Researching People

For this task we had to conduct either a focus group or an interview, asking questions in relation to their use of social media. Looking at we as a society make scene  of ‘friendship’ in the age of social media.

At first we wanted to attempt to conduct a focus group, however we came up against some difficulties obtaining enough participants to take part in the focus group. So in the end we decided to do individual interviews with individual  participants.

We conducted three interviews with different people. In the hub and the library. Before the interviews we created a topic guide in order have set questions which we could use to ask the participants. However with some of the interviews we felt it stopped us from conducting a non-formal interview, as we felt we had to ask these set questions. We struggled to adapt the questions to some situations. For example in one of the interviews the interviewee answered questions from later in the topic guid in the first question, it put the interviewer on the spot and made her a little nervous about asking the same questions again.

I edited this task together after we had completed the task. With some of the footage there was a slight lack of theory based within the footage, so we will have to create a voice over to explain parts of the interview technique to as the video is playing. For example the suggestion that the small talk at the start of the interviews are a key part of making the participant feel at ease for the interview.


Researching people (Seminar)

  • Topic Guides
  • Focus on specific aspect of experience and work out some non-leading questions. Looking at Aspect of experience.
  • When did you deicide to go to university?
  • Why did you deicide to come to university?
  • What where your thoughts and experiences?
  • Was it what you expected?
  • What did you expect?
  • Is your course what you expected?
  • How do you feel about your course?
  • How much work do you do for your course?
  • How do you make your notes?




  1. Finials problems


-Part Time Job?

-How many hours do you work?

-Do you worry about finials?

  1. Living situation

-What accommodation are you living in?

-What is the environment like in your accommodation?

  1. The course

-What did you think about your course?

  1. First coming to University
  • Fresher events


Planning for this weeks task:

  • Friendship on social media?
  • Have you ever added someone on line who you didn’t know in really life?
  • Is your friendship group the same as your one in really life?
  • What is Difference between friends online and in reality?
  • Are you more comfortable communicating online?

Do you have any personal experience of bad cyber experience?


What social media sites do you use?

-How many sites are you involved in?


How often do you them?

Why do you use them?


How long have you been online for?

How does social media affect your relationships?

Social media security.- What steps do you take to feel secure online?

-Do you feel conscience of what you are putting online?





Researching people (Note from Lecture)

Interviews and focus groups.

Interviews can be very unscripted, or scripted and in depth.

Looking at an in depth understanding of peoples thoughts and feelings.

Not all interviews have to be taken face to face.

Design questions in such a way as to gain the most amount of information.

They have a structure.

Usually 1 hour long, one to one. 

The role of the interviewer is to get them to talk.

Have to adopt varies techniques to get them to respond.


Need to think about who you are asking this questions to.

Need to think about how you choose who you speak to.


Advertising, will get the people who respond to adverts (sample bias) 

Snowballing, recommendation of people to talk to, 

We need to think about where we are will affect the interview. Need to make the interviewee comfortable.


Interview Practicalities 

Informing and reassuring your participants 


Interviewees should be told that they can stop at any point.

Let them know that there are no incorrect answers. They might give answers that they think we want.

Dress appropriately, for the place where you are doing the interview. If you don’t match you create power dynamic.

Must always get informed prior consent.


Topic guides 

Draw up a guide that has a structure. Not really phrased as questions, tings we are interested in finding out. 

Going to need to ament things in topic guide depending on what the participant gives. Want the participant to lead the discussion. 


At the start of the interview there might be a lot of un useful because its just making the participant feel like they trust them.

Need to have open and undirected questions. To encourage them to speak.

You have to allow for the fact that people may have a completely different perspective on the topic.


Non-directive questions.

The questions should not longer than the answers. You want people to keep talking.

Use non-directive prompts to get your interviewees to continue.  



Focus groups 

Often associated with market research.

One of the  ain beinfits of the focuse group, is you get to cover the thoughts and ideas with more people at the same time, they get rid of the awkwardness of one to one talking seen in interviews. Alows the researcher to take more of a back set rather than leading it. It can feel much like an interview between friends.

Similar principles to one to one interviews:

Schedule/topic guide

Funnelling questions (keeping on topic)

Moderator/ Facilitator

Important to think of focus groups as something more than interviews. We are interested in using activities. The idea of group dynamics is important.

Focus groups are the closest thing to a natural discussion of how we would discus topic. Group dynamics.

Practicalities, need to have name tags. 

Important to have refreshments, relaxes people makes them feel like that are comfortable. 

Need a moderator, needs someone to guide the discussion.

Need to record it on video. When you come to write it up you have something to reference to and see who is speaking. 

After interview and focus groups need to be trans scribed afterwards.

Need to think about how to set up the room and be able to talk to each other.

Need to make sure that people you don’t say much, contribute. Making sure not to allow them o form a consensus if some one in the group has a different idea. 




Researching People

For this weeks task we were given the task to conduct an interview or a focus group discussion. During our season and group meetings we came up with a set of questions and points in order to construct a topic guide. This allowed us to conducted the interviews in a structured way as it gave us a guide as to what questions we should ask. At first our group wanted to use a focus group in order to gain a more relaxed and varied response to the questions. However we found difficulty in finding a large enough amount of willing participants. This meant that instead we had to conduct individual interviews.

The questions we asked were not affected by this too much, due to the fact that we used them as a standard set of questions (we may of asked or changed questions in response to the answers we were given).

The participants that we got to take part in the interviews were also part of our media and communications course, this meant that they had a understanding of what the footage was being used for and so required less explanation than external individuals. However the answers we received were limited to a specific group of people. If we asked a more varied group of participants with people who weren’t doing a media course we might of gained different answers to our questions.

As a means to try and get participants to take part, we advertised on social network sites such as Facebook.  In spite of our efforts we didn’t get a response to the posts (apart from two likes) that would be labeled as adequate for this task.