6 February 16:30-18:00
The Oxford Internet Institute is pleased to welcome Dr Eleanor R. Marchant for the talk 'Researching with African techies: Lessons from a digital ethnography with a Kenyan tech entrepreneurs' community'.
This talk is part of the OXDEG (Oxford Digital Ethnography Group) series. In 2010, a group of bloggers, developers, and designers in Nairobi, Kenya, formed one of the first physical spaces dedicated to supporting start-up entrepreneurs and programmers on the continent. The space was called the iHub, and through savvy PR and social media engagement and a compelling story about a “rising techie Africa”, it quickly positioned itself as a gateway between the fledgling tech entrepreneur community on the continent, and the international investors and entrepreneurs looking to engage. Drawing from over three years of ethnographic engagement, including a year of participant observation as part of the iHub’s communications team and a constant mix of online and offline data collection techniques, this presentation will talk about some of the study’s stand out findings as well as its methodological approach. Research with a community whose members are hyper-connected and constantly engaged online, provides an important opportunity for testing out innovative approaches to ethnographic data collection, but also unique challenges that raise both logistical and ethical concerns worth exploring. Dr Eleanor R. Marchant is a ConflictNET Postdoctoral Fellow at the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford.