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Shared Media Study

Microsoft Research is looking for 20 high school students to participate in a study exploring existing and potentially new uses of social media and communication technologies to stay connected with friends and share experiences.

If you choose to participate in this study, we will first ask that you complete a short survey regarding your current use of existing social media and communication technologies. Next, you will spend a day recording when you want to communicate with your friends, and thinking about how you might want to share pictures and/or videos captured with a wearable camera. Finally, you will be asked to report on your thoughts and experiences in a diary format. If you have any questions regarding this study, please feel free to send email to:

All participants will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card for each day they participate in the study. Participants can choose to participate for 1, 2, or 3 days.

Requirements for Participation 

  1. All participants must be high-school age (15-19 years old).
  2. All participants must own a smart phone (iPhone, Android, or Windows) and must communicate with their friends via SnapChat, Instagram, or Facebook at least once a day.
  3. We are looking for 20 volunteers for this study. You can volunteer to participate by sending an email to Please include your full name and email address in this email. 
  4. You and your parents (if under the age of 18) must sign and return the Usability Consent Form. The form can either be signed digitally, scanned, or photographed and emailed to Alternatively, it can be sent by mail to Kori Inkpen, 99/3434, 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA, 98052.
  5. Participants will be selected on a first-come-first-serve basis and you must have returned the Usability Consent Form to be considered for the study.
  6. Once accepted into the study, all participants must fill out the Background Questionnaire.
  7. After filling out the Background Questionnaire, we ask that participants spend the next day keeping a diary to record instances when they would want to share pictures and/or video with others or when they were curious about what others were doing. Participants are asked to complete several diary entries per day. Try to complete diary entries in the moment. Diary entries (described below) can be submitted in three different ways:
    1. text to (206) 939-5660 (please include your name in your first text message). We can only receive text messages at this number, please submit videos and pictures to either the email address or survey submission below.
    2. submit via web here
    3. email to
  8. After completing the diary entries each day, participants must fill out the End of Day Questionnaire.
  9. Participants can choose to participate for 1, 2 or 3 days. Only one background questionnaire is required, but diary entries and the end of day questionnaire are required each day.

Diary Entry Guidelines 

For the purposes of this study, imagine that you are wearing a small camera that can capture photographs at regular intervals (as often as every 5 seconds). You can start and stop taking pictures at any time. You can combine these pictures with manually taken photographs and videos. Below is a sample of how photos taken while going to pick up takeout might look.



By default, these photos and videos will be shared in real-time with any friends you want. We ask that you think about what experiences, if any, you would want to share with your friends, family, or others throughout the day using this technology. Imagine that all of your friends also have the same camera and can choose to share with you. When are you curious about what others are doing? What would you like to see others share?

As you go about your day, we would like you to record two types of entries: Sharing Entries and Viewing Entries. These short diary entries may be kept in any format (e.g., handwritten notes, digital text, audio/video recordings, etc.). We ask that you try to complete diary entries in the moment. The following questions are meant to help you think about what to include.

  1. Sharing Entries: times when you want to share your surroundings with others
    Identify times when you would want some of your friends or family to be able to see what is being captured by your wearable camera.
    • What time and day is it?
    • What do you want to share, and why?
      • A collection of photos.
      • A continuously updating stream of photos.
      • A single photo.
      • A video.
      • A caption.
    • Who do you want to share with, and what are their relations to you?
    • How long do you want people to be able to see what you shared? The next few minutes, hour, day, week, or year?
    • Would you want people to text or call you about the shared media?
  2. Viewing Entries: times when you are curious about what others are doing
    Identify times when you are curious about what others are doing and would like to see what is being captured by their cameras.
    • What time and day is it?
    • What are you doing?
    • Who are you curious about?
    • What made you think of this person or people?
    • Why do you want to know what they are doing?
    • How much time would you want to spend looking at the pictures and/or videos shared by the person?
    • Would you try to have a conversation with them about the things you are viewing (text, phone call, video call)? If so, under what circumstances?