Doing An Internet Study
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Doing An Internet Study

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AoIR 2007 presentation

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Doing An Internet Study Doing An Internet Study Presentation Transcript

  • Doing an Internet study without e-science in a strong Internet nation Han Woo PARK, PhD Dept. of Communication & Information YeungNam University Republic of Korea (South) Email: hanpark@ynu.ac.kr, parkhanwoo@hotmail.com Website: http://www.hanpark.net
    • This is written for a round table,
    • “ Internet studies and e-science: New tools and concepts for research”, in annual conference of AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers) in Vancouver Canada, 17-20 October 2007.
  • Biographical sketches of author
    • Han Woo Park is Assistant Professor at YeungNam University in South Korea.
    • His research on the use of new digital technologies in extending social networks has contributed to development of a new research field, Hyperlink Network Analysis , and his research has appeared in several international journals, including New Media & Society and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.
  • Acknowledgement
    • The author kindly acknowledges support through the Korea Research Foundation Grant (KRF-2004-042-H00004).
    • I have been a principal investigator in a research project titled “ Analyzing South Korea’s political websphere ” supported through the Korean Research Foundation Grant (KRF-2004-042-H00004) from December 2004 to November 2007.
    • Let me give some reflections on the four round table questions based on a personal experience with this particular project.
    • This project is composed of three research package . The first is to compare South Korea’s electoral websphere with other countries.
    • This was done as a part of the “ Internet & Election Project ” whose e-science aspect is well introduced in a recent Journal of Compute-Mediated Communication ’s e-science special issue (Jankowski, 2007).
    • The second is to examine the structure of online relational networking using a set of hyperlink data collected from the official websites (Park, Thelwall, & Kluver, 2005; Park & Thelwall, 2007a forthcoming)
    • and personal blogs (Park & Kluver, 2007b forthcoming) of elected politicians ,
    • i.e., National Assembly members, and citizen blogs having a strong engagement with Korean politicians (Park & Jankowski, 2006).
    • The third is a cross-national survey of websites produced by Japanese and South Korean politicians by comparing their websites features and hyperlinks
    • (Tkach-Kawasaki & Park, 2007).
    • Through this research project, I have been able to collaborate with several oversea scholars in terms of brainstorming, writing-together, and conferencing.
    • However, most of these activities were done through commercial softwares
    • (e.g., Skype, MS office, Webdex etc.).
    • These proprietary programs are neither safe nor confidential enough to do a scientific communication.
    • However, public e-science communication tools for instantaneous Q & A, mutual writing/proof-reading, and co-analyzing are rare in nearly all nations including South Korea with strong Internet infrastructure.
    • There are some embryonic attempts driven by the USA, for example, SNAC
    • (Social Networks and Cyberinfrastructure, http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Conferences/SNAC/index.html ).
    • Therefore, the development of public e-science tools for scholarly communication particularly among humanists and social scientists needs to be perceived as an important policy issue .
    • Further, a focus interview with scholars having a strong desire about adopting e-science communication media can be taken as an appropriate approach to policy issues regarding social Internet studies and e-science.
    • A heavy dependence on commercial application is also true of “link analysis ” that is often referred to as the most promising area where Internet studies and e-science can meet (Ackland et al., 2006; Park & Thelwall, 2003).
    • None of non-commercial crawlers is superior to major search engines such as the Yahoo, the Google, and the AltaVista in terms of the coverage of World Wide Web.
    • Therefore, in order to conduct link analysis, researchers should be aware of (advanced) search engine queries and technical components comprising of a website.
    • In relation to this, Nentwich (2003, pp.235~244) provides a good sketch of new skills and roles for scholars and librarians in the e-science age.
    • Lastly, if I had had an access to virtual collaboratory with massive data storage capacity and advanced research network, it would have greatly enhanced the quality of a cross-national research that examines the different styles and practices of politician websites between South Korea and Japan.
    • Its primary method lied in identifying the existence of certain information and engagement characteristics contained in the websites of national assembly members.
    • This joint project accompanied with downloading and storing entire websites of individual politicians using the Offline Explorer, a paid program that allows you to download certain website and navigate the site offline.
    • Due to the limited bandwidth capacity of ordinary Internet network, I was not able to share archived websites with a Japanese partner as a class and vice versa.
    • Only screen-shots were exchanged via email. Table 1 summarizes the total amount of South Korean politician websites in terms of website size, number of folders, and number of files .
  • *Table 1) Website sizes of South Korean politician homepages
    • N = 277
    Item Website size (byte) No. of folders No. of files Median 269,590,955 84 1,728 Minimum 292,202 7 11 Maximum 4,177,982,280 2,088 11,500
  • Thanks for your attention !
    • I nteresting & growing area s
    • P romising approach es
    • New Media & Society Lab at YeungNam University in South Korea
    • * Website : http://www.hanpark.net
    • * E-mail : hanpark@yun.ac.kr
    • parkhanwoo@hotmail.com
    • Many thanks to my assistants and collaborators!