Online ethnography

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Online ethnography is the type of ethnography done exclusively within an online environment, meaning the observation of social interactions, behavior and perceptions that occur within specific groups or communities of Internet users. This kind of research aims to collect rich holistic insights of people’s views and actions, thus creating a clear picture of that particular group.


DataDiggers conducts online ethnography in Romania as well as around the world in the English-speaking countries.

The data we collect in the online ethnography studies we conduct reveal important aspects that can be later developed and measured through quantitative research. The higher the internet penetration in a country the stronger the influence Internet users have on others.

For instance, in Romania there are various public online forums on different topics that are known to be real influencers of people’s buying decisions. One of the most influential is the mothers of kids/babies group. Current or future mums often go online to seek advice from others about various topics, from what products they should buy for their kid to ranking best/worst doctors or hospitals and which travel agencies they use for their next holiday. It’s so easy to raise a question mark on the quality of service a hospital can provide – moms will likely decide to stay away from using the services of a hospital based on a bad review from another mom. Therefore, we believe it’s highly important for a company that targets the mass public to know whether there are negative influencers about their products in the online environment and how to handle that.

Depending on client’s requirements we can either handle the full process through a carefully selected network of local partners that have experienced local staff in each country we cover or we can just run the fieldwork and deliver raw data to client who will do the analysis with own experts . Either way, we always offer a free proofing of the study materials through native speakers of all local languages, to make sure client’s original objectives are not missed out due to poor translation.

Quality control

We employ several methods to ensure best quality for the data collected using online ethnography:

  • Apart from the project manager that is in permanent contact with client, two senior level local supervisors work on each project, ensuring backup throughout the project and availability of a knowledgeable contact at all times
  • Project materials are proofed for translation by native speakers of each language, to make sure that client’s original goals are not missed due to poor translation
  • Deliverables are thoroughly checked by two different experienced analysts to ensure accuracy before they are sent over to client.

Works best for ...

  • Building an accurate in-depth profile of a certain audience through direct observations of the culture and behavior.

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