I have been working on the design of a survey of farming blogs, and this blog is a request for your help with the design of that survey. I am proposing to use a simple online survey based on a google form. The answers are then automatically collated into a spreadsheet and it should be possible easily to share the collated results of the survey.
Key questions so far seem to be:
- Identify a farmer/farming blog. For each blog:
- Who – user id
- Who – person and location
- Who – farm business owner or manager/worker or ‘other’: does the differentiation matter here?
- What – blogging platform(s): blogger, FWi, FG, wordpress, twitter, youtube – am I missing any of the key sites?
- What – farm: enterprises, size ….
- Target audience (if known): other farmers, consumers, policy-makers, special interest groups, schools or other education, ….
- Willingness of bloggers to respond to follow-up questions or interviews.
There’s a lot of stuff that can then be added by looking at the blogs themselves, for example:
- Frequency of postings
- Other stats – depending on blogging software, eg Twitter would allow easy capture of followers and followed, number of tweets etc.
- Cross references to other sources (eg inclusion of weblinks)
- Media: eg, Blogger + Twitter + YouTube (multiple media v single media) …
- Focus, eg day to day farming diary, discussion with other farmers, explanation of farming activity, promotion of diversified farm enterprise, agricultural policy influence ….
So this blog is an invitation to ask you what you think the survey should be asking? A previous blog on ‘Farmers who Blog’ generated considerable interest and I’m keen to build on this.
Finally thanks to the Harper Adams students who have expressed an interest in this area for their dissertations in 2012/12 – there’s still scope for a student who would like this challenge in 2011/12. Just drop me a line if you are interested – contact details on the Harper Adams University College webpage. The challenging part of a study like this is probably greatest in the background research – finding enough well-grounded published material for the literature review. Once over that hurdle, a survey and its analysis should be straightforward leaving enough time for follow up work by a well-organised student.
Please do respond with your thoughts, whether you are a farming/farmer blogger here in the UK or elsewhere, a social-media pundit or an interested onlooker.