I am battling with deciding upon a sampling method. I need some assistance please. I will be using a questionnaire as survey method, which is to be handed to respondents by friends, business contacts and myself. I am fairly OK with this part. I will also be making the questionnaire available online, through a web-based link, which will be e-mailed to possible respondents via e-mail, forwarded by friends and also possibly be made available via Facebook. My problem is that my study is focusing on respondents from a specific geographical area. Which sampling method will I use to approach respondents via die web-based questionnaire? Please help :)
You don't seem to have a proper plan for the distribution of your questionnaire, just handing them out randomly will not give you a sampling method,even 'random' has a structure. For example are you handing them out to everyone, what criteria are you using to select the recipients? If you are not giving them to all, why not, would the answers of those be different, can you know this? Facebook and email won't let you know what geographical area the respondents are from- they could say they are from anywhere and again you have the problem of the non-respondents. Have a look at Robson's 'Real World Research' for the way forward.
Are you looking for respondents from a specific organisation within that geographical area? Could you, for example, send the survey to colleges, schools, local businesses? It also depends on the size of the geographical area - I live in a miniscule dot according to Ordnance Survey maps, but you'd get over a thousand replies if you surveyed everyone here! It sounds very broad at the moment - can you give us any more detail to see if we can help a bit more?
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