November 2012 Archives

I Can No Longer Turn Down A Survey Part 2: Or Can I?

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Originally I was shaking my fist at JOUR 3251 for making it impossible for me to turn down a survey. The tiny researcher on my shoulder was going "What if you had written that and needed responses?" or "Don't you want to know what kind of double-barreled questions they wrote" or "I'm going to give them some REAL results!"

I'm assuming my tiny researcher looks something like this:
tinyresearch.jpg

Anyway, that's until CYBER MONDAY happened. I'm as guilty as the next consumer of falling prey to this particular day of "promotions" (although I might be less gullible about what constitutes an actual deal in a situation like this).

These companies are smart. Highest online traffic day of the year? Of course they are going to take advantage of a unique opportunity to generate feedback about their website/store/brand/etc.

First the little box pops up asking if you'd be willing to participate later. I guess this is a good way of asking permission and giving advance notice rather than bombarding with a survey after (now I'm starting to wonder if it also tracks what you do on the site...). You go about your shopping experience and finally close that tab- one of many in a sea of shopping.

Then it's there. In front of you. Asking "Please rate how this website compares to your ideal website." What kind of question is that? My ideal website? Ideally, I would not be bothered. Ever. Period. Ideally, everything would be FREE. Ideally, your website not important enough to be considered ideal!

I sat through a fair number of these. You lose track after a while. Maybe it was three, maybe it was ten. REI had a decent one. JC Penny's went into excruciating detail. And then I snapped. After all the retail surveys I sat through I went to read my textbook on a website and there it was- the little box asking "Will you participate in a survey after your visit?"

It was long. It asked terrible questions. It wanted to know what I thought of tools on the site I didn't even know about and wouldn't let me tell them how I actually felt!

This was the first survey since September that I closed out of without finishing. I now wonder if I've broken the spell or if my survey-compulsion will continue to answer for another day.

Social Media Analytics Seminar

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This year I was given a great opportunity to work with the Youth Farm and Market Project on developing a social media policy. Our marketing committee met to discuss what goals we would have and how we could measure our successes. This is why I found the seminar offered through Carlson intriguing and thought I would scope it out.

First, attending this seminar encouraged me to attend more speaking events on Friday afternoons after realizing there are refreshments and ample opportunities to network!

Ahmed Abbasi was an incredibly knowledgeable speaker. He started off by showing the classic social media video:

When I discussed the seminar with Professor Ball I found it humorous that she and I enjoyed the event for different reasons. When he got into data mining and spiders and particularly talking about the drug market I found myself losing interest. The beginning where he spoke of the emerging patterns in social media and the results that social media can generate were more of what I wanted to learn about. However, I think it's important for all SJMC students to be aware of what social media analytics are and just how much they have transformed in the last few years.

Since attending Ahmed's speech I have come across this topic numerous times in both my marketing and advertising classes. I have cited information from Ahmed's PowerPoint when discussing how public relations should present their ROI to their superiors.

Overall I'm glad I attended this session and look forward to looking into social media analytics into the future as everyone in our profession watches them evolve.

Survey Monkey vs. Stellar Survey

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This semester I created two surveys to distribute to fellow classmates. For this course I used Survey Monkey, which is reputable as being an easy to use and reliable tool. For a course through agriculture education I created a survey through Stellar Survey which I found via a Google search. Below I have listed the pros and cons of each.


surveymonkey.jpg

PROS:
Offers free account
Able to create multi-page questionnaires
Ability to require certain questions are answered
Easy to navigate
Clean, sleek design makes page easy to look at
Reputable name, everyone has heard of it


CONS:
Only able to analyze 100 results
When viewing results from one participant numbers became inconsistant
Cannot create charts/graphs


top-logo.gif

PROS:
Allows you to create a free account
No limit to results
Easy to create questions
Creates charts


CONS:
Page design looks old and less professional
People haven't heard of it and might be less comfortable responding
Colors and themes are less appealing
Must alter preferences to view multiple answers at once


Overall, choosing which website to use in the future would depend heavily on what results I was looking to find. If I planned to accumulate responses from over 100 people I would automatically want to go with Stellar Survey or another free website that doesn't limit my responses. It was not worth it to be overly confused by Survey Monkey which was giving me different answers for "Respondent 70" the first time I view the results and the second time. It's also worthwhile to be able to create the charts and view information cohesively.

However, if I needed to distribute a survey to just a few classmates I would feel more comfortable using Survey Monkey which is a name that my peers have come to trust.

Using both Stellar and Monkey was beneficial, but I think there could be better programs yet to come.

Spam: Sham or Not?

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One method of "research" I'm confused about is spam. Often my university emails get lost in the mix and I have to go digging through piles of garbage in my trash. Recently I came across this message:

spam2.png


Sounded a little scam-like so I did some investigating and found this:

spam1.png

I can't really determine from this translated webpage what this company is all about. Are spam companies really just looking for honest participants? Are they trying to steal our identities? What happens to people who click on spam posts the majority of the time? There must be money to be made or it wouldn't be worth the trouble of sending these messages. Alternately, is it something I'm unintentionally writing-off as worthless? Maybe they are legitimate researchers just trying to create a pool of consumers to question. Maybe we will never know.

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