We are now in the process of gathering ego-centric data among Polish scientist through individual interviews. We have decided not to use any software due to diverse digital skills (even among scholars). It would be something difficult to control. Another reason has been related to anonymity: although there are very useful online tools, using them would mean that we are losing control over information that discloses our interviewees. We tried to use paper and pencils, but it was messy and mistakes were hard to correct. Instead we went for post-it cards, drawing pins, rubbers, and cork pin-boards. It is an interviewer who is responsible for arranging the networks on a cork boards, but usually the general idea catches quickly and respondents – not intimidated by the software that is unknown to them - give useful advices concerning nodes and relations between them. As a result, the corkboards facilitate obtaining qualitative data. It is faster and does not require detailed explanations. We tried to let the respondents fully mange it. However, if they are not familiar with the idea of networks, they were trying to include representations of structures we are not interested in, for example putting senior colleagues on top of the board.
The results are very promising. Respondents are often interested in having a photo of their ego network. I can imagine that you could just hand in a cork board to a respondent after making photos. The material is affordable, so you could use a new board for every respondent.
The two examples from out interviews can be found on the project page: http://recon.icm.edu.pl/2016/05/05/ego-networks-examples-from-the-filed/
***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****Dear Socnetters_____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.I am planning an interview-based social network data collection process using tablet computers in a low-income (but relatively high literacy) South African setting. Based on conversations with local residents, I would very much like to provide respondents with an image of their egocentric network to take-away (if they want to). We will re-interview people annually (hopefully), so we could hand back results 12 months on, but an ideal solution would involve printing in real-time in the field (or in the study vehicle). I see this as both a "thank you" and potentially as a recruitment/retention tool.I am writing to ask if anyone has experience of handing egonets or similar back to respondents (as opposed to drawing them with respondents on computers), particularly if anyone has done this in a field as opposed to an office/lab environment, and would be willing to describe how they went about it. Or if anyone else has been wrangling with these ideas I'd be delighted to share notes/thoughts.Many thanks in advance for any suggestions or ideasGuy