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Using Web 2.0 to democratize the information economy in qualitative research

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2 Author(s)

Web 2.0 refers to a set of innovations in Internet technology that can transform the Web into a participatory medium energized by the desire of people with shared interests to exchange information and opinions. By combining instant web publishing, social networking, user-generated content, and communal tagging, rating, and commenting-all within an easy-to-use content management system-Web 2.0 websites have the potential to increase the richness, dynamism, and influence of qualitative research. To explore this potential, we have developed a conceptual model for a research website designed to collect structured accounts from a targeted group of people about a specific topic. In our case, we plan to collect first-hand reports from technical communicators about their experiences and opinions related to single sourcing and/or content management methods and tools. This paper describes and illustrates the main components of our conceptual model and also touches on some of the challenges we anticipate. In concluding the paper, we report our progress to date in building the site and speculate about possible implications of our model for opening up the information economy of qualitative research in diverse areas, both within academe and within other organizational contexts.

Published in:

Professional Communication Conference, 2008. IPCC 2008. IEEE International

Date of Conference:

13-16 July 2008