Abstract

In this guide, we describe a digital research approach that combines three methods otherwise often used separately: netnography, visual network analysis, and computer-assisted content analysis. In particular, we show how these three methods can be used to good effect in parallel and complementary ways, constituting quali-quantitative digital methods research. The guide presents three key phases of any digital research project: data collection, data exploration, and data analysis. In the data collection phase, we highlight the flexibility of netnography to traverse different digital locations, the ability of network analysis to snowball social relations and ties, and the ability of computer-assisted content analysis to locate variations in how a given issue or topic is being expressed. In the data exploration phase, we detail how the three methods support the exploration of patterns within the dataset. Netnography does so through immersion and by seeking symbolic variation across different locations, network analysis through visually inspecting patterns of social relations, and content analysis through computer-assisted reading across the discursive landscape. In the data analysis phase, we describe how each of the three methods, respectively, enables a focused analysis of key cultural logics, network patterns, and symbolic content patterns. The different phases are exemplified with a quali-quantitative digital methods analysis of green issue politics during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in Denmark.

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