Research Closed, Analysis Begins
I’ve spent the last few days since the survey closed digging through the data. For the most part I’ve played with content analysis, using a variety of programs as I test out which ones work best with my research questions.
RQ1: Can a scale measuring the traditional four factors of sense of community (membership, influence, fulfillment of needs, and emotional connection) be used to measure sense of community in online communities?
RQ2: How do participants characterize sense of community online and offline?
My initial plan was to use SPSS Text Analysis, but IBM purchasing the software threw a wrench into my plans as all of the licensing changed right as my student license expired. It may have been for the best, because I’m really enjoying a free program provided by the University of Pittsburgh called CAT and the subscription-based Leximancer my dissertation chair suggested.
Tonight I decided to take a break from that and do the drawing for the Amazon gift cards. The two winners have been notified, and I hope to get the gift cards to them this week!
For everyone else who took the survey, better luck next time — and that could mean this summer.
I’ve been planning a follow up study, hopefully coming out in June, and for that research I have cut the survey in half. There have been comments about the survey being too long, and I’ve used your input to rewrite it. Rather than asking about four communities I ask about two, and both are open-ended so you get to choose what community to answer about. In the World of Warcraft survey two were open-ended and two were set (guilds and home neighborhood). I will still be starting the invitations from specific communities and asking for participants who meet a set of criteria, but there will be more leeway in choosing what communities to talk about.