Dear Sean Manley,
Assuming you are still 'listening in' I would just like to add a few words
of caution on using lists like this to conduct research. I completely
agree with John that you should have asked for participants to contact you
rather than doing a 'blanket mail' to a list which will, I suspect, have no
more than 5% of readers in ZA. Additionally you should have TESTED the
questionaire. Using some mailers/readers (such as Eudora on the Mac in my
case) it arrived as 20, 16k messages - UUENCODED - rather than as a file
attachment - this tends to put people off!! Always test and check that the
method of communication you have chosen will work as you hope it will.
Finally, sorry if you have taken a bit of 'flak' as a result of the mailing
(and I guess you may have tried other lists with similar results?) - in
some ways the blame must be shared by your supervisor/mentor for not
alerting you to the potential problems. She/he should also have warned you
that setting a date of THIS Wednesday (i.e. a couple of days after most
people got the note) was also totally unrealistic and may again have the
effect of turning anyone who may have been interested away from giving you
a response. In any case, I wish you well in your research. Put the
negative comments, like mine, down to experience - most of us have had to
come along that path - and pass on some of the comments to your supervisor
as she/he really should know better.
>That was an awfully long message you sent to the AFRIK-IT list
>on the off-chance that a subset of a subset of its members might
>I completely agree with You.
>Here's another member who share thoughts as my fellow collegue John.
>>I don't have to pay big amounts of money to download my mail, like
>>some people on the list do, and I didn't like getting something
>>that long unsolicited.
(PS - other list readers. Hope you don't mind that I plan to send this
brief note via the list rather than directly to Sean. It may help avoid a
whole raft of other comments to the list and let us move on.)
Department of Information Science
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow G1 1XH, SCOTLAND
Chairman - BCS Developing Countries Specialist Group
Telephone: 0141 552 4400 (ext 3301/3700)
Fax: 0141 553 1393
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Home Page: http://www.dis.strath.ac.uk/