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date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter, which argues that the structure of the Web reflects the offline world, making it a valuable lens for exploring society, introduces the theories and issues which make general observations about the Web and then provides examples of investigations into particular topics, such as academic web use. The Web offers unique entrée to free information from Wikipedia to news websites and from government information portals to search engines. Moreover, the two broad approaches to investigating society on the Web are reported, which are based around link analysis and Web 2.0 investigations. Web 2.0 has spawned broad research to probe its effect on several aspects of society. The publishing of personal information on the Web, particularly on the social web, appears likely to continue and expand.

Keywords: society, Web, academic web use, link analysis, Web 2.0, social web, personal information

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