This chapter explores the transition from audience studies to cyberethnography on the basis of the author's own experience in doing research in computer-mediated communication and in teaching in online environments. The chapter describes her experience in developing methodologies for studying Internet interactions through theoretical perspectives by drawing on postcolonial feminist theories and critical cultural studies. Doing ethnography at online/offline intersections requires a hands-on approach, whereby the researcher works to build techno-mediated contexts while simultaneously living in them and also staying connected to related contexts offline. Such an immersive methodology allows the researcher to understand computer-mediated communication in global environments. In particular, the author refers to her experience of the “South Asian Women's network (SAWnet) refusal,” as she developed her cyberethnographic methodologies in the early 1990s. She describes her experience in developing appropriate research methods to study such Internet-based global media.
In her article “The Challenge of Changing Audiences,” Sonia Livingstone notes the shift in media communication from “mass” (one to many) to “communication among peers (both ‘one to one’ and ‘many to many’).” She asks if this means “that the concept of the audience is obsolete” (Livingstone, 2004, p. ...