Does search order matter?

Peter Bates
Peter Bates
2 months ago
5 posts

In the classic 'Getting Connected' booklet about mapping community associations at Logan Square, the local Selzer library contributed 12 associations to the final list of 575 groups, the others being found by alternative methods. I can't work out from the text whether this means that the library only knew about 12 associations, or they knew about lots, of which 12 were found by no other search method, or whether 12 were first spotted in the directory and subsequently mentioned in other places.

At the end, it doesn't really matter where the information came from and how much duplication there was. But it might help us decide where to start, as some early wins will help new respondents feel confident that we have already done good work. 

Does anyone know what Mary O'Connell and John McKnight did back in the 1980s? Does anyone have advice about the best sequence of inquiries? Should we talk to people first and delay consulting directories and online sources until later or do we mix it up and do it all together? Has anyone (apart from me!) run a similar exercise in the age of the internet?

John Hamerlinck
John Hamerlinck
one month ago
50 posts

Hi Peter. They may have only been looking at formal associations, and only those with the word "association" in their description, or their name. Other associations were perhaps described as clubs, or as activities. The best way to identify informal associations might be some version of appreciative inquiry, rather than searchable databases.