Please participate in related poll April 10, 2002 10:41 PM   Subscribe

This request for opinions on participation in online fora was posted to an email list I participate in. I thought it might be appropriate here, as well. Please, only serious, thoughtful participation, you heathens.
posted by Mo Nickels to General Weblog-Related at 10:41 PM (8 comments total)

We are faculty members in the Jones school of management at Rice University in
Houston, Texas (you may verify this by doing a Google search under Lisa Klein or
Paul Dholakia). We are conducting an academic research project studying different
types of social interactions on the internet, and its influence on participants from a
sociological perspective.

In this regard, we are conducting a survey of members belonging to e-mail groups
such as yours, newsgroups, chat-rooms, MUDs, and other social groups on the
internet, seeking information on different elements of their thoughts, feelings, and
motivations for participating in the group, as well as questions about the group's
value to them... The survey is available for answering on the web at the following
URL:


http://www.surveypro.com/cgi-bin/surveypro/run_survey.cgi?id=2458


Of course, this research is strictly academic, and has no commercial motives or
interests whatsoever. We hope to publish this research in a sociology or
communications journal.

As a small token of our appreciation for participants' time, and in the spirit of the
philosophy underlying the internet, we will donate $250 each (a total of $500) to
two organizations/ groups/ charities of our participants' choice (we ask participants
to nominate their favorite groups in the survey). We will randomly select two
groups or organizations from the nominations of all completed responses.

Please, please help us in this research, first through participating, and second,
through encouraging other members of your group or other internet users to
participate in the research. This will not take more than ten or fifteen minutes of
your (and their time).

In addition, if you know other individuals or groups who might be interested in
participating in this research, please let us know.

We welcome all help, and look forward to your participation. If you have any
questions, please e-mail us (Lisa at lklein@rice.edu ) or
(Paul at dholakia@rice.edu ). Thank you very much for
supporting our research.

Best wishes,

Lisa Klein, Assistant Professor, Rice University Web-page:
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lklein
Paul Dholakia, Assistant Professor, Rice University Web-page:
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~dholakia

posted by Mo Nickels at 10:41 PM on April 10, 2002


It seems to be on the up and up. Some of the wording of the questions makes them a little hard to answer, and many of them are a stretch to apply to the 'Filter, but it is possible. It took me about 13 minutes. What makes it worthwhile is that they will donate 250 bucks to an organization or group that gets the most votes (they ask at the end which organization you think should get the 250 bucks), so naturally I put Metafilter (and gave the URL) If all of us do this, maybe we can get 250 bucks to help Matt with the new server costs/etc. C'mon, gang, we can do it! Isn't Haughey worth just 13 minutes of your day?
posted by evanizer at 11:28 PM on April 10, 2002


We will randomly select two groups or organizations from the nominations of all completed responses.

D'oh.
posted by rusty at 11:58 PM on April 10, 2002


Gee, thanks for ruining my day before it begins, rusty. Randomly? Supposed I missed that; then again, I don't believe in randomness. "God does not play dice with the universe" and all that.

Well, it can't hurt to do it anyway, right? I mean, if a thousand Metafilterarians filled out the survey and put Mefi as the benefactor, wouldn't that significantly up the chances that the random pick will be Mefi? Of course, we all know which organization rusty will write in, don't we? That's what you're doing, isn't it? Sabotage...
posted by evanizer at 12:08 AM on April 11, 2002


I completed it, and put MeFi in for my site du jour. Yet, i can't help but fell just a little bad for not putting a worthy charity in. Alas, what's done is done.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:48 AM on April 11, 2002


Actually god does play dice with the universe, quantum uncertainty and all that. If they're doing an objective study then they shouldn't have a reason to favor one group over another. Are a bunch of gung-ho form fillers the best example of what a typical on-line community is like? How about 10 responses from a small MUD? Unless they're willing to do a huge scope of thousands of sites then their best alternative is picking a couple at random.
posted by skallas at 5:50 AM on April 11, 2002


What is this 'friends' thing they keep talking about?
posted by insomnyuk at 8:18 AM on April 11, 2002


It should be noted that these two are marketing specialists. Hence, you will notice a seemingly-out-of-place section on your personal devotion to products, brands, and promulgation of brands. No big deal, and I did it anyway in the hopes to stuff the ballot with metafilter, but I'm not sure I'd like the uses this data will be put to ("brand loyalty associations among internet user groups"? barf).
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:16 PM on April 11, 2002


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