|Photo Courtesy: Dmitri N.|
The SMS4Science and Text4Science researchers are trying to collect a large volume of text messages from individual users. Once collected, they hope to analyze the use and spread of this new language. So every "OMG, "ur", and "l8r" can provide insights into both communication methods as well as the human brain creating those messages. It can also be used to help computer scientists understand the new language and develop systems and "speak" it as well.
All the researchers ask is for users to complete a short registration and forward their text messages to the project team. To encourage participation, each person submitting five or more text messages is entered into a monthly drawing for iPods, USB Drives, and free movie tickets. So it's a nice potential prize bounty for such a simple request.
This project is currently limited to Canadian text message users but sister-projects are working across the globe to create the most comprehensive data set possible. So even if you are not living in Canada stay tuned for projects coming soon to your country.
Getting Started is Easy:
- Visit the Text4Science web page to learn about the Canadian project and the international SMS4Science initiative.
- Click on "Form" and "Registration" to sign up for the project. You can also just click here to access the registration form directly.
- Fill out the (relatively) short questionnaire with your cell phone number, primary language, education level, and text messaging habits (e.g., use at home, use at work, etc.), as well as your texting style (e.g., if you normally use simplified messages or full English sentences). It will take less than five minutes to complete.
- Provide your informed consent to participate.
- Forward your text messages to the phone number provided.