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Streamlining Sociological Research Through An Idea Marketplace

Streamlining Sociological Research Through An Idea Marketplace

A new technology combines online surveys with real-time rankings

Jackie Rangel

All Our Ideas, a new project out of Princeton University, combines traditional sociological research methodology with new approaches to online crowdsourcing. At the core of the project is a tool that allows an organization to establish a website where respondents contribute and rank ideas at the same time. According to team leader Matthew Salganik,

“This is a hybrid method that combines the quantifiability of surveys with the openness to new ideas that comes from interviews and focus groups. Recent advances in web-based computing make it possible. It’s something that we probably couldn’t have done just five years ago.”

Potential implications for this project could benefit any organization looking to gain insight into public opinion regarding their service or product. It could also revolutionize the fundamental structure of social science research.

In the past, if we wanted to conduct a sociology experiment, we were pretty much limited to the students we had on campus,” Salganik said. Online social networking could allow research at a vastly different scale, involving thousands or even millions of people. “The Web has changed the way we live, but not the way we do sociology—yet.”

All Our Ideas

[via EQuad News]

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