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Dear Socnetters,

(My apologies if this was asked recently: I tried to check it out
in my mail archives but did not find anything):

I want to ask your advice on how to collect data on personal
(ego-centric) networks through web. Here is what I would
like to do:

1. I have constructed a network questionnaire – a modified
version of Claude Fischer’s network questionnaire - which
contains the following kinds of questions:
a) ‘standard’ survey questions concerning ego (age, sex, some
other questions including open-ended ones…)
b) name generators on ego’s alters (e.g. from whom ego
could get advice on important life decisions, from whom s/he
could loan an important sum of money…).

2. For each ego, these name generators should give me a list
of alters’ names (in practice, first names and the initials of
family names). I would further like to ask ego about:
a) the interconnections between his/her alters (who knows
whom according to ego)
b) socio-economic data on his/her alters (sex, age…)

I would like to put this questionnaire on my website and send
an e-mail to selected egos asking them to visit this website and
fill in the questionnaire.

3. As a result I would like to get three files:
a) A file (preferable an SPSS input file) containing data on all
b) Another file (SPSS) containing data on all alters
c)  Lastly, for each ego, a ‘who-knows’whom’ –matrix in the
form accepted by, say, UCINET.

Has anybody tried to do anything of this kind? Is it technically
feasible? Does it require a lot of programming or are there
existing applications I could use? Though I am not a computer
specialist, I would imagine clever technical/visual ways to ask
ego, say, about the interconnections between his/her alters.

If the network part is too complicated, I’d be interested in
your experiences in doing standard surveys through the web –
including your thoughts on response rate (If this is beside the
point of this list, please, send your replies directly to me).

With best regards & thanks in advance,

Markku Lonkila

Markku Lonkila
Ph.D., Fellow
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
snake-mail: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O.BOX 4 (Yliopistonkatu 3)
00014 University of Helsinki
tel: +358-9-19123962
fax: +358-9-19124509

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