The overarching objective of the proposed project “Online Communication Analysis: Methods for Multimodal, Networked Communication” (OnCoA) is to develop an interdisciplinary methodological and theoretical approach to online communication in the field of media and communication studies that aims to provide applicable solutions for current and future demands in digital media and communication analysis.
The term ‘online communication’ comprises here any communicative interaction/action on and by means of the Internet. Therefore, the project focuses on methods and underlying theories/paradigms regarding the analysis of multimodal, networked online communication where text, audio, pictures and video represent different albeit joined linguistic modes that build coherent content. Hyperlinks represent another linguistic mode that turns static and linear text into dynamic networked communication where both the text producers and readers become interchangeable actors.
The innovative nature of the project lies in its interdisciplinarity, aiming at an integration of both social sciences-driven and media informatics-driven approaches in online communication research. The methodological, theoretical, and technological challenges of this research arise out of the multimodal nature of digital communication (e.g. websites or weblogs with text, audio, and video content). Additionally, the multitude and networked (i.e. hyperlinked) nature of online communication demand a revision and amplification of existing approaches to online communication analysis, specifically regarding the traditional methods in social sciences, such as content analysis.
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