This paper describes an evaluation of the quality and utility of\ud synchronous online interviewing for data collection in social network\ud research. Synchronous online interviews facilitated by Instant Messenger\ud as the communication medium, were undertaken with ten final year\ud university students. Quantitative and qualitative content analysis of\ud respondent and researcher evaluation of the quality and utility of IM\ud indicated that IM was an integral part of student university life and also\ud an excellent and innovative communication platform; a potential\ud advancement for research interviewing. IM was subsequently compared\ud with face-to-face communication in terms of gains and losses for research\ud interviewing. The efficacy of the method of online interviewing using IM in\ud this context is discussed. Key Words: Synchronous Online Interviewing,\ud Instant Messenger, Social Support Networks, Virtual Networks, and\ud Content Analysi
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