Internet media analysis: internet monitoring

1. Definition
Internet media analysis is a content analysis method for evaluation of published content and postings on websites.

2. Applications
Analysis can serve two purposes:

1) Analysis of "external" websites (similar to print media analysis), concerned with the  organization or engaging with issues that definitely or potentially affect the organization. The objective is to filter entries of relevance from the mass of content published on the internet and evaluate those entries. This helps in identifying relevant issues and determining their attention value.

2) Analysis of "own" website(s) to a) modify content to meet communication objectives and b) investigate perception of content among user groups (e.g. in terms of authenticity, credibility, relevance). Methods used for this include surveys and Usability-tests.

3. Conduct
The basic approach to and design of analysis is as described for media response analysis . The content to be analyzed can also be investigated qualitatively and quantitatively. As the content is already present in digital form, most of it can be found and analyzed automatically. Searches are usually conducted using special (internet) search engines which identify relevant content on the basis of defined terms or combinations of terms. Another option is to define fixed sets of websites to be searched on an ongoing basis.

When compiling the code book and determining coding units for qualitative evaluation, the specifics of online offerings need to be addressed. Factors to be taken into account include multimedia applications (video streams, podcasts, flash animations, etc.) and contextualizations (e.g. linkage to other articles on the issue). These must be included in the interpretation of the data.

4. Indicators

  • Positive/negative/neutral statements
  • Range / user figures
  • Time spent on content
  • Degree of linkage / search engine position / Google page rank
  • Click depth
  • Fluctuation of content (do articles disappear after a certain period or are they archived in freely accessible archives?)
  • Accessibility of content (is registration necessary? Who has access to the content?)
  • Rate of dissemination (how many websites generally access the content, and which websites do so? Is information sent straight to recipients via RSS feeds?)

5. Service providers in Germany
Aserto, Hannover
Ausschnitt Medienbeobachtung, Berlin
Business Wire Europe, Frankfurt/Main
convento, Neuss
Dow Jones, Frankfurt/Main
FORSA BrandControl, Frankfurt/Main
General Media, Berlin
GESO, Bodenheim
GfK, Nürnberg
Infopaq, Kornwestheim
Ipsos, Hamburg / Mölln / Nürnberg
Kantar Media, Hamburg
Landau Media Monitoring, Berlin / Bochum
LexisNexis, Münster
Meltwater News, Berlin / Köln / München
Newbase, Hamburg
PMG Presse-Monitor GmbH, Berlin
pressrelations, Düsseldorf
Prime Europe, Mainz
spring, Saarlouis
TNS Infratest, München/Bielefeld
YouGovPsychonomics, Köln/Wien
X-Ray, Hamburg

6. Links
Duncan, Seth (2009): Using Web Analytics to Measure the Impact of Earned Online Media on Business Outcomes: A Methodological Approach. [PDF, 232 KB]

7. Further reading
Haas, Stephanie/Grams, Erika (2000): Readers, Authors, and Page Structure. A Discussion of Four Questions Arising from a Content Analysis of Web Pages. In: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 51, 2000, S. 181–192.

Neuendorf, Kimberly A. (2002): The Content Analysis Guidebook. London.

Paine, Katie D. (2007): Measuring Public Relationships, Berlin (NH).

Stacks, Don W. (2002): Primer of Public Relations Research. New York.

Sterne, Jim (2002): Web metrics. Proven Methods for Measuring Web Site Success. London: John Wiley & Sons

8. Case studies

Please send us short texts from your projects on this topic in the same structure as the existing case studies, and more information (pdf or links) on the methods employed in as much detail as possible.

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