During my summer I am working with some professors at my university (Toronto) one of them is doing a project where he gathers donated phones that people no longer use but keep in their house or would otherwise throw out. He wants to take this phones and re-purpose them as new things, like making an external case and custom software. One of his ideas is to turn a phone into those restaurant pagers they give you that vibrate and light up when your table is ready.
My part is to explore and research ways people can submit phones, application requests and discuss the idea as it goes. Part of my research has taken me to look at forums so I figure I'll ask around here.
If anyone wants to answer my questions or provide insight, I'll be very grateful. Keep in mind you need not limit yourself to this forum.
Ideas to consider:
When you ask a question on a forum, how long does it take to get answered?
Do you participate in the flow of discussion and idea progression if you initiated the topic? What if you didn't?
When the question is answered, what are some of the characteristics of the answer post? I am talking length of post, name of poster (is it the same person answering the questions?), number of posts until getting answered, etc.
When coming upon a discussion/topic that you did not initiate do you read the whole thing to get a feel for it? Do you got straight to the end to see if the topic was resolved?
What layout do you use if given options? Newest post first or last? How many posts per page? Etc.
What I want to get out of this research is to see if forum discussions can be condensed into graphical summaries that also capture the flow of discussion.
If anyone has any suggestions or experience in this area, advice or ideas would be appreciated!