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Calling on the CougCenter community

Faithful CougCenter readers, I'm asking for your help. Actually, someone else is asking for your help, but I'm asking on behalf of him.

Toby Hopp, a grad student at San Diego State -- incidentally, he must be floating on cloud nine after that smackdown of Arizona! -- is working on an ambitious research project looking at user-generated content on websites. He's asked for our help (as well as the help of a number of other SB Nation sites) in gathering data for his project.

Go ahead and read his introduction below, and if you feel compelled to help someone in their academic pursuits (and I hope you do), visit the survey site and take the survey. It doesn't take that long, but if you don't have time now, don't worry -- we'll be reminding you each day that the survey is open, from now until Friday.

We'd love to see a good turnout from CougCenter. One of the reasons he came to us is because the mainstream media showed no interest in his project. Being at the cutting edge of new media, we're most definitely interested. And since we have what I think is one of the most vibrant user communities at SBN, I think he'll be especially interested in your thoughts.

Oh, and we get to see the results, too. That should be cool.


College Football Research Project

My name is Toby Hopp and I'm a longtime college sports blogger/blog reader. I'm also a graduate communications student at San Diego State University who is interested in studying how and why Internet users generate content online. What precisely, you may be asking, is "user-generated content?" Well, "user-generated content" includes comment sections at the end of news/blog articles, messageboards, diaries, polls, and the like.

To me, one of the great parts of the blogosphere is the interaction it enables between readers. As a community, we're able to provide feedback and discuss issues in real time. However, the concept of "user-generated content" and its subsequent social applications has not, at this point, been thoroughly studied by communications researchers and is, in my estimation, completely misunderstood by the mass media.

So, if you have 10-15 minutes to spare and support empirical media research (and the social sciences in general), please click the survey link below. Even if you NEVER create/read content on blog or newspaper websites, PLEASE consider taking the survey as your answers are as important to me as the answers supplied by individuals who DO regularly create content.  Rest assured that all answers and provided information will be strictly anonymous and kept totally confidential.

Survey Link:

For those of you interested in statistics, all collected information will be scientifically analyzed and utilized to create an inherently unique structural equation model. To that end, I'll send a report out to each participating blog which details general trends and reader utilization issues of note.

Again, please consider taking this survey (Survey Link: whether or not you ever create or read "user -generated content" on blogs or newspaper sites. The survey itself will take 10 - 15 minutes and, I promise, will be quite painless. As stated above, research on the topic of "user-generated content" is incredibly sparse and your participation will go a long way in understanding the environmental factors that encourage meaningful intra-community participation.  And, of course, you'll be doing me a great and immeasurable favor.

The survey will be active from Monday, December 14 through Friday, December 18. Please feel free to e-mail me at if you have any questions relating to the survey or my over-arching methodology/conceptual framework (obviously, there's a lot more to the study that can be reasonably described here).

Thank you for your time and please know that your participation really does mean a great deal to me on both a professional and personal level.

Survey Link: