Digital Ethnography

The Anonymity Project (Video Preview)

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After the 94 articles activity I reported about here 2 weeks ago, my research team (“students”) began crafting their research proposals.  These were then aggregated into one collaborative proposal showing how each project is related to the others.  In the meantime, they have also been learning the language of video; gathering clips, pictures, and techniques for demonstrating their proposals in compelling ways.  Most of them had never edited video before, and yet here we are just 4 weeks into the semester and they have already mastered the basics and created some interesting work.  The video below is simply some of the best of their 16 “trailers” mashed together to give you a glimpse into the project we hope to create throughout the rest of this semester.  We call the project: “The Fight for Significance in the Age of the Microcelebrity: Anonymity, Anonymous, Smart Mobs, Mad Mobs, Bot Mobs and the Great American Poets”

All the students are actively blogging about their projects.  You are welcome to follow along at our research hub.


  1. Dan Donahoo

    February 16, 2009

    Continue the fine work Digital Anthropologists of Spring 2009. There are many people watching. Off to watch more of your individual trailers….

  2. Neil Whitehead

    February 16, 2009

    Great project… i think your work is inspirational!

  3. Rick Ladd

    February 16, 2009

    As always, Professor, you are doing some very interesting . . . actually fascinating stuff that resonates with so many of us paying attention to how our world is changing. Makes me wish I was a full-time student and not smack in the middle of the changes as they’re affecting industry and commerce.

    Regardless, your work has helped me understand what we’re facing in my industry and how I can affect the direction we will go in if we expect to remain relevant. Thanks.

  4. yewenyi

    February 17, 2009

    you guys just rock! :-)

  5. Ainslee Hooper

    February 18, 2009

    Just watched the Anthropology of Youtube on Youtube and was fascinated! I’m an Anthropology student in Australia, and have been thinking of doing my thesis on how the internet has influenced either cultures or friendships (i’m not quite sure yet, got so many ideas swimming through my head). I had gotten to the point of wondering if that was a pointless idea, but after looking at what you and your students are doing, am reinspired. Wish they offered a subject of the like at my university :)

  6. Ed Webb

    February 18, 2009

    Amazing stuff. One question: the closing quote of the video – grammatically it should be “none of us is as connected as all of us” rather than “none of us are as connected as all of us”, I think – is that a deliberate choice (to produce cognitive dissonance in the grammatically-atuned/anal) or an accident?

  7. Prof Wesch

    February 19, 2009

    It’s a play off the Anonymous slogan: “none of us are as cruel as all of us.”

  8. michael strangelove

    February 19, 2009

    Amazing work!

    Very cool hearing myself being quoted by one of my students who is then quoted by one of your students.

    Minute 1:50 has

    “A communication system that creates a space for unrestrained conversation, fixes that conversation into a semi-permanent historical record, and allows non-commercial cultural production to flourish.”

    The Empire of Mind (2005, pp 96 — 97),

    “A communication system that creates a space for unrestrained conversation, fixes that conversation into a semi-permanent historical record, and allows non-commercial cultural production to flourish can hardly be equated with a stable environment for the identity of the élite.”

    Just shows how connected we all are!

    You and your students are setting the standard for excellence in collaborative Internet research. I am filled with Web 2.0 envy.

    Do anthropologists sleep or just twitter all night long?

    Dr. Strangelove

  9. Djudje

    February 20, 2009

    Incredible video! It’s as artistic as it is expository. Dr. Wesch you continue to keep your finger on the pulse of technological change and it’s impact on our many cultures.

  10. Michael

    March 10, 2009

    My thoughts are anonymous if i don’t write them.

  11. Heather

    March 10, 2009

    Fascinating! I can’t wait to see what comes of this project. i just wish I would have been able to take your class while I was at K-State.

  12. Page Turning Software

    April 3, 2009

    If you circulate a publication then you want to know what your readers think and how they interact with your printed Digital publication. Unfortunately, print surveys for these publications are costly, time consuming and very rarely are they a 100% sampling of your audience.

  13. Becky Roth

    April 15, 2009

    Hey everyone! I don’t know if proud is the right word, but I am continuously impressed by the work pumped out by the digital ethnography working group and proud of being dig eth alumni, proud of what the program has become, and inspired by the participants and ideas coming out of it. I cannot wait to bring On-Site Research Associates to the classroom, we are thrilled to see the face of cutting edge digital ethnography, even if that face is anonymous. Put on your Guy Fawkes masks, we will see you soon! (BY the way, i’m posting to you from the road in a totally networked RV on highway 1 on the coast of California heading to Malibu. and that is pretty sweet. its very windy and curvy, but we bolted the desk down. :) )

  14. Digital Publishing Software

    February 23, 2010

    Very cool. I wish my professors would have had us do something like this. Half the learning comes from the class mates.

    You might also consider looking into the Zipadi platform.

  15. Quintin Schouviller

    October 26, 2011

    Great color option around the weblog. It truly is really uncomplicated on my eyes and I’ve undesirable eyes as well so that?¯s a definitely massive compliment lol

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Our work explores how humans use media, how media uses us, and how we can use new media to reveal our insights in new ways.

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