Saturday, May 28, 2011

Think aloud (research idea): Digital Media Literacy, information Consumption and Use by Singaporeans

I've not looked at this seriously. Just womdering if there's any research relating to the “Digital Media Literacy", "Information Consumption" and "Use" (meaning, more than just reading but application, repurposing or remixing) by Singaporeans.

The thought came about when, at work, a question was asked if there were any high-level strategic projects that could be initiatied. This was several months back (just finding time to blog the thoughts now).

I thought it would be interesting obtain a representative profile (ages, gender, occupations etc.) of the extent of Singaporeans' "digital media and know-how".

It is about the everyday use of information by Singaporeans (an example of "everyday use" could be weather or traffic information)How do Singaporeans make informed choices? Or perceptions on whether they think they are getting informed.

How do Singaporeans approach their information search? What digital information sources do they use, and do those sources differ by the information need? (for instance, might video-sharing sites be the preferred source for certain situations?)

Maybe part of the study could show how information -- or what types -- proliferates through Social Media (compared to traditional media?)

Who are their key influencers -- teachers, friends, colleagues, friends via social platforms, or strangers in familiar social networks?

How much of their information search involves different modes like informal grapevine (i.e. Unsubstantiated) and how much involves independent fact-checking? For instance, how much of the information -- by different ages, profiles -- are they able to differentiate as rumours, outright inaccuracies, or facts? e.g. Radiation threat, from the nuclear reactor incident, on food imports. Or health and legal matters.

Who are their key influencers (e.g. teachers, friends, colleagues, friends via social platforms, or strangers in familiar social networks?)

What is their level of awareness/ knowledge regarding existing online information sources? For instance, are they aware of online sources for local weather information? Government policies and procedures? Consumer rights and avenues for legal recourse?

The study may have implications on the roles of libraries and other potential "community information centres" like schools, community clubs, cultural organisations etc. May also give insights on the role such institutions have to play in shaping information and media consumption.

As I mentioned, I was just thinking aloud. The research idea is still rough on the edges.

Do you know of similar research that has been done? Thought, ideas, critiques and comments are welcome.