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The site has a search engine that provides the options to search “El Clon” forum, all the forums, all words, any word, and exact phrase. The time frame for the search is from the last 30 days, last 60 days, last 90 days, last 180 days, or all dates. The search can also be by author, subject or message bodies. This mechanism is welcome because it curtailed claims of research bias, since the engine provides the selection. The initial intention is to search not only for words like Muslim, Islam, but also to include character names such as Tio Ali, Tio Abdul, or Zoraide. A search for Tio Ali resulted in 2689 posts. Unfortunately, due to time and financial constraints, the search needed to be paired down. The researcher then decided to search for the word Muslim in all dates, subject and message bodies. This search returned 714 messages. At the time, it is thought to be a good amount, and the researcher proceeds to copy and paste the posts for the study. What the researcher did not realize was that 714 is not an absolute number if the intention is to represent all the exchanges that take place regarding the searched theme. When opening a post, the threads and additional postings that follow make it too cumbersome for the time and financial constraints of this research. At about three hundred pages of copied messages, the researcher realizes that it already captures more than it was possible to handle. Therefore, in order to focus the research, and make it a more reasonable study without compromising the purpose of the study it is decided to search for the word Muslim on the subjects, and all dates. This search results in 101 posts and a final count of 314 messages, from February 8, 2002 to August 26, 2004. Four messages are discarded because they are not related to the subject; they specifically talk about a forum participant that is no longer posting. They are questioning where this participant might have been. Even thought this is a valuable discussion, it does not directly pertain to the sphere of this particular study.

The returned messages and their threads are then copied and pasted in a word document and saved in a computer disc for subsequent coding and analysis. Repeated messages are discarded, and at this time the researcher is able to register all the threads, which makes the dialogue more cohesive.
The unit of analysis identified for this research is the thematic content of the message posted. According to Babbie (2001) unit of analysis is the “individual units that we make descriptive and explanatory statements about” (p.306).



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