Notice: the WebSM website has not been updated since the beginning of 2018.

Web Survey Bibliography

Title How Web 2.0 Technologies Can Become a Valuable Part of Online Research
Author Jaron, R.
Year 2008
Access date 09.07.2008

Less than half a decade ago, online research had to proof in general that its data quality could keep up with traditional methods. Now that this initial debate has cooled and Web 2.0 is emerging, naturally the question arises how online research can profit from new web phenomena and surpass the features of traditional computer assisted interviews.

Web 2.0 can be considered as an evolution of the internet towards more interactivity and user generated content. Simultaneously, programming techniques such as Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) are spreading. These can turn conventional “click-then-wait” content into a more desktop-like, low-latency, interactive one. If online researchers want to take advantage of this and create online surveys with interactive web 2.0 technologies, three key concerns are raised:

1. Can the average online user be surveyed with the new technology? Or do technical obstacles exist which either prevent her or him from filling out the questionnaire altogether or cause errors which distort the measurement?

2. How does the solution with the new technology compare to the older one? Does it yield to more or less information and do the results correlate well enough to ensure sufficient test reliability?

3. How do online users feel about the new survey technologies? Especially in market research, large numbers of users are routinely interviewed and surveys which are participant friendly are desirable to prevent from high rates of drop out within the survey and to ensure high participation rates in the long run.

To answer these questions, we carry out a case-study in which 300 online panel members are asked to rate various print and web stimulus material. 150 participants fill out a “traditional” HTML-based questionnaire (“web 1.0-group”). The other 150 participants fill out a HTML-based questionnaire which in addition features web 2.0 technologies to present and evaluate the stimuli (“web 2.0-group”). For example, the task of rating a print advertisement is helped with a magnifying glass. The task of rating web material is helped with an interactive “diary” tool ( NLR web scan ), which allows users to comment on websites while surfing on them.

To answer all three questions, we measure the failure rate due to technical problems. Furthermore, we calculate the inter-correlation between both methods as a measurement of inter-test-reliability and rate the amount and quality of collected data. Finally we assess the reaction of panellists towards the new technology: Does the new technology offer “joy of use” and support for “traditional” online research to keep up with the changing web landscape?

Based on all results, the acceptance and applicability of the web 2.0 technologies mentioned is evaluated and a recommendation for commercial as well as scientific use is provided.

Abstract - optional

General online research (GOR) 2008 (abstract)

Year of publication2008
Bibliographic typeConference proceedings

Web survey bibliography - General Online Research Conference (GOR) 2008 (15)