Block 2: Virtual communities and online identities is another really exciting course chunk. As with Block 1, we’ve an artefact to produce: a study – in whatever format we choose – of a virtual community. As with Block 1, there are some terrific energies being released here.
week 5: 19 October
Twitter seems to be abandoned at this point in preference to more traditional discussion boards. There’s no doubt it’s a better way to have a debate but it feels a rather backward step. Never mind though, as there’s plenty of activity going on in the blogs.
week 6: 26 October
This week saw me getting to grips with the concept of community – not a term that I feel one should use to describe two or more people doing stuff on the web (Yes, Michael Wesch, I’m talking ’bout you: a bunch of kids riffing on the Numa-Numa song is not a community!). I’m also fretting about the idea of the virtual ‘field site’ (I think I’m the only course member who thinks they might exist!) and the ethics of online ethnography. There are lots of good debates going on here.
week 7: 2 November
Trawling through my blog I can see no posts this week. I suspect this was the week we spent making our ethnographic study – mine on a section of the political blogosphere – or commenting on other people’s. I know it was a lot of hard work, a lot of fun and hugely rewarding.