTS

* 1 Netnography and Ethnography
Ethnography
* 2 The Keys to Netnography * It is immersive: it involves the researcher as the key element in data collection and creation; * It is descriptive: it seeks rich contextual portrayals of the lived experience of online social life; * It is multi-method: it can involves a range of other methods, such as interviews, semiotic visual analysis, and data science; and * It is adaptable: it can be used to study many types of online sites and technology-related communications and interaction

THE KEYS TO NETNOGRAPHY & WHY IT\'S DIFFERENT FROM DIGITAL ETHNOGRAPHY

There are several keys to netnography, and they are: emotion/story, the researcher, key source person, and cultural fluency.

First, the emotion and the story. Netnography combines rich samples of communicative and interactions flowing through the internet: textual, graphic, audio, photographic and LinkedIn) has grown exponentially since the appraisal of Web 2.0 interfaces (i.e., user-generated content), along with other technological advances. One can no longer assume that people are isolating themselves from the physical world with technology, but rather view technology such as computer-mediated communication and digital information as a gateway that allows them to interact with familiar and, at times, anonymous users on a given occasion. Furthermore, cultural practices within the physical world are extended to, and enhanced by, these online communities, where people can choose a dating partner, learn about a religion and make brand choices, just to name a few examples. With ethnography's influence on netnography, this research method enables the researcher to link the communication patterns in order to understand the tacit and latent practices involved within and between these online communities of interest (Mariampolski, 2005). As Kozinets (Kozinets 1998 , p. 366) pointed out, "these social groups have a 'real' existence for their participants, and thus have consequential effects on many aspects of behaviour, including consumer behavior " (see also Muniz and O'Guinn, 2001).

People participating in these online communities often share in-depth insights on themselves, their lifestyles, and the reasons behind the choices they make as consumers (brands, products etc.). Such insights have the potential of becoming something actionable. More specifically, this means that the researcher will be able to present an unknown and unseen truth to his/her client (Cayla Piller et al., 2011; in Bartl et al., 2016, p. 167). The following information provides a systematic process to search for, collect and analyze data (Bartl et al., 2016, p. 168; see also Kozinets, 2000, 2010)

* Define the research field- Develop a detailed research question(s) that allows the researcher to qualitatively find patterns. * Communication identification and selection- Use online search engines in order to identify appropriate, research-related online communities, which the researcher will then need to analyze and select details about the community, its members, and its forum. * Community observation and data collection-Observe the selected online communities in a non-participatory, non-biased manner. The researcher will then need to retrieve data from people's communication and data from personal observation. * Date analysis-Analyze data with automated software and manual methods in order to uncover patterns from the data analyses. * Research Ethics-With regards to ethics, be vigilant in ensuring the online community members' anonymity and confidentiality. * Finding and Solutions-Apply an empathetic perspective in order to obtain a deep understanding about the people of interest in order for the solutions to be well translated and trustworthy.

Netnography offers a range of new insights for front end innovation, providing:

* Holistic marketplace descriptions * Communicative and cultural comprehension * Embedded understanding of consumer choice * Naturalistic views of brand meaning * Discovery of consumer innovation * Mappings of sociocultural online space

DATA COLLECTION

Netnography collects data from Internet data, interviews data and fieldnotes.

* Internet data: Researchers should spend the time to match their research questions and interests to appropriate online forum, using the novel resources of online search engines such as Yahoo! and Google groups, before initiating entrée. Before initiating contact as a participant, or beginning formal data collection, the distinctive characteristics of the online communities should be familiar to the netnographer. * Interview
Interview
data: The interview can be conducted via email, Skype, in person, or by using other methods. Netnography’s emphasis on Internet data does not ameliorate the need to establish data in context and to extend understanding of those data into related concepts, archives, communications, and sites. * Fieldnotes: Reflective fieldnotes, in which ethnographers record their observations, are a time-tested and recommended method in netnography. Although some netnographies have been conducted using only observation and download, without the researcher writing a single fieldnote, this non-participant approach draws into question the ethnographic orientation of the investigation.

