Just use the right methodsPosted: December 3, 2012
Orgad’s topic, “How Can Researchers Make Sense of the Issues Involved in Collecting and Interpreting Online and Offline Data?”, is important to look at, as more research is beginning to take place online. (On a side note, when I was looking for sources for my research proposal I noticed that there is a lot of interesting research online that is happening in Turkey.) As Orgad mentions the distinction never had to be made before now in communications media. This is because the Internet is seen as a space, and “often been seen as distinct and separate from offline, or “real” social life, encompassing relations and practices of their own” (Orgad, 2009). In order to determine whether or not you need to use online and offline data you need to look at your research question. Trying to mix online and offline research poses a lot of problems, including the authenticity of the identity of the people you are researching, and the sample of the respondents. Formulating a method of collecting information from both online and offline sources takes a lot of planning, when I take a look at my research question I believe I can answer it just by conducting online research, and that saves me from having to make a complicated method for researching. When you used both you need to consider a lot more factors. Even in Orgad had to justify using both online and offline methods, stating, “Fundamentally, in reading and analyzing women’s accounts, my aim was not to evaluate whether they were “truthful” or not. Rather. The aim was to obtain an enhanced understanding of women’s experiences of using the Internet in relation to their illness” (Orgad, 2009). Orgad concludes that choosing the right method for data collection is important in order to collect high quality data, and that it is important to use the right methods based on your question.