Friday, April 01, 2005

Open Source Polling

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting post today about the idea of open source polling. Which is an great idea IMO, but would be very difficult to implement and still get accurate results.

He seems to have a very good idea of what would be necessary to having a polling system like this work. But I don't see how it would be possible to gather this much expertise without paying someone for it. I volunteer to help though.

Things I love,

Asking questions about issues to ascertain political identification. I LOVE this, and there already are methodologies to do this, in fact OK Cupid has a test that does a good job of identifying political ideologies. In general though it is much more accurate to use an index to get an idea of political ideology than it is to just ask. They used an index in the study I posted on earlier today. (It would be interesting to see how often self reported identification coincide with the index.)

Multiple versions of questions and transparency. More than one version of each question will help reduce the affects of bias within those questions. Asking three versions of a question instead of just one should give more accurate results. I don't think this is done very often.

And I love the idea of a free system. Though I think maybe to fund the free part you may have to charge businesses.

But I think that the ultimate killer of a system of this kind is that you could not get true samples of the US population. Since not everyone has internet and certainly not everyone will be included in the database there will be large amounts of bias present. If there were any kind of centralized way identify individuals on the internet it would be a much simpler problem.

But unfortunately any kind of membership driven program will systematically exclude people who don't know about it or aren't interested. I don't know how to overcome this and it seems to me to be a fatal flaw in the system. Possibly if the online surveys could be supplemented with phone surveys. Hmmm...

Anyway, in honor of this I have created my own survey about my blog on Maybe if all 5 of my readers take it I'll know what they think.

Actually Working Survey link, TAKE ME!

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