Researching social phenomena online could, until quite recently, be perceived as a novelty. Nowadays, practically every research project in the social sciences needs to take online research into account. An important share of interpersonal interactions and social life has migrated into the online realm. This means that to maintain the current level of interest and detail of social analysis, the introduction of online research is increasingly necessary. This chapter introduces the idea of incorporating digital social science into any social studies project. It argues that not involving an analysis of online communities and social life is no longer an option for the vast majority of social sciences projects. It introduces the three possible approaches to understanding online social sciences: studying people while using the Internet, studying online communities, studying online culture output. It argues that doing research on avatars should be supplemented by doing research on actual people.
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