Internet Inquiry Goes to Press! (and me on TV)

Yesterday my co-editor Annette Markham and I sent the final manuscript of our collection, Internet Inquiry: Conversations about Method, to our editor at Sage. The book is targeted at graduate students learning qualitative research methods (participant observation, ethnography, interviewing, discourse analysis, etc), and those who want to consider those methods vis-a-vis the internet. We hope to see it wind up in qualitative research and internet studies seminars, as well as on the bookshelves of internet and qualitative researchers.

It’s based on the premise that there is no recipe to getting it right, instead there are smart ways of thinking through key questions. So what we did was pose questions, have one accomplished researcher explain how she answers it, and then have two other accomplished researchers respond to that response and offer their own answers. Those familiar with the field of internet studies will likely recognize many of the included authors. The initial reviews have praised it for being the only one of its kind, well written, and useful. I don’t know when it will be published or go on sale. In the meantime, here is the table of contents:

Introduction: Making Smart Choices on Shifting Ground
Nancy Baym and Annette Markham

QUESTION ONE: How can qualitative internet researchers define the boundaries of their projects?
Christine Hine
Lori Kendall
danah boyd

QUESTION TWO: How can researchers make sense of the issues involved in collecting and interpreting online and offline data?
Shani Orgad
Maria Bakardjieva
Radhika Gajjala

QUESTION THREE: How do various notions of privacy influence decisions in qualitative internet research?
Malin Sveningsson Elm
Elizabeth A. Buchanan
Susannah R. Stern

QUESTION FOUR: How do issues of gender and sexuality influence the structures and processes of qualitative internet research?
Lori Kendall
Jenny Sundén
John Edward Campbell

QUESTION FIVE: How can qualitative researchers produce work that is meaningful across time, space, and culture?
Annette N. Markham
Elaine Lally
Ramesh Srinivasan

QUESTION SIX: What constitutes quality in qualitative internet research?
Nancy Baym
Annette Markham

I owe a huge thank you to Annette for how hard she’s worked this last month getting this out the door. It’s been a long process.

On another note: Canadian readers can find me on the teevee this evening as part of a panel discussing the future of sites like Facebook on The Agenda with Steve Paikin.  Video should be on their website tomorrow.

Comments (5) to “Internet Inquiry Goes to Press! (and me on TV)”

  1. I can’t wait for this! This will be tremendously useful in the classroom.

    And I have a question regarding Internet studies that focus on the industry. My work involves conducting interviews with executives and content producers working in dot-com companies and other “new media” settings. I find that this dimension of internet/new media research often gets overlooked in discussions of method.

    So I’m curious to know if authors here have dealt with industry-related questions or if they are primarily concerned with audiences/users.

  2. Aswin, Mark Deuze (as you probably know) looks at this in his book Media Work (I think that’s what it’s called). But I’m not seeing a lot of studies of dot com workplaces either.

  3. Hi Nancy,

    I’m actually writing this blog post having just (as in about 2-3 minutes ago) seen your TVO appearance.

    First of all, I have to say that you came across as a very intelligent and capable person. You presented the information and facts to back up your points in a clear and concise manner, and in the process you managed to make Om Malik look like a complete idiot. Very impressive!

    However, I have to partly agree with both of you on the major point of conjecture. Om was right in that there are a large percentage of people that do replace offline socializing with online socializing, and I would think that you’re right in that the majority enhance or supplement their offline socializing with online socializing.

    Interesting stuff, at any rate.

  4. Nancy – I didn’t realize Deuze’s book was already out. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Adam – don’t know if you’ll pop back in to read this, but I’d disagree. There are certainly some percentage of people who use online socializing and don’t socialize offline, but I haven’t seen any studies to indicate that it is a “large” rather than a small percentage or that those people would be socializing offline if not for the internet. Instead, the research I’ve seen suggests they might not be socializing at all if not for the internet.