Hinchcliffe, Vanessa and Gavin, Helen (2009) Social and Virtual Networks: Evaluating Synchronous Online Interviewing Using Instant Messenger. The Qualitative Report, 14 (2). pp. 318-340. ISSN 1052-0147

This paper describes an evaluation of the quality and utility of
synchronous online interviewing for data collection in social network
research. Synchronous online interviews facilitated by Instant Messenger
as the communication medium, were undertaken with ten final year
university students. Quantitative and qualitative content analysis of
respondent and researcher evaluation of the quality and utility of IM
indicated that IM was an integral part of student university life and also
an excellent and innovative communication platform; a potential
advancement for research interviewing. IM was subsequently compared
with face-to-face communication in terms of gains and losses for research
interviewing. The efficacy of the method of online interviewing using IM in
this context is discussed. Key Words: Synchronous Online Interviewing,
Instant Messenger, Social Support Networks, Virtual Networks, and
Content Analysis

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