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Re: SEUL: draft survey: v.0.001

In message <Pine.SOL.3.96.980624162458.9162A-100000@kanto.cc.jyu.fi>, hvirtane@cc.jyu.fi writes:
>In my opinion it would be quite important to find out a way to focus the
>survey somehow to some kind of category of users. (If we are waiting to
>get some quantitative results.)

My original thought there was to put a set of questions at the top that
would tell us which category this user was in. I guess I was hoping we'd
have enough from each category that we would in effect be having many
different surveys, with the same questions. (This means it's extremely
important to come up with questions that work for each 'type' of user.)

It's certainly an interesting idea to just pick one of those types of
users, and ignore the rest. My concerns are:
* Which one(s) do we pick, and which do we ignore?
* Do we intend to cover the other ones later? How many chances do we
  get for sending out surveys, before people quit answering them?

My ideal case would be a survey that covers everybody and gives us a
lot of information about each type. But maybe we won't be able to get
that, it's true.

>(If the number of people who will be willing to answer will be small and
>their needs are diverse (as it will probably be the case, if we'll find
>the people just by using the net) could we possibly get much more new
>ideas than by collecting them by using the various Linux discussion
>But. If thinking about qualitative results, the number of people is not
>very important. The opinion itself is important in that way that we can
>connect it to the position or profession of the opinion holder. And it can
>give us new connections with new kind of people.

Ultimately, I'd like to get a quantitative survey. If that means getting
a qualitative survey first so we know what we should be asking, that works
too. I hope we can skip that step, though.

>Thinking that way it is important to find some new kind of would-be linux
>users. And it is important to think about the way how to find the people
>to answer the survey. Is there any other useable  means than the net? Or
>what is an effective method to use the net to spread the survey outside
>it? (I'm thinking about users, who never themselves install an operating
>system and don't waste their time on searching the net for some new ideas
>of computing.) 

This is a very important issue that we need to solve. I had thought we
could answer it once we had a draft done, but maybe the draft itself
depends on where we intend to do the survey.

>Would it be practical to use some kind of snow-ball method to do the
>survey? To find first some kind of people to answer the initial survey,
>use their opinions to find more and different kind of people and develop
>the survey itself? I mean not to fix the survey completely beforehand but
>to find out a method how to develop the survey itself. We need a good
>starting point and a method how to go on. In my opinion the first draft is
>OK if we could add a method how to go on by developing the next stage of
>the survey by using the results and asking the people carry on the

Can you expand on this further? What sort of 'method' did you have in mind?

I was hoping to use the snow-ball effect to get the survey to more people --
that is, we give it to people on the net, and then ask them to give it to
their friends, the people at their job, their family, etc. It would be a
very difficult thing to actually get to work, but it's a thought. Besides
sending smailmail surveys (which is expensive, and will mostly be ignored
anyway), I can't think of any good ways to do this...

If we link to the survey from freshmeat, slashdot, lwn, etc, we can get
several thousand people to look at it. If some of those people actually
fill it out, and some of those get other people to fill it out, maybe
we'll get somewhere.