Activist & Social Media - Focus Groups - August 2012
So Success in Activist Tweets now has ethical clearance and we are ready to get on with our focus groups with activists which will be held on the 18th and 23rd August 2012.
The Focus Groups
I’m Amanda Potts, a PhD student in the Linguistics and English Language Department at Lancaster University, and a Research Assistant on a project called Catalyst. I’m working with a few other people from the University (Jon Whittle from the School of Computing and Communications, and Johnny Unger, also from Linguistics and English Language), who have partnered with a member of the activist community (Alex Lee from Manchester Friends of the Earth).
What's it about?
The aim of this research task is to find out about the ways in which activists and community groups engage with social media tools to communicate with the public. We hope that ultimately this research will be used to help create an online platform to bring together existing research on social media use in activism, and the experiences and views of activists themselves. The project is part of Catalyst which brings together academics and communities to carry out transformative research on the theme of citizen-led social innovation.The results of our analysis would be available publicly, and could be a catalyst to enable activists to learn how to use social media better and improve the chances of effecting positive social change.
For our research, we’ll be running a few focus groups with different people involved in activism across the UK. A focus group is really just a structured chat. During the focus group, I will give you some questions and topics to discuss with the others taking part in the group. You are welcome to say as much or as little as you like, though I would ideally like everyone to contribute (even if just a little) to every question/topic. There will also be time to discuss any topics that you think of, which I hadn’t.
What does it involve?
In order for me to be able to use the focus group in my research, I have to record what you say, so that I can later write it down and examine it very carefully. I will use several recording devices (to make sure I definitely manage to record it!) , but I hope that this won’t be too intrusive. I will also ask you to complete a short questionnaire about your use of social networking tools and participation in activist campaigns.
Your help is what makes this research project possible, and your participation will lead to the advancement and success of activism on social networking. We also hope that you will find the experience enjoyable as well!
We realise that you are all very busy people, and have arranged for two focus groups to meet in Manchester this month, one on a weekday evening, and one on a weekend afternoon. If you are eager to contribute to this project, and are able to join us at one of these events, please click on the registration link below for the time and date that you are available.
When are they?
To get involved in a focus group, click on the date you want to attend.
- Saturday, August 18, 2012 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (Group A)
- Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (Group B)