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The survey consisted of 26 questions, designed not only to investigate the what, how and why of web content sharing, but also to allow me to segment the respondents into web usage subsets. The first 15 questions were of this type:
How many hours per week on average do you use the internet?
How old are you?
How often do you send email forwards to your friends?
How often do you get email forwards that have been sent to groups of your friends?
How often do you use Facebook?
If you use Facebook, how many friends do you have on the site?
How often do you read blogs?
How often do you comment on blogs?
How often do you write blog posts?
How often do you read forums/message boards?
How often do you post on forums/message boards?
How often do you read social news sites?
How often do you vote on social news sites?
How often do you submit content to social news sites?
How often do you use Twitter?
The next 6 questions delved into the what, how and why of individual sharing. I define “individual” sharing as the scenario in the introduction, where one person (me) sends a piece of web content to a single friend (you). I may send each piece of content to multiple friends in this fashion, but the actual action is still an individualized process.
How often do you share web content with friends individually?
If you share web content with friends individually, how many friends do you share with regularly?
Where do you find the web content you share individually?
How do you share content individually?
What types of content do you share individually most frequently?
What makes you want to share web content individually?
The last 5 questions dealt with one-to-many content sharing. Rather than sending messages to my friends as individuals, one-to-many sharing is when I broadcast a piece of web content, like on a blog, forum, Twitter or a social news site.
How often do you share web content in a one-to-many style?
If you share content on a one-to-many basis, how many people do you think you reach each time you share content?
What types of content do you share in a one-to-many way most frequently?
Where do you find the content you share in a one-to-many way?
What makes you want to share web content in a one-to-many way?
Where a question asked “How Often do you…” I gave multiple choice responses of “Never,” “Sometimes,” and “Frequently.” For the questions that began “Where,” “How” and “What Types” I provided a list of options (along with a type-in “Other” box) that allowed respondents to select more than one answer (this is why many of the percentages in the data presented below for these questions adds up to more than 100%). For the final “What makes you want to share…” question answers were given in a free form text box.