This paper is an attempt to establish the methodological basis for carrying out ethnographies of online education communities, in particular in the Continuing Professional Development VITAL project co-ordinated by the Faculty of Education and Language Studies at The Open University www.vital.ac.uk/\ud \ud A much shorter earlier draft version of this paper was given at the Qualitative Research For Web 2.0/3.0: The Next Leap! 25 & 26 March 2010 in Berlin. Organised by Merlien. \ud \ud The arguments and references in this paper are almost all to be found in two books 'one authored and one edited – by Professor Christine Hine of Surrey University, UK (Hine 2000; Hine 2005)
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