We tracked recruitment efforts in multiple ways. We weighted borough selection to match NYC census data e. Project staff responded to every email directing participants to either call our center directly or complete a brief online screener. In total, we received unique email replies to our postings. The number of postings in a given week was limited to two in order to ensure adequate resources were available to see participants during eventual face-to-face assessments.
The number of postings in a given week was limited to two in order to ensure adequate resources were available to see participants during eventual face-to-face assessments. Data suggest that it is possible to engage MSM online for subsequent in-person interviews, though with high attrition between first contact and actual assessments. Following guidelines for time-space sampling [ 9 , 10 ], the research team first identified the most socially-viable times in which to recruit on Craigslist—determined as having an adequate magnitude of the target population at the venue. The structure of Craigslist makes its virtual environment different from many traditional membership-based websites. Research staff replied to email inquiries promptly. Across all postings, there were no significant differences in the mean number of emails received by 1 the borough where ads were posted, 2 the time of day that ads were posted morning vs. Online pre-screening was a useful tool to offer potential participants when recruiting on Craigslist and improved study enrollment. Despite the many advantages of using the Internet for collecting data, engaging hard-to-reach individuals, and conducting web-based interventions [ 6 ], only a few studies have reported on using the Internet to recruit MSM for face-to-face assessments [ 1 — 3 ]. Based on our previous experience doing research on Craigslist we determined that the hours between 7am and 2am were the most viable in which to encounter the target population. We conducted phone assessments to screen for full eligibility criteria outlined previously in addition to participants self-reported HIV status, race and ethnicity, and the NYC borough in which they lived. Craigslist—an online bulletin board—is a medium where users post single ads through the site, but subsequent correspondence occurs out of the website via private email. Given that it is largely unknown whether Internet-based samples are representative of the target population and whether they are comparable to samples recruited through other methods [ 11 ], this descriptive study was intended to provide data on online recruitment using an adaption of time-space sampling for in-person interviews in order to inform decisions about sampling and enrollment approaches that target MSM in online environments. None of these three participants were eligible for the study. Of the 28 ads that were never flagged, we received an average of 11 emails per ad range 0 to The body text of the ads were identical and included the study logo, study description i. It also assessed sexual identity gay, bisexual, heterosexual, other and race or ethnicity, but these were not factored into eligibility. Ultimately, all participants had to complete a full screening via phone before they could be scheduled for a face-to-face assessment. We recorded the day, time, and NYC borough in which ads were posted in addition to the number of email responses we received from each posting. We adopted time-space sampling in order to reduce bias caused by only posting ads at times that were convenient for the research staff e. Aside from automated filters to prevent duplicate ads or the inclusion of a telephone number or URL, content is not moderated by a central administrator. There were three additional men 0. We weighted borough selection to match NYC census data e. Those eligible were invited to participate in a face-to-face interview at our research office. Our messages indicated that they could a call the project directly and screen via phone or b complete a brief online preliminary screener URL included that would ask for their contact information if they appeared eligible and study staff would re-contact them via phone. Any user can flag an ad for removal.
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