IS research on social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, blogs) has so far used user surveys or quantitative content analysis (QuantCA) research methods almost exclusively. There is considerable potential for social informatics research to use qualitative content analysis (QualCA) to explore social media discourse and its appropriation by people “in situ”. This paper presents the position that QualCA offers researchers the flexibility to identify emergent research questions and units of analysis which they may not have preconceived. This is likely to be important for IS research because of the infancy and evolving nature of social media discourse. The paper puts forward suggestions on how the QualCA research method can be adapted for this type of research.


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