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· 2 min read
Arvin Jagayat

This latest update to the documentation focuses around a quick tutorial on how to renew SSL certificates for online deployments of the Tool; either proactively or if they have expired (which, by default, will occur every 90 days). While this is certainly not ideal, the process is fairly painless and can be completed in a minute or two - minimizing any disruptions to ongoing studies.

To learn how to do this, you can follow the written documentation here or watch its corresponding video tutorial:

Additionally, there are a few other minor updates to the documentation:

  • Use of Amazon's Route 53, which is used when deploying the Tool online, incurs costs to researchers, which I was not previously aware of and thus was not acknowledged in the written or video tutorials for deploying the Tool online. While this cost is very small, it is a cost nonetheless and has now been disclosed in the written guide.
  • Instructions for how to embed the Mock Social Media Website Tool on Qualtrics have been updated to reflect the latest Qualtrics redesign and better optimized settings for embeds. These can be found here.
  • Additional research being conducted using the Tool has been added to the Research page.

· 2 min read
Arvin Jagayat

This documentation website has been updated with the remaining guides on how to deploy the Tool locally and online. Specifically, a video guide on how to deploy locally as well as both written and video guides on how to deploy the tool online. Thus, there should now be all the information here to get you up and running no matter what method you will be using to recruit your participants!

You can check out both video tutorials in the embeds below, which can also be found on the Tool's YouTube channel.

There are several other updates that are worth noting. First, the code of the Mock Social Media Website Tool has been updated to fix a few security vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities in question only affect online deployments of the Mock Social Media Website Tool, for which I assume there must be few because I am just publishing the tutorials for how to do so now. Local deployments should be unaffected as the likelihood of those vulnerabilities being exploited on the same device are slim-to-none. Additionally, template R code for how to analyze frequencies of interactions with certain groups of posts in the .csv data have been added to the Data page to help speed up analysis of Mock Social Media Website Tool data.

With that, I'm excited to learn about all the research you are doing using the Tool (especially for those deploying online!)! I highly encourage those who are conducting research using the Tool to e-mail me so that I can add your studies in progress to the Research page. This is enormously helpful for me as I try to demonstrate the usefulness of the Tool to granting agencies to help fund additional development, including many highly requested features from researchers like yourselves!

Happy researching!

· 3 min read
Arvin Jagayat

We're excited to finally say that the source code for the Mock Social Media Website Tool is now available on the GitHub repository! Coinciding with the public release of the source code are numerous updates to this documentation that will guide you on how to deploy and use it.

You can now head on over the guides section to get started!

We want to note a few other things at this time. Relative to the expectations we may have set during the announcement on Twitter or the webinar, our (extremely small) team may have been a bit overly ambitious in what we thought we could polish and finalize in time for the initial release. Software development is very complex and constantly throws new curve balls at you, which often have cascading effects across other parts of the software. We believe research tools need to be robust and meet very high bars of quality, so doing sufficient testing to make sure we can handle every kind of edge case and designing things to be forwards-compatible is critical.

Thus, we want to be transparent about what is currently a work-in-progress and will be added in the coming weeks and months:

  • Full WCAG compliance is still a work-in-progress. More common accessibility needs such as support for participants using any kind of device and high visual contrast, however, are already supported.
  • An in-progress version of the Twitter platform is currently included in this release of the tool. However, it is currently lacking various visual changes needed to make the user interface and experience more closely simulate those of Twitter, and associated testing for robustness. However, researchers are still free to use it at their own discretion (and share any bugs with us if you come across any!).
  • The ability to specify comments (Facebook) or replies (Twitter) is still under development to ensure interoperability of data across platforms.
  • The ability to upload profile photos for post authors is still undergoing development.
  • Template analysis code and instructions on how to deploy the tool online (i.e., to AWS) are forthcoming as we try to streamline the process.
  • Location and device information is not output in the data.

We appreciate your patience and understanding, and hope you're still excited to to test, configure, and/or run the studies you want to run using the tool locally in the meantime. Video tutorials on how to get the tool up-and-running locally and online will be posted in the coming weeks alongside template code for analyses. As these and the features mentioned above are added to the tool, we will keep you updated via new blog posts and updates via Twitter, with accompanying documentation here.

Happy researching!

· One min read
Arvin Jagayat

Wordmark for the Mock Social Media Website Tool

It has been a long time coming, but we can finally share that the Mock Social Media Website tool will be made available for researchers on June 21st, 2021! The Github links to the code on this site will not work until then, but I will do another blog post when it is live.

This website is the home for everything related to the tool...