My research project is utilizing qualitative content analysis to see if online hockey fans can be considered produsers. This method isn’t as common as the quantitative approach, but does have its strengths as an analytical tool.
There’s a few excellent sources of information regarding this approach. None, however, being more useful than this article. Zhang (2009) provides a summary of other research done on this method to illustrate its strength and weaknesses. It then provides steps to follow when conducting qualitative content analysis.
I’ve selected one hockey blog and will examine its homepage as well as a few blog posts. What I’ll do is comb through the blog and code/mark-up/highlight whatever content falls under the categories outlined in my codebook. I’ve established four categories, reflecting the four key characteristics of produsage (Bruns, 2008). I’ve established a codebook to sort my observations and interpretations of the blog. Definitely a rigorous process to ensure that my coding is accurate and consistent.
Bruns, A. (2009). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
Zhang, Y. & Wildemuth, B.M. (2009). Qualitative analysis of content. In B. Wildemuth (Ed.), Applications of Social Research Methods to Questions in Information and Library. Retrieved October 18, 2011 from http://ils.unc.edu/~yanz/Content_analysis.pdf