Posts Tagged ‘poll’


Who am I? Contributor, author, participant, responder?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

mzacha from morguefile

Survey and focus group researchers have great respect for their research participants. Those participants have been carefully chosen and kindly agreed to share their opinions on specific topics, and with reference to specific questions, in order to create better products and services.

As part of the social media research process, however, people go online to share thoughts and opinions which are completely unsolicited and unguided. People may write paragraphs and essays, or simply short comments and status updates in places like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, and more. Collectively, these millions and billions of opinions contribute to the wealth of knowledge from which researchers learn.

Terms like “research participant” and “research responder” seem to imply that that the person is aware that they are contributing to the research process. But social media doesn’t work like that. Even though people share opinions, and some people may be aware that their opinions may be used in research, these people aren’t really research participants or respondents in the traditional sense.

The social media research industry needs a similarly respectful and appropriate phrase to refer to people who so kindly share their opinions online. This poll lists a number of potential options, some of which I like more than others. I would love to hear what the research community feels is most appropriate. Please feel free to add in any options that you feel are missing.
[polldaddy poll=3672008]

Online Opinions of Candidates in the Toronto Mayoral Election 2010

Monday, October 25th, 2010

In Toronto Canada, today is the last day to vote for the City of Toronto mayor, a race that is mainly between Rob Ford and George Smitherman. Given that Toronto holds about 8% of the population of Canada and both candidates have raised eyebrows in one way or another, this is an extremely important vote. Let’s have a look at the types of words and phrases the online community uses when they’re talking about each candidate in a positive way and in a negative way. [Larger fonts mean that the phrase is used more often.]

Based on the types of words that are most commonly used, who do YOU think will win this vote?

Positive Conversations about George Smitherman

Positive Conversations about Rob Ford

Negative Conversations about George Smitherman

Negative Conversations about Rob Ford