Doing ethnographic research on the internet “transfers the ethnographic tradition of the researcher as an embodied research instrument to the social spaces of Internet” (Hine, 2008, p. 257, as cited in Airoldi, 2018)
The thick description of an autoethnography often aims to make connections with broader themes and connect the micro personal experience with the macro (Holman Jones, 2019; Wall, 2016).
however, some things also disappear. For ex-ample, if an online space closes down completely and does not get archived, that information is lost forever (Herrmann, 2016).
More of the reason to do an autoethonography from your own site. It is how you ensure artifacts do not disappear. Almost all of my early web teaching artifacts are gone. Walkmyworld relied on Storify and Mozilla webmaker apps. Both are gone, everything 4042.
Another tip: send any artifact to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
Furthermore, many online interactions may be inaccessible to researchers because they occur in private, publicly without a hashtag, and on other plat-forms such as Facebook groups.
I think this might change whether you are presently conducting data collection or looking back on your web interactions (as I am) for an autoethnography. I can describe my data sources well. I am also better protected from link rot because I hang and learn in spaces with a commitment to data ownership.
Maha opens with a description of autoethnography. I wonder if the methods still need the justification. This is a common feature in qualitative research, trying to prove your methods matter. Maybe I might just state it matter of factly. Not sure.
The next section then goes into a description of the space and person Maha is and built
Need to read: Baym, N. K., & Markham, A. (2009) Internet inquiry: Dialogue among scholars (pp. vii–xix). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
When I got into Collectivist Massive Open Online Courses (cMOOCs) and started developing my own Personal Learning Network (PLN), online learning became central to my life not just my lifelong learning. I built relationships online and took them deep into collaborations and friendships
Maha does a nice job storytelling her subjectivity statement. I think what I will do is date range my autoethnography but then state
I believed an autoethnography offered the benefits of allowing us to dig deeper into our own self-reflections as participants, bringing out the invisible thinking behind our public interactions.
There are two other reasons why I prefer autoethnography over other research approaches. One is that there are certain experiences, such as the experience of participating in a cMOOC, that are di%cult to understand from an abstract perspective
Maha then went and used narrative frames and a reflection after each one. Based on work in Ellis, C. (2004). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. Lanham, MD: Rowman Altamira. I should check this out.