Twitter as a Quantitative Research Tool

http://uksnow.benmarsh.co.uk/Although Britain is really struggling with extreme weather conditions, there has been one good thing to come out of it, yet another innovative use of Twitter, which is the mapping of UK snow fall. This is done via twitter by including the hashtag #uksnow in a tweet, along with the first part of the postcode of the area you are in e.g. LE2, then by rating the snow fall level out of 10:
7/10 or more – Blizzard!
5/10 or 6/10 – Steady snowfall
3/10 or 4/10 – Light snowfall
1/10 or 2/10 – A few flakes
0/10 – No snow 🙁
By harvesting this data this is used to produce a real-time map of snowfall level in the country at this time, this can be found at http://uksnow.benmarsh.co.uk/.
However, where this is a quite useful and imaginative use of the technology, I wonder is it possible to put the same methodology to use in research and education. In research, when working with students, it can sometimes be a challenge to get them to complete surveys, therefore this method of data collection be be more effective.
In my own line of work  at the University of Leicester’s Student Support and Development Service we supply students with advice on a range of areas. This advice is supplied face-to-face, using resources and social media including @uolsd on twitter. Could this methodology be used to get feedback on the quality of support or resources provided.

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