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Researching Online Communities

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presentation on a method for conducting a qualitative research that examines bonds and discourse of activists online communities

presentation on a method for conducting a qualitative research that examines bonds and discourse of activists online communities

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  • 1. Researching Online Communities and Cyberactivism Methodology Shadi Abu-Ayyash
  • 2. Research Questions Examining:Online Collective Unified Discourse Identity Bonds & Ties
  • 3. Study Case: pro-Palestine Activists and SolidarityGroups1. Geographical basis: Ireland, Scotland & England
  • 4. 2. Groups in Major Cities• Example: Groups in Ireland
  • 5. 3.On & Off-Campus Groups
  • 6. 4. Online Activitywebsites, blogs, email lists & social media
  • 7. Interviews -Semi-Structured-• First Stage:Pilot Interviews- September 2012: 8 Irish, Scottish and English Activists• Second Stage:Large Scale Interviews-October 2012-Feb.2013
  • 8. Questions Focus- Offline Activism Element- Online Activism Involvement- Nature of Online Content- Relation Among Cyber Activists- Expressing Self-Identity and Collective Identity Online
  • 9. Online Surveys• Participants:Targeting university groups and activists who are much more active online.• Selection of participants will be based on:- Internet Activity- Gender- Ethnic Background- Level of University Education* Using SurveyMonkey
  • 10. Survey Questions• Constancy of Online Activism• Time & Effort Contributed to the Cause Online• Type of Online Content Posted:- Organising offline/on ground activities?- Exchange of Information?
  • 11. Online Content Analysis• Analysing content of:- Groups Official Websites- Content of Newsletter/Press Releases- Social Media network Groups- Activists Blogs
  • 12. Online Content Analysis• Selected Content posted in 2011, 2012 and 2013• Considering:- Major Political Events- Level of Online and Offline Activities
  • 13. Analysing Text, Image and Video• Terms Used• Source of Contents: Original, Shared or Copied from Other Sources• Does it express all members’ position(s)?• Comments/replies:- Positive- Negative- Neutral
  • 14. Nvivo• For organising qualitative data collected from interviews (text & audio content) online, and questionnaires• Nvivo 10 would analyse social media and webpages content
  • 15. Visualising Data• Mapping Major Groups in Ireland and Britain• Online Connectivity Among Transnational Activist• Online Relation Among Activists in Social Media Networks• Groups/Activists Level of Online Involvement
  • 16. NodeXL* Examining information exchange among activists who aretwittering /tweeting trending topics on Twitter*Example of connection among users tweeting the phrase welcome2palestine
  • 17. Gephi to visualise ties among FB group members using Netvizz applicationExample of Connectivity among Westminster University-Palestine solidaritygroup members on Facebook
  • 18. Expected Outcomes• Emergence of Cyber Groups Collective Identity• Effect of Online Involvement on Offline/Ground Activism• What Decides the Strength of Ties Among Online Activists: Topic, Geography, Political Position, Level of Participation?
  • 19. In short RQs Bonds, Identity & DiscourseData Interviews, Online Surveys & Online Content Analysis Focus Groups Offline and Online Activity & GeographySoftware Nvivo, SurveyMonkey, Gephi, Netvizz & NodeXl Results 2014/2015
  • 20. Useful Links• Gephi: https://gephi.org/• Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/• Nvivo:http://www.nuigalway.ie/cs/staff/software/n vivo.html• Netvizz: http://apps.facebook.com/netvizz/• NodeXl : http://nodexl.codeplex.com/
  • 21. Thank You Shadi Abu-AyyashHuston School of F & Digital M ilm edia,NUIGshadi.abu-ayyash@nuigalway.iehttp://actdigital.wordpress.com/ @shadi3000

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