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Aug 21, 2015
| ISBN 9780262528245
May 10, 2013
| ISBN 9780262313391
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Aug 21, 2015 | ISBN 9780262528245
May 10, 2013 | ISBN 9780262313391
A proposal to repurpose Web-native techniques for use in social and cultural scholarly research.
In Digital Methods, Richard Rogers proposes a methodological outlook for social and cultural scholarly research on the Web that seeks to move Internet research beyond the study of online culture. It is not a toolkit for Internet research, or operating instructions for a software package; it deals with broader questions. How can we study social media to learn something about society rather than about social media use? Rogers proposes repurposing Web-native techniques for research into cultural change and societal conditions. We can learn to reapply such “methods of the medium” as crawling and crowd sourcing, PageRank and similar algorithms, tag clouds and other visualizations; we can learn how they handle hits, likes, tags, date stamps, and other Web-native objects. By “thinking along” with devices and the objects they handle, digital research methods can follow the evolving methods of the medium.
Rogers uses this new methodological outlook to examine such topics as the findings of inquiries into 9/11 search results, the recognition of climate change skeptics by climate-change-related Web sites, and the censorship of the Iranian Web. With Digital Methods, Rogers introduces a new vision and method for Internet research and at the same time applies them to the Web’s objects of study, from tiny particles (hyperlinks) to large masses (social media).
(T)his is an important and groundbreaking book for several reasons. Rogers’ overarching argument (…) is integral for a broader conceptualization of what digital social research should attempt to achieve. Rogers’ research provides a much-needed perspective that goes beyond the often UK/US-centric focus that digital scholarship published in English provides. The realization I was left with after reading the book, above all, was that of the sheer scope and size of what lies before digital social researchers who are interested in how users and digital objects mutually constitute each other, the politics of software and the historiography of the web.—Information, Communication & Society—
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