Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Blogging into the Sunset

Last week I received the following email:

The Communication Studies department at Northwestern University is recruiting adults over the age of 65 with their own blogs who have created posts within the last year to participate in an interview study. Blogs can be using text, pictures, audio, or video. Examples of blogs include Tumblr, Wordpress, YouTube, or iTunes podcasts. We were recommended to your blog, Vicki Lane Mysteries, by the author of the Vagabonde blog ( and think you would be a great fit.

In the interviews, we will ask you about how you communicate with other people on your blog, how you started it, and what motivates you to continue blogging.

The interview will last no more than one hour and will take place at a location of your convenience (in your home or on the Northwestern Evanston campus) OR on a medium of your convenience (phone or video call). You must speak English. We will audio record the interview so we can remember the things you say.

You will be paid $15 (in cash for in-person interviews or by Amazon gift card for remote interviews) for your participation.

If interested in this research opportunity, please contact Robin Brewer at 847-467-3760 or by e-mail 

Well, why not, I thought. Easily done and then there's the $15 gift certificate. Plus, ever since college when I volunteered for various psychological studies in return for extra credit, I've always liked taking part in studies --  I like trying to figure out what the study is attempting to achieve.

 I did one where I was wired up and received tiny electric shocks to my fingers at random intervals. I never did figure that one out but the guy administering the test said he was surprised I was so calm, what with being a sorority girl. (disclaimer:I was wearing my Kappa Delta pin but I was probably one of the least enthusiastic sorority girls at the U of Florida.)

So on Monday I did the interview which lasted about 40 minutes -- There were lots of questions:why do I blog? how did I get started? what keeps me going? (two things -- I've never been good at journaling and the blog provides me a bit of a record of what I've been doing. The other thing is those of you who say they look forward to my blog as a part of their morning ritual.) And lots of questions about whether friends and family read my blog.

As the questions continued, I kept wondering -- why are they doing this study? Finally I asked -- Is this leading to some sort of initiative for introducing senior citizens to blogging? 

Because if it is, I think it's an excellent idea -- a way to remain part of the larger world, as well as exercising one's mental acuity and digital dexterity. Bravo, Northwestern! 

My interviewer (Robin) asked if I would like to recommend other bloggers of a certain age and I said I would. Then I realized the delicacy of the situation -- I'm not sure how old my blog friends are -- I'm pretty sure some are 65 and up. But I don't want to assume anything.

So, if you are interested (or lured by the munificent stipend) and you fit the criteria in the letter at the beginning, get in touch with Robin. I asked her if she was interested in non-USA folks -- and she said yes, as long as they speak English.

Tell her Vicki sent you. 


Ms. A said...

Ha! Even the word "study" makes me nervous!

Merisi said...

Kudos to you for supporting this interesting study! You are one of the finest bloggers of any age out there, they could not have found anyone better.

I've never been good at journaling and the blog provides me a bit of a record of what I've been doing. The other thing is those of you who say they look forward to my blog as a part of their morning ritual.
Yes, this sounds very familiar, and the last one is often the reason I pick myself up and continue blogging. And for that I am immensely grateful to my readers and commenters.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Glad to know what the interview was like and what they were really interested in. I got the same email. I'm in total agreement with Merisi that you are one of the finest bloggers out there and I'm so glad you participated.

Anvilcloud said...

Sounds legit, but I am very leery of such things. BTW FYI, I am 68 (as of next week) but not keen about the study. :)

Barbara Rogers said...

So glad you did this research...not me. I've got an invite about female potters and will probably not join up. I'm happy looking at your blog, sharing my life on mine, and getting as intimate as comments allow. Thanks for doing this for all of us!

NCmountainwoman said...

Ever the skeptic, I would never respond to such an email request. And I don't consider myself much of a blogger. But I'm glad you helped with the Northwestern research.

We had Cousin Charley's "Chicken Fruitty Chuck" for dinner last night. It was marvelous. Such a grand marriage of flavors. I'll definitely make it again. I used chicken thighs and my dear husband ate three of them, quite unusual for him.

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Interestingly enough, I blog because I'm not very good at journaling either. I have more journals than I care to admit. I start with zeal and after a few days I've lost interest...Thank you for you post and I'm not sure this study is for me! Have a wonderful day!

daybreak said...

Bully for you, Vicki! Sounds like an interesting study, and you and your blog stand out.

Frances said...

Vicki, this does sound like an interesting survey, but I have to admit that I a bit surveyed out now. Within the last month my opinions have been requested on a variety of topics, from a variety of questioners.

I'm giving it a rest for now, but agree with the prior commenters that you are an excellent blogger to survey.

Promise to keep showing up here. xo