I participated in this a while back, and can vouch for the authenticity of it.
I have invited the person who is writing the software, Drashko Nakikj, to join us here. It is a cool tool that makes searching much easier. This is completely optional, and does not impact the site. It is simply a browser extension that gives you improved search capability.
I can vouch for him and this study. I enjoyed it, and I think it would be very useful when it is released.
If you are interested, email Drashko. His email is at the bottom.
Here is the text from Drashko:
We are a research team from the department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University Medical Center. In the last 5 years we’ve been investigating how online health communities’ (OHC) members share information, learn from each other and support each other in the forums. Based on our work so far, we have also been developing a new tool that visualizes discussion threads in a discussion forum and makes it easier for members to access all the rich information and social support available within the community.
We would like to invite you to participate in a study that involves evaluation of this tool. To participate in the study you have to be:
a) DIAGNOSED WITH DIABETES
b) 18 years or older
c) fluent in English
d) have normal vision or well corrected vision with glasses or lenses
e) a member of an OHC
f) have some experience in participation in OHC forums
g) haven’t participated in the TuDiabetes forum discussion used for evaluation of the tool
h) are not familiar with the content of this discussion.
The participation in the study session will take a form of a 45-60min on-line interview in which you will be asked to complete some forum discussion reading tasks using the tool or just the standard discussion representation.
Note: The study session that involves the evaluation of the tool might include a 30min “warm-up” session a day before the actual session for evaluation. In that session you will be familiarized with the tool and have a chance to use it for tasks similar to what you would be asked to do in the real evaluation session the following day.
We hope the study can be fun and engaging, and will contribute to the development of a tool that will improve the OHC members’ experience in their forums.
You will be compensated with a $20 dollar Amazon Gift Card for participating in the study.
If you are interested in the study, please e-mail Drashko Nakikj who will be conducting the study: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyway, this is all legit. Email him if you are interested in participating.