If someone searches for you on the Web and comes up empty-handed, do you exist?
Mary Brandel, Computerworld.com
So, ethnography seems to be having somewhat of an identity crisis partially inspired by the massive migration online and the various affordances of technological data-collection techniques. Plus ça change perhaps, as Ira reminds us of the lack of consistency of ‘traditional’ ethnography (cf the oddly different “Slim’s Table” vs. “There Are No Children Here” studies from 1991/2).
So, some cast doubt on the validity of online ethnography because, well, anyone can be or say anything online can’t they? But could this not be part of identity – a distributed identity no less valid than that presented face-to-face or through techniques using Relational Frame Theory (whatever that is)?