9.10 Methods: Digital

Digital interviewing is becoming a popular method for initial contact with a prospective interviewee.

Advantages of digital interviews:

  • A man typing on his laptop

    stevebp – Typing – CC0

    It is easy to establish basic information exchange without playing “phone tag”

  • Some interviewees are more comfortable and feel more in control of what they say by writing out a response to a question rather than saying something “off the cuff”

  • If the interviewee shares his/her social networking page, you have access to a lot of additional information about the person’s activities, friends/colleagues and preferences

Disadvantages:

  • It can be hard to ensure the person from whom you want the response is actually the one responding.

  • Visual and auditory clues are missing making the information gathered through the written word interview easier to misinterpret.

  • For surveys, digital requests for response can be seen as spam and either filtered or easily discarded