[Air-L] Interviewing via MSN

Monica Barratt tronica at gmail.com
Tue Oct 27 16:14:31 PDT 2009

Hi Carmen, Willem and AoIRers

I also used MSN and other chat programs to interview mainly young people who
used ecstasy and other recreational drugs. My participants and I also found
the instant messaging format worked well for discussing sensitive topics.
You mentioned the need to use online interviewing so your participants could
speak with you as a female from outside their family circle. I found that
some of my younger online interviewees were amused to discover I was 10-15
years older than them as the interview progressed. The lack of visual cues
can assist the building of rapport in some of these situations!

Willem, I didn't know about your work - it was interesting to read about
your approach to the Stormfront group. I'm writing about both those
methodological issues regarding the online forums in my work (drug user
groups) so will let you and the list know when it's available to read.

Carmen, I would recommend reading the following papers which I have found
particularly useful:

Ayling, R., & Mewse, A. J. (2009). Evaluating Internet interviews with gay
men. Qualitative Health Research, 19(4), 566-576.

Dunkels, E., & Enochsson, A. (2007). Interviews with young people using
online chat. In M. Quigley (Ed.), Encyclopedia of information ethics and
security (pp. 403-410). Hersley: Idea Group Reference.

Kazmer, M. M., & Xie, B. (2008). Qualitative interviewing in internet
studies: Playing with the media, playing with the method. Information,
Communication and Society, 11, 257-278.

Al-Saggaf, Y., & Williamson, K. (2004). Online communities in Saudi Arabia:
Evaluating the impact on culture through online semi-structured interviews.
Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 5(3).

Voida, A., Mynatt, E. D., Erickson, T., & Kellogg, W. A. (2004, April
24–29). Interviewing over instant messaging. Paper presented at the CHI
2004, Vienna, Austria. see http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=986060

Also, I would love to read the following paper on this issue, but cannot get
access to it. Can anyone else on this list get the full text for this
article below? If you can, I would be most grateful if you were able to
email it to me. Thanks!

van Eeden-Moorefield, B., Proulx, C. M., & Pasley, K. (2008). A comparison
of Internet and face-to-face (ftf) qualitative methods in studying the
relationships of gay men. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 4(2), 181-204.

Kind regards,


Monica Barratt
BSc(Psych); PhD in progress...
National Drug Research Institute
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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