This is one of the best books you can find about doing social research on the Internet. There are thirteen contributors of the edited book and each offers some original responses to the fast growing Internet and the social processes related to it. One of the major themes that concern all the contributors is: How do we study the Internet? While the Internet has changed many aspects of our lives from the way we work, to the way we shop, to the way we socialize, the Internet is still a fairly new subject for social scientists to grapple with. The book offers some explorative strategies for the readers to get some general ideas about how to examining the social aspects of Internet.
Both quantitative and qualitative researchers will get some insights from this edited book. The editor, Steve Jones, chose the articles from a wide range of social research approaches. Most contributors are from communication studies, but there are also people from computer science, sociology, and English departments. I think one of the most intriguing chapters is chapter 12 where Barbara Sharf talks about the ethics problems of doing naturalistic discourse research on the Internet. Chapter 13 is also an inspiring piece because it bridges the field of cultural studies with that of Internet communications.
Compared to ¡§CyberSociety 2.0¡¨ and ¡§Virtual Culture: Identity and Communication in Cyberspace¡¨ both of which are edited by Steve Jones, this book is more focused on the doing aspect, which is Internet research methodology. I think it is a very practical and thought-provoking book for those who are consider doing or are now doing research on the Internet.