Information Grounds in the Pacific Northwest
The two concepts— of information habits and information grounds—were explored in two stages during Fall 2003. They were addressed first as part of a telephone survey conducted by the United Way of King County regarding people's needs and uses of health and human services on the East Side of King County, and second as part of a graduate course exercise in information behavior taught by Karen Fisher which involved students conducting interviews with approximately 200 people in public places. Data was also analyzed for strong versus weak tie themes among interpersonal source preferences.
Piqued by the underpinnings and implications of Harris and Dewdney's sixth principle that people follow habitual patterns when seeking everyday information and Pettigrew's information grounds, in Fall 2003 we explored both through a telephone survey conducted in partnership with the United Way of America. The purpose of this research is thus three-fold: (1) to share our preliminary findings, (2) to elaborate upon our experience with conducting a large-scale survey, and (3) to discuss ideas for further analysis and investigation.