BookMooch is a community for exchanging used books; it lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want. My team and I worked with the site’s creator, John Buckman, to help him identify the sites that BookMoochers frequent, find out how Moochers learn about the different groups on these sites, and determine what takes place on these sites that could instead take place on BookMooch itself.
A set of precisely-worded surveys were sent to Moochers who opted-in to research participation on the BookMooch website. These surveys were then analyzed and combed for insights on the social media habits and desires of those Moochers.
Results of the survey and the recommendations that we identified were presented directly to John Buckman.
It was surprisingly easy to get Moochers to participate in this study, even though there was no incentive offered. By carefully wording our invite and call-to-action, we were able to get Moochers to participate simply to help us make BookMooch a better place to be.
We also learned that it might be better to limit open-ended questions on our surveys, especially if we anticipate strong participation. There was a large amount of textual data that needed to be manually processed as a result of our failure to do that.