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        What's expensive about setting up a mailing list dedicated to the
survey and asking internally "what do we want to know about users and
how do we want to find out about it"?  Or doing some requests for
volunteers from local university statistic students? Your volunteers
don't necessarily have to start from the community you are surveying
Professionalism is not about cost; it's about preparation.  And I
wouldn't recommend another survey.  At least, I wouldn't recommend it
yet.  If you don't have money, you do have time.  Take six months to a
year to get the right elements in place. In the meantime, use less
formal ways to explore what you want to know about users (feedback
forms, mailing lists, etc).

On 11/12/2013 8:02 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:

I'm well aware on how to run a project;  and many comments and
critiques I have read so far are valid. Just keep in mind that we're
not going to run just another survey because according to some, it
wasn't granular enough (btw: there are others who would object to your
methodology as being too expensive to organize or as unncessary).
Running the survey again would end up confusing the users who already

If you seriously would like to get involved, you should  - I mean it,
there's no sarcasm. 



Le Tue, 12 Nov 2013 07:54:15 -0700,
John Meyer <> a écrit :

Okay,  I point out problems and you're response is "you don't like it
you can run out your own survey" and then say I'm inaccurate without
stating why I'm inaccurate with a solicitation for donations in the
previous e-mail.  Do you see the major issue here?  Flies, honey,

I don't know how your project works, but if you're not doing the
proper work beforehand I don't know how it can work.  Ask anybody
who's run any successful project.  Heck, even the leaders of failed
projects can tell you.  They probably have more information.
First, you define your goals.  Next you gather and prepare your
resources.  You do a test run, maybe more than one and hope you have
enough time.  You have people with specific knowledge critique and
make adjustments.  Finally you run the project, and afterwards you
analyze and make improvements for the next time.  Those principals
apply whether you're running a for profit project or a non profit.
And that would be the bare bones work if I was running a local
project. You're going global, which involves understanding cultural
differences as well.  That is not the type of thing I would do with
an ad hoc team with nobody who has any experience in what I was doing
in the first place. Like I said, define the questions, gather the
mailing list.  And if you don't have access to anybody with
experience in statistics, don't launch until you do.  A badly done
survey is worse than none at all.

On 11/12/2013 7:38 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
Le Tue, 12 Nov 2013 07:29:47 -0700,
John Meyer <> a écrit :

You made a survey without a survey statistician on your team.  Did
you send out a request for such a person on the mailing lists to
advise you before you put together the survey?  Did you have a
clear and concise question that you wanted to answer before you
developed the survey questions?  Did you run the questions by an
aforementioned professional in the staff and check for
confirmation bias?

No. And apparently you have little awareness of how our project
works. But  you make a couple of valid points. 

I am not a professional statistician, and that's just what I
spotted.  I have covered surveys as a journalist in my previous
career, though.  And I also am a veteran of setting up business
projects.  A survey statistician would have a lot more to say I am
sure.  And we're not even starting on the analysis.  In fact, I'd
throw out the analysis and the results and start anew.  First off,
define "users" (end users, evangelists, business users?) and state
the overall purpose of your survey in a single question.
I regret some of the tone of the previous e-mail (first e-mail
prior to coffee), but there's nothing here to work with.  You've
got 300 self-selected users with at least two major questions in
one survey that you did not break out by region, sex, profession.
You want results, you need good data underneath.

You know, aside being rather inaccurate, you're welcome to run
another survey. We're always looking for more volunteers. And I'm
glad to help you on this, so please go ahead.



On 11/12/2013 7:04 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
Le Tue, 12 Nov 2013 06:57:20 -0700,
John Meyer <> a écrit :

On 11/10/2013 11:46 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:

As there were some exchanges about the survey here and as I
advertised it on this mailing list as well, I thought you might
be interested by my initial analysis:

Thank you for your participation!

1.  The survey seems to be a Self seLected Opinion Poll (SLOP),
so I'm taking it with a grain of salt the size of the Sears
Tower. There's no margin of error included in the poll either
and based upon the sample as being from the mailing lists (where
people are generally active anyway) I'd say it's fairly skewed.
2.  The conclusions are generic, wishy-washy and are based on
guesses and assumptions with no hard underlying data.  How much
in contributions has LibreOffice raised?  Does that fit in with
what the survey said? Where is the Quality Assurance in the web
site? And why would an end user be interested in that?
3.  User support and quality assurance do not require too much
time or technical knowledge.  Remind me not to hire you for
either of those tasks in my business.  Those are things that
professional companies hire entire other companies to do.

I'd give this project an F in a freshman statistics class, and
would not base any strategy off of this "survey"

Thanks John, I'll take it  from your comment that
 1) you are either a survey professional and you only wait for the
next survey to contribute your time designing it


 2) you will contribute the costs of hiring a market research firm
the next time we need a survey. 

Allegedly, I and none of the other people who designed the survey
are professional survey designers. 


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