For this portion of our group project, we needed to focus on how we were going to start conducting our primary research. In order to do that, we needed to identify who our stakeholders were, and then from there, we were able to figure out how we were going to extract the information we needed from them.
Since our group is focusing on public transportation, specifically the MTA in NYC, we decided that our the stakeholders would be government officials, the general public, and organizations that deal with transit. We came up with a few questions in relation to the stakeholders that would lead us to the type of research we would need to conduct, and then we were able to develop our research methods.
We decided that the best course of action would be to do expert interviews, online surveys, and outside information (past interviews, live transit footage, social media). My specific focus was on trying to find information on social media (Twitter) from government officials that could be used to figure out what their role is when it comes to public transit surrounding some past research we had already looked into:
Based off the information above, I needed to look for things that were said on Twitter in relation to those topics. And based off our survey results, a lot of people found it hard to find information about important decisions regarding public transportation. So I realized that we needed to start researching to find what kind of information these officials were giving to public forums, like Twitter. After doing some digging, I was able to find some things from Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio:
From this research on Twitter, we are able to see:
- Gov’t officials do try to keep the public informed when it comes to important topics, but it was pretty difficult finding information on public transportation specifically
- There’s not a ton of detailed information
- There’s really no info on decisions that are made/policies/laws, just updates on when things are going to be voted on or passed
- There’s not a lot of engagement
From this, we can better understand how we can utilize social media, and make changes in order to give the people the information that they need. And also use this as a basis for other things we’ll start to incorporate into our project, since our stakeholders include both gov’t officials and the general public. Social media is a good tool to reach both of those parties, and to extract a wide variety of data from.
Prior to doing this research, I had no idea what role government officials played when it came to informing the public about what’s going on, especially because I don’t live in an area where people heavily rely on public transit, so my outlook is completely different than someone who lives in an area where that’s all they know. But after taking a look at what people expressed from the survey, and trying to find information from social media from gov’t officials, I think it’s extremely important that these officials do their best to try and keep the public informed and make it easier for people to find necessary information when it comes to important decisions that are made on behalf of them.