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October 2021

Content analysis of the World Wide Web - Opportunities and challenges

Author(s): Lin, W. Y.

Journal/Book: Soc Sci Comput Rev. 2000; 18: 2455 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, USA. Sage Publications Inc. 272-292.

Abstract: This article examines methodological issues for content analytic research of the World Wide Web. The outline of content analysis as a systematic and quantitative scientific method for measuring the content of messages have existed for centuries. Nevertheless, its development and diffusion have been primarily spurred by the rise of mass media, newspapers in the 19th century and electronic media in the 20th century. The growth of the Internet promises to induce a similar expansion of its use and refinement of its techniques. The World Wide Web is characterized by its ubiquity, global reach, interactivity decentralized, hyperlinked structure, and multimedia format. All of these characteristics present researchers with opportunities and challenges at each step of a content analysis: sampling, unitization, development of content categories, coding, and analysis. Based on a review of recent content analytic research, this article analyzes these issues and suggests methodological improvements for future research.

Note: Article Weare C, Univ So Calif, Annenberg Sch Commun, Los Angeles,CA 90089 USA

Keyword(s): computer-mediated communications; content analysis; Internet; methodology; sampling; unitization; World Wide Web; COMPUTER CONTENT-ANALYSIS; NEWS COVERAGE; INFORMATION; DESIGN; ISSUES; PAGE; SITE

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