It has been years since I had much interest in going to school. Since so many of the children in high school did not want to be there, I did not have much use for high school. Because I saw the benefit, I studied, but malcontents just made trouble. Even some of the teachers did not take their work seriously. So it was a relief to move on.

College I found an improvement. I would not say it was the best time of my life, but I certainly enjoyed it more. I appreciated the fact almost everyone wanted to be there. So I suppose that is one reason I attended graduate school.

Anyway, when I got this request for advertising from a graduate student, I did not know what to do with it. I wanted to help, but my heart was not in it.

Hi Citizen Tom,

I am looking for blog readers who believe in marriage (marriage between men and women and/or same-sex marriage). Would it be possible for you to provide a link to my online survey in a blog post on Citizen Tom?

I am a Ph.D. candidate at The Pennsylvania State University. For my dissertation I am examining perceptions of online communication messages (e.g., blogs, online news stories, etc.) about marriage, particularly legalizing or not legalizing same-sex marriage.

Some bloggers have expressed concern that this research will ultimately portray participants who possess certain beliefs or ideological views as being intolerant or close minded. Please know this research is not going in that direction, nor will it ever go in that direction. I am truly interested in what people of all viewpoints think about the media and how they perceived media coverage.

Below you will find some sample content you could include in a blog post. Please let me know if you can post a survey link or if you have any recommendations on bloggers I should contact. Any help you could provide would be appreciated.



Pamela Brubaker
Instructor & Ph.D. Candidate
College of Communications
The Pennsylvania State University

28-Word Solicitation

Supporters and defenders of marriage are sought for an online research study being conducted at Penn State. Share your opinions by Nov. 1. Take the survey here:


109-Word Solicitation

Supporters of marriage are needed for an online research study concerning communication messages about how marriage is defined within the United States. 

Share your opinions by Nov. 1. Click here to take the survey, or copy and paste this link into your browser: http://pennstatecomm.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5q0jBQGKH2DXFWs

The survey takes less than 15 minutes to complete. You are eligible to participate if you are at least 18 years old.

This research study is being conducted as part of a doctoral dissertation at The Pennsylvania State University. It is NOT funded or commissioned by any political, religious, or advocacy organization. If you have questions about this study, please contact Pamela Brubaker at pjb943@psu.edu. 

When I do not know what to do with something, I generally do nothing. Sometime this bit of wisdom is hard to distinquish from procrastination.

As it turns out, Pamela is persistent. She followed up with this note.

Hi Citizen Tom,

I wanted to follow up and see if you would you be willing to give readers of Citizen Tom an opportunity to participate in a research study about the media and marriage. I am conducting research for my dissertation at Penn State and am looking at the use of online sources (particularly blogs and online news sites) for news and information.

Currently I am soliciting the help of blog readers who have strong political views and believe in marriage (marriage between men and woman and/or same-sex marriage) and I would like to obtain the opinions of your readers on news coverage about this polarizing social issue. Would you mind mentioning the survey on your blog?

Here’s an example of how Howard Portnoy mentioned the survey on Hot Air. In addition, you will find sample blog content below. Let me know if you could also mention the survey and post a link.


It seems like Pamela is a nice lady. So why would I object to this survey? Remember this post, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR MINORITY BLOGGERS. We are not suppose to be nice to each other. Jesus told us: “You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.” That means we cannot be tolerant of anything that we believe would hurt our neighbor. We must bluntly state what we believe true. If we believe something is hurtful to someone we love, why would we ever consider tolerating it?

What the mass media and our education system stress is being nice. Conservatives call this being politically correct. Thinking themselves broadminded, journalists and educators encourage us to see both sides of EVERY issue, even when one side is farcically false. Thus, year by year we take more and more seriously the most idiotic notions. Thus, Pamela reassures us she will not portray any respondents as “intolerant or close minded.” My answer to that is that why not? I do not want to tolerate same-sex marriage, and I cannot think of any reason I would change my mind.

If being nice requires us to tolerantly accept harmful and stupidly wrong ideas and behavior, then being nice just equates to making a fool of one’s self.

Anyway, if you want to take Pamela’s survey, go ahead. Just keep in mind such surveys cannot resolve moral issues. At worse, the survey is inaccurate popularity contest. At best, surveys of this sort just give the people who evaluate them some insight into how we regard the messages we receive from the media.

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