Mapping the Complexities of Online Dialogue: An Analytical Modeling Technique


  • Robert Newell Royal Roads University
  • Ann Dale Royal Roads University



dialogue, visualization, sustainability, text, conversation analysis


The e-Dialogue platform was developed in 2001 to explore the potential of using the Internet for engaging diverse groups of people and multiple perspectives in substantive dialogue on sustainability. The system is online, text-based, and serves as a transdisciplinary space for bringing together researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and community leaders. The Newell-Dale Conversation Modeling Technique (NDCMT) was designed for in-depth analysis of e-Dialogue conversations and uses empirical methodology to minimize observer bias during analysis of a conversation transcript. NDCMT elucidates emergent ideas, identifies connections between ideas and themes, and provides a coherent synthesis and deeper understanding of the underlying patterns of online conversations. Continual application and improvement of NDCMT can lead to powerful methodologies for empirically analyzing digital discourse and better capture of innovations produced through such discourse.



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Author Biographies

Robert Newell, Royal Roads University

Robert NEWELL is a research associate of the Canadian Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development program, based out of the School for Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University (RRU). Much of his research focuses on developing creative and interactive ways of disseminating sustainability research ideas and engaging online communities, and he also works with RRU's School of Culture and Communications as a course developer and instructor.

Ann Dale, Royal Roads University

Professor Ann DALE holds a Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development at Royal Roads University, is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Science, a Trudeau Fellow Alumna (2004), and the recent recipient of the 2013 Molson Prize for the Social Sciences granted by the Canada Council for the Arts. A widely published author, her research focuses on virtual and place-based communities.




How to Cite

Newell, R., & Dale, A. (2014). Mapping the Complexities of Online Dialogue: An Analytical Modeling Technique. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 15(2).



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