As with grounded theory , data collection should continue as long as new insights are being generated. For purposes of precision, some netnographers closely track the amount of text collected and read, and the number of distinct participants. CAQDAS software solutions can expedite coding, content analysis, data linking, data display, and theory-building functions. New forms of qualitative data analysis are constantly being developed by a variety of firms (such as MotiveQuest and Neilsen BuzzMetrics), although the results of these firms are more like content analyses of than ethnographic representations (Kozinets 2006 ). Netnography and content analysis differed in the adoption of computational methods for collecting semi-automated data, analyzing data, recognizing words and visualizing data (Kozinets, 2016). However, some scholars dispute netnography's distance from content analysis, preferring to assert that it is also a content analytic technique (Langer cf. Langer ">

* ^ Kozinets, Robert; Hufschmid, Jayne, Hans. "Management Netnography: Axological & Methodological Developments in Online Cultural Business Research". The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Business & Management Research Methods. * ^ Clark. L, Ting. I.-H, Kimble. C, Wright. P and Kudenko, D. * ^ Kozinets, Robert V. (2017). "Management Netnography: Axiological and Methodological Developments in Online Cultural Business Research". The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods. * ^ "Getting Closer to the Consumer – How Nivea Co-Creates New Products (PDF Download Available)". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2017-02-01.

REFERENCES

* Bartl, Michael; Kannan, Vijai K.; Stockinger, Hanna (2016). A review and analysis of literature on netnography research. International Journal of Technology Marketing. Vol. 11, No. 2, 2016. pp. 165–196. * del Fresno, Miguel (2011). Netnografía. Investigación, análisis e intervención social (1st ed.). Barcelona, España: Editorial UOC. ISBN 978-8497883856 . * Kozinets, Robert V. (1998). Joseph Alba; Wesley Hutchinson,, eds. On Netnography: Initial Reflections on Consumer Research Investigations of Cyberculture. Advances in Consumer Research. 25. Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research. pp. 366–371. * Kozinets, Robert V. (2002). "The Field Behind the Screen: Using Netnography For Marketing Research in Online Communities" (PDF). Journal of Marketing Research. 39 (1): 61–72. doi :10.1509/jmkr.39.1.61.18935 . * Kozinets, Robert V. (2006). "Click to Connect: Netnography and Tribal Advertising". Journal of Advertising Research. 46 (3). doi :10.2501/S0021849906060338 . * Kozinets, Robert V. (2010). "Netnography: The Marketer\'s Secret Weapon" (NetBase White Paper). * Kozinets, Robert V. (2015). Netnography: Redefined. London: Sage. * Langer, Roy; Beckman, Suzanne C. (2005). "Sensitive research topics: netnography revisited". 8 (2): 189–203. * Paccagnella, Luciano (1997). "Getting the Seats of Your Pants Dirty: Strategies for Ethnographic Research on Virtual Communities". Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 3 (1). doi :10.1111/j.1083-6101.1997.tb00065.x . * Rheingold, Howard (1993). The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. * Reid, Brian (1995). "USENET Readership Report for March 1995". * White, Erin (1999). "'Chatting' a Singer Up the Pop Charts: How Music Marketers Used The Web to Generate Buzz Before an Album Debuted". Wall Street Journal. pp. B1, B4.

FURTHER READING

* Bonacini, E. (2011). Nuove tecnologie per la fruizione e valorizzazione del patrimonio culturale. Roma, 2011: Aracne Editrice. * del Fresno, Miguel; López-Pelaez, Antonio (2014). "Social work and Netnography: The case of Spain and generic drugs". Qualitative Social Work. 13 (1): 85–107. doi :10.1177/1473325013507736 . * Ginga, Daiuchuu (2013). "In the Footsteps of Kozinets: Towards a New Netnographic Taxonimization". Journal of Internet Appreciation: 418–419. * Kozinets, Robert V. (1997). Merrie Brucks; Deborah J. MacInnis, eds. "I Want to Believe: A Netnography of the \'X-Philes\' Subculture of Consumption". Advances in Consumer Research. Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research. 24: 470–475. (First print appearance of netnography method)

EXTERNAL LINKS

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