4.6 Data Collection
The data that was collected for this research was carried within the context of an online ethnography, and was completed in a few phases. The first phase was carried out in the form of participant-observational ethnography of the Metafilter community. I became an active participant within the community, and followed every MetaTalk thread, as well as a large number of Metafilter threads where there were high levels of community participation. This heavy phase of data collection lasted for about eight months, where I spent an average of six to eight hours a day online, at different times of the day. I also relied heavily on the extensive archives to fill the gaps of what users were discussing, to gain a sense of history for the site, as well as to flesh out and back up various things I was witnessing.
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