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Using Social Networks As Research Networks Kathy E Gill 1 May 2008.

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1 Using Social Networks As Research Networks Kathy E Gill 1 May 2008

2 Outline Some definitions GaTech WWW Survey Social Network Sites Online Focus Groups

3 Technical Networks Computer Network: a system of composed of hardware and software that allows computers to communicate with one another Internet: a worldwide system of computer networks that communicate using TCP/IP The Web: a subset of the Internet that communicates using HTTP

4 Social Networks An association of people drawn together by family, work or hobby; coined by professor J. A. Barnes in the 1950s. He described the social network as a group of about 100 to 150 people. (source)source

5 The GrandDaddy: GVU What: Technical Networks + Social Networks Who: Georgia Tech Graphics, Visualization & Usability Center (GVU) When: Jan 1994 – Oct 1998 How: 10 user surveys that documenteddeveloping Web demographics, culture, user attitudes, and usage patternsuser surveys

6 GVU Methodology Non-probabilistic sampling based on social networks and other promotion –Announcements on Internet related newsgroups –Announcements made to the www-surveying mailing list –Banners on high-exposure web sites (e.g. Yahoo, CNN, Excite, Webcrawler, etc.) and through advertising networks (e.g. DoubleClick) –Publicity via popular offline media (e.g., newspapers, trade magazines, etc.)

7 GVU Survey 1 When: January 1994 The first publicly accessible Web-based survey; composed of five parts Estimated N=20 million Internet users. 4,853 responses to all surveys combined Demographics: 6% female

8 GVU Survey 7 When: 10 April 10 1997 through 10 May 1997 Estimated N=30 million. 19,970 unique respondents (~1-in-1,500) Demographics: 31.30% female

9 Social Network Websites Web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system (source)source

10 Key Characteristic Makes social networks visible – to self and others

11 Brief History (1997) LiveJournal (1999) LinkedIn (2002) MySpace (2003) Facebook (2004, 2006) YouTube (2005) Twitter (2006)

12 Survey Research Facebook Polls LinkedIn Answers Twitter Polls Focus Groups

13 Facebook Polls

14 FB Poll Not Free From TechCrunch Facebook charges you a variable amount based on how quickly you want results…The more you offer, the more quickly results are returned to you… Facebook will estimate the completion time for the poll based on how much you bid.TechCrunch

15 Useful? One Marketers Experience (Dec2007): Currently you can only ask 100 people, with the possibility of each individual only being profiled on one variable (i.e. age OR gender, etc.)…the 24hour turn around time is a definite bonus. I see this service being used in small businesses and startups where the market research resources are very low.One Marketers Experience

16 Linked In Answers

17 LinkedIn A professional network Follow the blog for examplesblog –Featured Q this week: Pros and Cons of Re- financingPros and Cons of Re- financing Success story: after 12 hours... [1] from my blog post and the rest … from my 200-ish LinkedIN contacts.Success story

18 Twitter –#poll –Obama or Hillary or Clinton and and

19 Real-Time Feedback Twitter in conferences (back channel) –#forrmarketing08 Twitter as research diary –Search @ginsoak or @learningspaces –

20 For Journos From OnlineJournalismBlog (UK)OnlineJournalismBlog –News of UK earthquake broke on TwitterUK earthquake –Monitor groups with –BreakingNewsBreakingNews –Wire Feed (TwitterFeed + TweetBurner)TwitterFeedTweetBurner –TwittUrly – top 100 URLs (think Memeorandum or TechMeme)TwittUrly –Live Book ReviewLive Book Review News Organizations Using Twitter

21 Twitter Misc. Web, IM, Phone Twhirl or SnitterTwhirlSnitter The User-Created PBWikiPBWiki

22 Organization-Specific Social Network Sites Del Monte Foods –I Love My Dog –400 members; handpicked –Introduced Snausages Breakfast Bites in six months; normal time 12+ months Sylvan Learning –With MarketTools, surveyed a group of mothers with children in 1 st -12 th grades –Sent possible ad storyboards; feedback helped shaped new ad campaign Wall Street Journal, 14 Jan 2008

23 In Summary … This is non-scientific research; dont extrapolate to larger audiences! This is early adopter research; dont extrapolate to late adoption audiences! Low transaction cost makes it possible to get opinions, case study material quickly, cheaply Online focus groups may combine best of off- and online qualitative survey methods

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