Study: Comparing Tools of Social Media

Please consider participating!

A study by Javier Velasco-Martin

The Study

I’m interested in how we are incorporating Social Media into our communication toolset; this research study will compare different computer-based interpersonal communication media. I’m particularly interested in whom we relate with through different tools, what types of information we share on these, and how we feel about different types of information. Your participation involves responding to an online survey. This process should take you about 15 to 20 minutes, and should involve no risk or harm to yourself. With your help, we’ll be extending our knowledge in this field, where most research to date has focused on single tools. You may gain from the learning about how you use these tools, and adjust your use as appropriate. You can also be eligible for a drawing of one of two $100 gift cards (details below).

This study compares the some Internet communication tools; the type of use we’ll be discussing here is described below:

  • Email: The basic use of email, messages between two people.
  • IM: The basic use of IM, conversations between two people.
  • Blog: Posting as a blog author, and commenting on other’s blogs. In case you manage multiple blogs, we’ll be discussing your personal blog only.
  • Facebook: Posting status and comments on friends’ status and photos. Not including private messages, groups, or events.
  • Twitter: General tweets, replies and re-tweets, not direct messages. In case you manage multiple twitter accounts, we’ll be discussing your personal one.

This study has been funded by the 2009 Progress Grant from the Information Architecture Institute.

The Participants

I’m looking for people who’ve been using these tools long enough to have found a stable place for them in their daily communication toolset; establishing a (rather) definitive strategy for their use. I’m trying to focus on people for whom these tools are no longer “the new toy”. In practical terms, you should have at least six months of experience in either running a blog, or using a Facebook or Twitter account.

The Researcher

I’m a PhD student of Information Science at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. I’m interested in how technology is allowing us to communicate with our people in new ways, and how that is changing the way we relate with others. I believe Social Media marks a point where the Web has come of age, developing its own tools that are no longer remixed versions of what we’ve had before. I think that now is a great time to be studying these kinds of problems. I’m excited to be doing this kind of research, and I’m very thankful for your help. I also hope the results of this study will be useful to yourself and many others.

The Gift…

Participants who complete the survey will get a chance at winning one of two gift cards for $100 each. In order to participate in this drawing, I will have to collect your name and email address, but this data will be kept separate from the survey data and it will not be possible to associate your name with your responses. You need to answer 80% of the questions to be eligible for this drawing.