oa South African Journal of Information Management - Internet as a medium for qualitative research
With an estimated 200 million Internet users, the Internet has created communities that would /could not have formed otherwise. It provides access to interdisciplinary, heterogeneous groups. New modes of contacting research subjects as well as the social mobility provided by the new technologies confront researchers with the need to revisit concepts such as interview, subject, field site, and informed consent. While outcomes of this research indicate that the Internet provides useful potential as a medium for qualitative research, it is important to use on-line technology for what it is good at rather than slavishly adapting face-to-face models. The approach and medium chosen should suit the research goals and be sensitive to the target group and context. Thereafter the research should be planned to exploit the functionality of the chosen medium and to minimize its limitation.
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