Virtual Armchair Anthropology: Trend Watching Fieldwork Online
"I predict that we will slowly see the return of the “armchair anthropologists” Malinowski so famously dethroned." The reason: "The web offers a tremendous, and ever growing database of lived experience", Kerim Friedman wrote in an earlier post on Savage Minds. Via del.icio.us/anthropology I found the article "Visual Anthropology" by trendwatching.com. They list several tips on how to conduct online-fieldwork - anthropology light - to find out about peoples'life. From their introduction:
As consumers around the world pro-actively post, stream if not lead parts of their lives online, you (or your trend team) can now vicariously 'live' amongst them, at home, at work, out on the streets. From reading minute-by-minute online diaries or watching live webcam feeds, to diving into tens of millions of tagged pictures uploaded by Flickr-fueled members of GENERATION C in Mexico, Mauritius, Malaysia and dozens of other countries.
What's so interesting about this feature are the large number of links to explore. In many cases, the photo sharing service flickr gives insight into peoples life. Or obscure sites like What's in your fridge?