Participant recruitment in an online world: using blog comments and forum posts.

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Eaton, Warren O.
Lewycky, Samantha T.
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The recruitment of participants to online research can be difficult when they must meet restrictive requirements, a situation we faced in recruiting the parents of 2-month-olds. Here we describe a new method, blog commenting, and compare it to the more common online technique of posting recruitment information on parent-oriented online forums. In the blog method, we searched blogs for infant-specific terms and phrases; we then read entries from those retrieved blogs and identified ones written by a parent of an appropriately aged infant. We then posted to the blog a comment in which we invited the parent to participate and to visit our research web site. Rates of study completion and most participant characteristics did not differ for blog- and forum-recruited participants. We discuss the particular strengths and weaknesses of blog recruiting and conclude that it is well suited for topics that people care to write about.
web research, infancy, methodology, response rate, motor attainment, online behaviour, milestone, rolling, yield rate
Warren O. Eaton & Samantha T. Lewycky (2011). Participant recruitment in an online world: Using blog comments and forum posts.