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From studying communities to focusing on temporary collectives: research-in-progress on Web 2.0 in the travel sector

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In this research-in-progress paper, we suggest that methodology is lagging behind innovation in the Web 2.0 environment. While prior art on virtual communities (VC) provides some helpful coordinates for our study of User-Generated Content (UCG) sites in the travel sector, there are some important conceptual differences between these phenomena that raise methodological challenges. To illustrate this, we identify the dominant methodological approaches in the VC literature and consider their value for studying UGC. Having noted key differences between the virtual community ethnographic tradition and the mainly quantitative UGC literature, we examine the potential of integrating different streams of methods in Web 2.0 studies. We suggest that exploring a broader range of options during the research design process presents opportunities for IS scholars to advance studies of social media such as User-Generated Content and increases our capacity to make significant contributions during this important period of their development.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/26705/1/wp171.pdf

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