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Edited by Russell W. Belk
Chapter 10: Netnography 2.0
Robert V. Kozinets Introduction The world is changing. Maps are being redrawn, boundaries shifting, old ethnic groups re-merging, and new cultures proliferating. The multifarious and multiplicative nature of human culture is brought into high relief through even a cursory examination of the vast sphere of networked communications glossed in its glorious totality as the Internet. The Internet mutates on a second-by-second basis and in this chapter I take into consideration some recent mutations to update a methodology I initially developed at the beginning of the Internet’s rise as a forum of consumer-to-consumer communications. It is almost inconceivable to think that such a dominant and currently nearly indispensable innovation (Hoﬀman, Novak and Venkatesh, 2004) began as recently as 1969, the same year, incidentally, of the ﬁrst manned moon landing. That year, four remote computers at UCLA, Stanford, UC-Santa Barbara and the University of Utah were linked together into the original ARPANET, a military–academic construction initially intended as a national defense project. As human networks tend to do, the (ARPA)net expanded, drawing in more of human society, building connections both obvious and sublime with corporate information technology structures and burgeoning home networks like AOL, Prodigy and CompuServe and eventually bursting forth in the mid-1990s as a full-blown mass commercial and cultural phenomenon. The online, or virtual, communities of the Internet have expanded from small cloisters of academic–military personnel to encompass practically the entire range of human social behavior, everything from beading to bondage, political spooﬁng to terrorist-proo...
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