Wednesday, January 24, 2007

UNLV Conducts Survey of Blogs Effects on Social Interactions

Two students at UNLV are conducting a survey on how blogs (and our blogging) effect our social interactions. When I received the link in a comment to one of my posts, I wasn't sure if it was hinky, so I checked it out. It's a legit survey--you can find it at this site.

I've emailed the students to get a little more background information, and will post an update to this post when I hear from them.

It was actually quite fun to take the survey--the questions are well-thought--and it's kind of nice to be helping someone out on this kind of project. If you get the chance, stop by and take the survey.

Update 1/26: I received a great email today from Reza Vaezi, grad student at UNLV in the MIS department. He's working with Dr. Reza Torkzadeh. A quick description of the study from Reza Vaezi: "In this study, we specifically look for the effects of Weblogs on social capital and in turn on trust among people who frequently use Weblogs." I asked if it was tough getting approval for this study (knowing that many colleges and universities discourage blogging by grad students and all levels of faculty.) Reza did confirm for me that it took them over a month and a half to get approval for the study. Didn't surprise me at all. Blogging is, still, considered something of a "fringe" activity with a number of unknown and unproven elements about it--which makes it a bit suspect to many in business. I wish them the best of luck in getting good responses with the study and hope many bloggers in all levels will participate.

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4 comments:

reza said...

Tish, Thank you for this post and thank you for the help and your interest in this issue. I just sent you an email. and I'll update you with the results when they are ready.

Tish Grier said...

thanks reza! I'm really looking forward to seeing what you've found :-)

Murley said...

tish,

the evidence for universities discouraging students and grad students from blogging or studying blogging is likely very anecdotal.

As a contrary example, I conducted my first weblog research project for a University of South Carolina journalism ethics doctoral seminar way back in Nov. 2004, and have presented a couple of other papers since then, and my dissertation is focusing on weblogs as well. The professors have been extremely encouraging about exploring blogs.

There are all sorts of reasons why a project might take a long time to get approval beyond simple fear of the blog.

Some of these papers are here, in case anyone is interested.

Tish Grier said...

Murley,

the encouraging/discouraging of grad students and profs blogging could very well vary by institution. Some may be more fearful of it than others (I think the piece I read on it was in the Chronicle of Higher Ed sometime last year.)

It's great that you've been able to do research on blogging! And thanks for the links to the papters.

My further comments on the difficutly of getting approval for certain topics--not just blogging-- also comes a bit from my own experience. As a Smith undergrad, I wanted to do a thesis on Christian movies. I had to go round and round with the head of the dept., who assured me I wouldn't find an adviser--which I did. And my thesis did very well. That was in '01. Since then, there's been more writing on Christian films by a number of divinity school grad students (when none existed prior). Not to mention that there's been a major shift in how fundamentalist Christians view the uses of cinema--think the Mel Gibson movie (which I won't name--ghastly thing...)

So, depending on the school, the project, and the various disciplines and departments, there can always be trouble getting a project approved--esp. if it's perceived by that group as being a bit edgy.