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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Methodological approaches of Web 2.0
Year 2009
Access date 30.09.2009

Web 2.0 recently gains increased attention. In short time the usage of Web 2.0 applications spread widely. About 30% of the general population is using Web 2.0 applications like blogs, forums and communities. Among young and highly educated people the usage is even higher. More important than the people using Web 2.0 is the mass of information that is obtainable and applicable by Web 2.0 for empirical research. Many people share their ideas, thoughts and information on the internet using Web 2.0 applications, opening up a new scope for empirical sciences.

This paper focuses on the two methods utilising Web 2.0 that where already proven by research experience. The first one called Online Community Research is defined as research carried out in communities. These communities may already exist or can be created by researchers themselves for a certain topic of interest. The second approach called Web Monitoring is characterized by monitoring existing contributions to the web using (automated) content analysis. This paper illustrates and discusses Online Community Research in detail, for Web Monitoring an overview will be provided.

Online Community Research combines three classical empirical methods as explicated in the following paragraph. Research in Web 2.0 Communities primarily bases on three features provided by online platforms: Discussion groups, blogs and multimedia uploads. (1) The classical research methods suitable for online discussion groups are the methods for classic focus groups and group discussions. (2) To conduct empirical research in blogs some more transfer is needed. But surely blogs can be referred to as the online version of diaries where people write down their individual thoughts in general or in consideration of a certain topic. So the classical set of methods applying to blog research is research methods for diaries. (3) Thirdly multimedia uploads correspond, if applied properly, to the methods of ethnographical research. Self-evidently all classical methods need customisation for the usage on the internet.

This paper works out the similarities and dissimilarities of classical research methods transferred to Web 2.0. It carries out a literature overview of studies conducted in Web 2.0 and provides case studies for online community research to illustrate the potential these new approaches enable.

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Year of publication2009
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
Full text availabilityAvailable on request

Web survey bibliography - Internet Survey Methodology workshop 2009 (21)