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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Methodological and Ethical Problems in Analysis of Web Site Authors
Author Petric, G.
Year 2004
Access date 14.09.2004
Abstract The paper argues that internet can be a very useful and sociologically informative tool in analysis of social actors, who are authors/owners of web sites, but several methodological and especially ethical questions appear in doing this, which need to be discussed. The possibility of each internet user to produce and publish his web site, on which practically anything can be put, from personal information, company presentation to political statement of depriviliged social groups, is an unique opportunity in the history of mankind. It fosters democratisation of society and rationalisation of knowledge, but also makes manifest sociological facts and thus presents a fascinating platform for sociological analysis of the authors and the content they produce. The presentation will focus on some problems that appeared in a theoretically grounded study of authors of personal web sites, which was conducted in June, 2002. First problem is concerned with the population framework. Several procedures will be presented, which unfortunately led to quite different estimations of the population size. On such vague basis it was decided for a special procedure to generate a sample of authors of personal web sites and data collection method. Under assumption that every author has a published e-mail on his web site, e-mails where parsed from the publicly accessible Slovenian web pages (collected by largest and most popular search system in Slovenia – A random sample of 77.000 e-mails was generated and on these addresses an invitation was send to a web survey. E-mails were sent from April to June, no more than 5.000 per day. Such procedure of sending invitations raises ethical questions in regard to the phenomena of "spam", but "unfortunately" results in attractive methodological results. Among others, the response rate was almost 17%, although the web survey lasted more than 20 minutes and the representatives of the sample was quite satisfactory.
Year of publication2004
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations