It's been about a month since my last posting, and I have successfully recruited one participant. As of today, I have contacted 13 people for interviews with 1 acceptance and 1 rejection. I just contacted 3 people today, but aside from them I haven't heard from the remaining 8. What makes my recruitment difficult is that all of my participants are overseas, and I get their contact information from their blogs, microblogs, or vlogs. I assume that some of these bloggers have posted outdated or barely used email addresses. Another assumption for the low response rate is that many people in my target population are getting ready to leave their host country. They are busy enough saying goodbyes and preparing for life at home that they are not ready to commit to a series interviews that may take months to complete.
One of the stickiest issues is the method of contacting my participants. My IRB has approved of contacting them through email, but I have two other methods of contacting them online which IRB may or may not consider "email." One is through Twitter which allows me to send private messages to my those who follow me and public messages to those who don't. Both types of messages are limited to Twitter's well known 140-character limit. This is probably the most difficult to work around as I cannot capture my entire IRB-approved email message within 140 characters. Currently we are working on solutions. If I we come to one, then I will be able to contact 8 more people, one of which I probably have a good chance of recruiting.
There are 12 other people that are best contacted through their YouTube channels. YouTube allows messaging through their service with no character limits. I wrote to IRB today to see if they qualify this as "email." In addition, I would like to send a recruitment video containing the same message as the email. I believe this will be more effective based on the literature I have read and my own feelings since my contacts will be able to see who I am, and it may be easier to build rapport if I don't appear creepy. Furthermore, I believe a link to my recruitment video would be more effective to send on Twitter as well. I'd really like to work on this as soon as I know where IRB stands, then I would nearly double the amount of people to contact.
I am fortunate to have the technological capability with high-tech facilities to record, edit, and link this potential recruitment video. I might as well take the chance since I have this opportunity.