posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 09:55 PM
My name is Ben and I’m a Sociology student at a University of London college.
I’m doing a dissertation, and have basically chosen to focus my research on online communities, particularly concerning conspiracy theory. In
essence the main questions I want to answer are whether certain knowledge types are stigmatised by society, whether this forces people into
alternative, emergent technologies, and whether these people then form strong new communities through this transitory experience. Personally I find
the idea of the internet hosting communities hugely interesting, carrying some important implications for the future of sociology at the very
I have a ….fairly…. short time to undertake this research (2 weeks I’ve left it very late), so would really be grateful for anyone who wants to
respond. For those lucky few, I have a 19- question open-ended questionnaire (fun I know). You can write as much or as little as you like for these
questions, although obviously the more the better for the quality of my data. I’ll post the questions here but perhaps you would prefer if you send
responses via private message, or you can simply respond in this thread.
I can refer to you in my study by your username, or you can remain anonymous, whichever you prefer. Also if anyone wants to sift through 10,000 words
of dull academic research then feel free to request a final copy!
Thanks a lot guys,
1. How long have you been a member of Abovetopsecret.com?
2. Would you consider yourself an active member of the forum? How regularly do you post?
3. Have you developed an offline relationship of any kind with any other members? Did you meet on this forum or online?
4. To what regularity do you begin topics/posts?
5. Do you seek out topics by author or subject?
6. Do you recognise some members (even if you do not interact directly with them)?
7. Do you engage in regular correspondence with specific other members? If so do you seek out posts by them or are your interactions merely based on
proximity of interest?
8. Do you feel you can speak your mind on conspiracy/esoteric/ATS related topics more comfortably online?
9. Or do you openly extend your views on any of these topics into your offline life?
10. If so do these extensions reach merely those close to your or in fact even to, for instance, casual acquaintances?
11. Do you feel that your views (if they are indeed what you would define as “alternative”) make you a target of prejudice from other people?
12. Do you feel as if there are taboo topics that even on ATS are considered “marginal”? “Marginal” meaning in this context views that are
generally rejected by the forum at large.
13. Do you have a wide range of interest in the forums or do you focus on a limited number of topics that hold resonance for you personally?
14. Is ATS your only source of non-mainstream information and news? For example, radio, T.V. elsewhere on the internet?
15. Has using the forum had an impact on your offline life? If so how?
16. Why did you decide to join the forum originally? (e.g. purely for information, to find like-minded people, even to avoid social stigmas)
17. Do you use the internet regularly in general? For example over the Global average of 16 hours per month? Over the US average of 32 hours per
18. Do you consider the forum to have a set of etiquettes that it is “proper” to follow? (via Terms & Conditions or unwritten, merely in social
19. If so, do you feel there are members who you feel wield authority over these unwritten etiquettes? (ie moderators, respected posters).
P.S. if any of my questions are unclear, or you just have any general questions, feel free to ask! Thanks again