Some Help Required

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Some Help Required

Postby Researcher on Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:08 pm

Hello (or Salvete... whatever)

I am a student in England and am doing some research on the language used in internet forums. I have chosen this forum as one of the three I am focusing on. However, I need to know the average age and the genders of the users on each of the forums. I would be grateful if you could post your ages and gender here (or pm me if your age is embarrassing!).

Thanks very much.

Tom
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:17 am

Tom,

I found your request rather disconcerting. After all, members of this forum do not know you. You also gave very little information regarding why you are requesting personal data. You might start by letting us know why you picked the Societas for your study.

From our postings and other information given at this site, it would not be hard to track down the true names of our sodales (members), and a lot can be done on the Internet with someone's name, age, and gender. Perhaps I am more private than most, but I routinely give a false age or false birthdate when filling out the "required" fields of online forms.

May I suggest that you do not ask for specific ages, but rather for broad categories such as "26-30" and "31-35".

If your study is quantitative, you would have to use a dummy variable rather than a continuous variable when running a regression, for example, but this is an accepted technique (you would have to do that for gender anyway).

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:20 am

I thought of another idea that you might use. Since you are only interested in the average age of our sodales, why don't you use the poll facility available when posting?
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Odd request

Postby Aldus Marius on Wed Mar 30, 2005 7:02 am

Care hospes (which can mean 'guest', 'foreigner', or even 'enemy'):

What in blue blazes have gender and age-bracket got to do with choice of language on the Forum? I've a degree in anthropology m'self, and when I study language I study language, knowhuddimean, Vern? Age and gender might come into it if one is interested in slang, or in the differing communication styles of men and women. (How could you be sure who's what, though, on the 'Net?) But you don't need demographics of any kind to say "x percentage of SVR Forum posts are in Latin, y in German or Belgic, the remainder in English."

Perhaps I am misunderstanding your stated purpose; in which case, clarification will be welcome.

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:48 pm

Greetings Researcher,

Well, I can at least answer one of your questions. As is appearent, the majority of the forum users here are male, which can easily be found out through the nicknames.

However, I do not want to sound hostile with this, but I have also used this forum (since it is one of my internet 'homebases') in a paper I wrote on the use of internet lingo. That paper of mine has found its way to the net and has been frequently used by other people. I don't mind that, but the congruences between my paper and the subject you are treating are more than striking. Like the others, I would also like to hear some more about who you are or how you found us.

Friendly greetings,
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