Analyzing the Communication in Chat Rooms—Problems of Data Collection


  • Claudia Orthmann



IRC, webchat, youth chat, children, adolescents


In the ongoing research project "Process analysis of the communication of children and adolescents in the Internet" several approaches to data collection have been tested. This paper addresses the problems of data collection in qualitative chat research of minor chatters, which we experienced during the course of the project. The anonymity in the Internet in relation to the age restriction of the research project to chatters between 10 and 17 years of age was one of the aspects which caused problems in collecting the data. Another problem lay in the technical conditions of the chat systems themselves. Depending on the possibilities of the automatic generation of log-files, methods of data collection varied (from experimental settings to non-reactive settings) since the project intended to analyse natural chat conversation. This contribution presents three empirical approaches to data collection and their implications for the research project. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0003361


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How to Cite

Orthmann, C. (2000). Analyzing the Communication in Chat Rooms—Problems of Data Collection. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(3).



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