Research Assistance: Blog Reader Survey

BONizens: Toby Hopp is working on an important bit of research and has asked a number of blogs for research assistance.  As the child of two professors, I am sympathetic to the challenges related to academic research, and happy to help.

So help me help Toby. Do your part. Take a very quick survey about user-generated content online (e.g. the many excellent Fan Posts y'all write). Thanks in advance for helping out here.

College Football Research Project

My name is Toby Hopp and I'm a longtime college sports blogger/blog reader. I'm also a graduate communications student at San Diego State University who is interested in studying how and why Internet users generate content online. What precisely, you may be asking, is "user-generated content?" Well, "user-generated content" includes comment sections at the end of news/blog articles, messageboards, diaries, polls, and the like.

To me, one of the great parts of the blogosphere is the interaction it enables between readers. As a community, we're able to provide feedback and discuss issues in real time. However, the concept of "user-generated content" and its subsequent social applications has not, at this point, been thoroughly studied by communications researchers and is, in my estimation, completely misunderstood by the mass media.

So, if you have 10-15 minutes to spare and support empirical media research (and the social sciences in general), please click the survey link below. Even if you NEVER create/read content on blog or newspaper websites, PLEASE consider taking the survey as your answers are as important to me as the answers supplied by individuals who DO regularly create content.  Rest assured that all answers and provided information will be strictly anonymous and kept totally confidential.

Survey Link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WSQGPZ2

For those of you interested in statistics, all collected information will be scientifically analyzed and utilized to create an inherently unique structural equation model. To that end, I'll send a report out to each participating blog which details general trends and reader utilization issues of note.

Again, please consider taking this survey (Survey Link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WSQGPZ2) whether or not you ever create or read "user -generated content" on blogs or newspaper sites. The survey itself will take 10 - 15 minutes and, I promise, will be quite painless. As stated above, research on the topic of "user-generated content" is incredibly sparse and your participation will go a long way in understanding the environmental factors that encourage meaningful intra-community participation.  And, of course, you'll be doing me a great and immeasurable favor.

The survey will be active from Monday, December 14 through Friday, December 18. Please feel free to e-mail me at thopp@mail.sdsu.edu if you have any questions relating to the survey or my over-arching methodology/conceptual framework (obviously, there's a lot more to the study that can be reasonably described here).

Thank you for your time and please know that your participation really does mean a great deal to me on both a professional and personal level.

Survey Link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WSQGPZ2

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