Recruited students using help from contacts in our personal networks, targeting undergraduates ages 17-24.
Offered $10 Amazon gift certificate for participation.
Enrolled 5 participants (from CSU Fresno (2), Drury College, University of Colombia, and Oberlin College)
Provided instructions via Facebook, and posted 10 questions over 4 days
Participants responded to questions posted by moderator and to responses from other participants</li></ul>Possible Biases:<br /><ul><li> Small sample size lacking diversity (4 of 5 respondents were females)
Facebook participants by default may prefer more online and social networking sites
One participant lives outside of US and another out of age range</li></li></ul><li>Questions asked via Facebook Focus Group<br />Q1: What kind of news do you like to read/watch/listen to? What category of information is useful to you? <br />Q2: Through what media do you get most of your news (i.e. TV, radio, newspaper, websites, magazines, etc.)? <br />Q3: Which websites do you visit frequently (more than twice a week) as a source for news and information? How often do you visit them? Where did you learn about these websites? <br />Day 1<br />Q4: For the websites you visit often, what do you like/dislike/feel should be added to make them more appealing?<br />Q5: Do you prefer to search for news or do you wait for news alerts to be shared with to you? When it’s shared, where do you find it? (On Twitter? Facebook? Elsewhere?) When you search, what search engine/s do you use? <br />Q6: What device (s) do you like to use to obtain news and information: laptop, iPhone, Kindle, others? Why do you like to use these devices? When do you like to use them (i.e., in class, at the airport, at a coffee shop, etc.)? <br />Day 2<br />Q7: What are three things that a website must have for you to find it appealing and useful? <br />Q8: What do you think are some of the current trends related to how students obtain news and information? How do you see those trends changing in the future? <br />Q9: When Michael Jackson died, how did you first get that information? <br />Day 3<br />Day 4<br />Q10: What features do you like best in mobile apps? Web apps--including news sites, Facebook, Twitter or other sites you visit regularly? <br />
Overarching Themes<br /><ul><li>Students like to stay connected
They receive and verify news from a variety of sources and on a variety of devices (work computer, home computer, laptop, mobile, TV)
They appreciate user-friendly, aesthetically appealing news sources that allow them to interact and share stories with others
They don't mind advertising as long as it is unobtrusive </li></li></ul><li>So what were some of the comments?<br />“Huffington Post is an example of a set-up that is not clear-- it is difficult to find articles about what I am interested in because they are all jumbled together-- blogs, different dates written, etc.”<br />“The most ‘searching’ I do is by actively looking at USA Today or CNN daily.”<br />“I first found out [about Michael Jackson’s death] from a friend’s Facebook status --- I didn’t think it could be true, so I typed it into Google….Finally I turned on CNN….”<br />
Detailed Findings<br /><ul><li>Type of information students like read about:
Most mentioned local news. They also like to indulge in entertainment news (celebrity gossip).
Others mentioned: Arts, Technology, and Politics.
Feeds from Twitter and Facebook </li></li></ul><li>Recommendations for Huff Po based on Qualitative Research<br /><ul><li>More aesthetically pleasing website - easy to read and navigate
Personalize news alerts/feeds to Huff Po readers
Create platforms and support external social network/community interactions around Huff Po content
Increase college readers through Facebook connect and local college newspapers</li></li></ul><li>What to explore further in quantitative research?<br /><ul><li>What do Huff Po readers think of the:
Design, features, and functionality of the site in general