I am in the beginning stages of studying a ‘blogshop’ phenomenon (basically people creating online shops out of free blogging software) using grounded theory. It has become very popular in SE Asia but not elsewhere.
Instead of interviewing these blogshop owners outright, I am thinking of doing website analysis of these blogshops at the outset. My argument is that these blogshops hold rich data that manifest the nature of the businesses and the social and commercial processes that mark this phenomenon. I also believe that the main concerns of the blogshop participants should be evident in these websites and that they can springboard to other sources or types of data (like interviews with owners and customers) via theoretical sampling.
To me, Glaser’s dictum ‘All is data’ makes it possible for websites to
be studied this way. However, I cannot find any sort of website analysis or studies as a part of a grounded theory project in the literature, so I am left to wonder if I should really follow through with this idea.
There are lots of people using GT in IT – it would seem (without having much perosonal experience to help you) that the method would be suitable. Dr. Cathy Urquhart (here on Methodspace) uses GT in information tech.
The information would indicate the chief concerns of the blogshop businesses (at least that is what I am hoping for). I think it can indicate concepts, categories and properties even. It could also collaborate with information from interviews. That is what I am thinking.
Thanks for your thoughts.
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