Competition to win the Incluso prize

We mustn’t underestimate the influence of offline activity in our online researches as we try to engage young people using social software.


Engaging them with our research sites is an ongoing struggle. We try designing the appearance so that it looks appealing, try to include detail which reflects the flat, its activities and functions and engage them with video and photo uploads. The latest attempt to engage has been by a three-pronged approach: a competition, a poll and a discussion.


In one of our pilot projects these efforts have resulted in increased activity over the course of the 5 weeks since they began - but it is mostly via the competition. This seems to generate buzz among the young people. Prizes have included cinema tickets, sweets, chocolate and biscuits. Entries were low to start with: 1, then 3, then 4, then 6.


But we suspect the presence of a wall large poster reminding people of the week's competition, the prize and how to enter is the key factor in the increased engagement. That and the constant reminders from the Incluso worker at the project.


Our hope is that any offline activity which brings young people into the site (in the case of the competition it's to submit their entry) will generate familiarity with the Ning social network site which we created as part of the research. When they go onto the site they’re more likely to engage with its content and our research aims. It's early days yet, but we have hopes.


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