Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Academically Surveyed

Tests and surveys lend themselves perfectly to the internet. You fill in a few questions about yourself and come up, instantly, with some fascinating aspect of your personality that you never knew before, like that you resemble a carrot rather than a lychee, or a Renault Clio rather than a Jensen Interceptor (yellow). They are great fun and are used on dating sites such as Tickle. I did one and came up with an IQ of 148 which I thought a tad excessive, so I did it again and the result was, I'm sure, closer to reality...

More seriously, academics doing research on social mores, behaviour and attitudes can reach a much wider audience, and the results, especially for surveys conducted on internet use, will be that much more valid.

I haven't amused myself with a silly test recently, but I have taken part in a Manchester University survey on privacy on the internet. It's part of a study by Karen Mccullagh as part of her PhD research, which is sponsored by the ESRC and Office of the Information Commissioner, UK.

The reason why I'm plugging it here, is that it is specifically aimed at bloggers and the content of their blogs - how much they divulge of their private lives, jobs, name and so on, or whether the nature of their blog is based on information about others and their lives, politics, fashion (such as GoFugYourself).

There are also questions on what types of information you consider to be sensitive and whether you have ever got into trouble because of something you included in your blog about someone else or your job.

It takes less than 5 minutes to do, so if you'd like to participate, the link is here.

Karen will send you the results of the survey if you request them. Go on, do it - the more the merrier!


  1. Hello again Sarah

    I trust that you, NG and family and pets are all well.

    I had a go at doing that survey last night. Pretty straightforward, as you indicate, and well-designed for the most part. What slowed this sexagenarian down was the following, which seems to have copied and pasted nicely:

    Recently daughters of Bobby Brown and Marie Osmond had their anonymous blogs identified. In your opinion, did this breach their privacy?

    Yes No Don't Know Prefer not to answer

    Do you think was right to remove the blogs of Bobbi Kristina Brown and Jessica Osmond when their true identities were revealed?

    Yes No Don't Know Prefer not to answer
    Please explain why you said Yes or No:

    It's difficult for some of us to give simple confident answers about named celebrities, if one is not given to following all the gossip about their lives. So when the questionnaire refers to Marie Osmond having an "anonymous" blog, was it really anonymous, or a bit of a tease, ie making playful hints that the blogger was not just the homely girl next door type ? So be prepared to use the comments boxes, to say things like "it depends what you mean by "anonymous" etc.

  2. I think that as celebrities are in the public domain by choice that basically nothing that they do is anonymous, nor can they expect it to remain anonymous.

    It would be naive of Marie Osmond to think she could write an anonymous blog, unless she was writing it about something neutral, like dog breeds...

    If they don't like the heat, they can get out of the kitchen, but I reckon that a celebrity who writes an 'anonymous' blog is one who is looking for extra publicity when it finally gets 'revealed'.

  3. Right on. Made essentially the same point in the Comments box as you, Sarah.

  4. sarah, yes, agree with you tho i really didn't know about their myspace page. i think if they want to come out on the internet, then it's just right, i mean, all of us are under the same scrutiny here anyway.

    i did the survey too.

  5. I didn't know about myspace either, and actually I don't follow what Marie Osmond is doing...

    Why are you called ace, ace, when you are really Treespotter???

  6. Who's "NG" anyway?

    Yes, I took the survey. thx.

  7. Duncan: NG is part of my extended family, NuttyGranny, who is really Diane, the artist in my list of links.
    The RA is my ResidentAdolescent.


Comments are bienvenue.