Methodology

WeDialogue is a participatory action research project based on a large field experiment. The objective is to combine a rigorous research design with a more exploratory phase (the debriefing).

What does is it mean to say that weDialogue is an experiment?

It means that participants in weDialogue will be randomly assigned to a discussion group that uses different commenting platforms. This allows us to study rigorously the impact of these different environments. During this experimental phase you will have access to only one platform.

Why do you need an experiment?

An experiment allows us to control the factors that are different between groups. We make sure that the groups have similar characteristics and are chosen randomly and each group comments on the same news items. This means that any differences in the quality of discussion and group experience are related to the design of the platform. That is also why we cannot accept new participants once the experiment has started and why the discussion groups are closed to the public.

Why can I not explore all platforms during the experiment?

The power of the experimental research comes from our ability to compare similar groups using different platforms. That is why we need closed discussion groups that use only one platform during the experiment. However, after the experiment you will be able to explore all the platforms.