After all, by focusing on an online community such as the Beyhive, means I will be focusing closely on a digital form of ethnography. I will be following what the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography describes as a methodological array, which would be natively digital (Caliandro 2018).
I’ll be relying on the activities of digital ethnographers as I will be retracing the steps of key participants after the fact, by means of interviews, web archives, social media platforms, field notes and other materials (Postill, 2015).
This means, accessing social media platforms to find a number of present examples of Beyhive members around the world.
- Online Observation: rummaging through Instagram, Facebook & Twitter (as they are the most popular within Beyhive communities), Youtube videos/interviews that have been done before. Including screenshots, screen recordings of Instagram posts and accounts.
- Potentially 2 interviews: interviewing friends I know already who are part of this digital fandom community; The Beyhive. Gaining their thoughts and opinions with what secondary sources say, as well as further insight and ideas into the overall project through voice recording or just written quotes.
- All the primary research I plan to undercover will work alongside all of my secondary findings, as this will be crucial in my project to the overall understanding of modern-day “stan culture” and internet media domination within the Beyhive community.
As described by John Postill (2015),
Through a digital method of ethnography, myself as a researcher in this scenarios, I will “follow the medium, that is, consider the Internet not so much as an object of study, rather as a source of new methods and languages for understanding contemporary society”.
So in the words of John, I will be performing and following a medium that is a source of new methods and languages for understanding contemporary society, especially within the world of internet popular culture. In this case, understanding the impact of individuals all over the world who share one similar mutual liking for Beyonce, and consider themselves part of the “Beyhive”.
I will also be :
Hashtags, links, likes, comments, all vital information, as well as tips and tricks that my final project will use to find and gather information and new insights into my topic.
With everything I’ve mentioned so far, I’m certain on planning a visual essay to be handed as my final report. I find that creating my project into an audio-visual essay, will allow me to concisely cover the visual aspects of my online observation, and make the overall project creative as well as visually informative. As I’m approaching a digital ethnography approach, I’d like to follow the digital nature of the internet and submit a digitally enhanced project.
Caliandro, A. 2018, ‘Digital Methods for Ethnography: Analytical Concepts for Ethnographers Exploring Social Media Environments’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 47(5) 551–578
2017, ‘The Rise of Stan Culture: How the Beyonce Beyhive Gained Power’, TriniTrent, <http://trinitrent.com/2017/05/rise-stan-culture-beyhive-gained-power/>
Postill J, 2015, ‘Six ways of doing digital ethnography’, Johnpostill.com, <https://johnpostill.com/2015/01/16/13-six-ways-of-researching-new-social-worlds/>