Well after over 170 votes in my poll (click here if you want to vote or just see the results) and numerous discussions, including with my editor at Wiley, it looks likely that the next book is going to be focused on ‘Deriving Insights from Online Discussions’.
The next step is to decide how to produce the book. The first option is to simply research and write it in the way I did with the Handbook of Online and Social Media Research (due out in a few months). This is probably the fastest way of writing the book, but I am a little concerned that this approach might imply that there is a settled consensus about the best way to derive insight from online discussions, and I do not believe that there will be a settled consensus for some time yet.
The approach I am favouring is to edit a collection of articles, each adding a different piece of the jigsaw. My role would then be to write the intro, the takeaways, to source the articles, and to create an single entity our of what will probably be pretty disparate items.
My thinking is that the book should cover the following areas:
- Overview of online discussion, what they are and how they are being used.
- Macro conversations, looking at topics such as blog and buzz mining, web scraping, text analytics, and webometrics.
- Micro conversations, looking at netnography, natural communities, social networks, and analytical techniques such as grounded theory and hermeneutics.
- Constructed conversations, ranging from online focus groups, to bulletin board groups, to MROCs, to blogs.
- Theories of CMC (computer mediated conversations) and online communities (for example why people join communities, the nature of truth and trust in communities, and the development of online and offline social capital via social networks).
I very much see the book as spanning the commercial and academic worlds, with cases studies and new thinking from both domains. I am thinking that the ever interesting story of ROI would be covered via the case studies.
I am currently thinking of 10-12 articles comprising the book.
What do you think?
Is this a book you would like to read?
What do you thing the book should include?
Have I listed anything that you would leave out?