Cyber Ethnography both resembels and differs from traditional fieldwork. Livejournal user closedistances is beginning his /her dissertation research and designs the (imagined) ideal software tool for cyberanthropologists:
"I have found myself wishing on more than one occasion that I had software capable of automating certain tasks. With this in mind, I want to use this entry to imagine a software package, which I will call “The Virtual Ethnographer’s Toolkit” (VET for short) that would be able to perform the tasks that existing programs do not seem able to do."
His or her expectations are quite detailed. Much is related around search and content grabbing. I guess, a part of it could be solved via RSS - at least this wish:
If I wanted to do a textual analysis on SavageMinds.org, VET would be able to generate a text file consisting only of posts within the “Technology” category, only posts containing the phrase “virtual ethnography” within them, or only posts by Rex.
The post ends with an invitation:
If you have ever done a virtual ethnography, I invite you to participate in this fantasy and add whatever features you think VET should have that I did not already think of.