Capturing and Analyzing Liquid Content: A computational process for freezing and analyzing mutable documents

As scholars take greater interest in analyzing digital content, they are being presented with novel methodological challenges. Among these challenges are dealing with the volume and mutable nature of digital content, and especially online content. The present work discusses a computational approach for 'freezing' and analyzing aspects of a large volume of 'liquid' content using an accessible combination of free software running on consumer hardware. The strengths and limitations of this approach are illustrated through an examination of the method employed in an analysis of more than 125,000 snapshots of the homepages of 21 news organizations over two months.