Online Surveys with a dash of lime: Lime Survey Review

August 31st, 2007 by Jared Bothwell

After seeing that Lime Survey (formerly PHPSurveyor) have released an upgraded version of their open source survey software I thought I would give it a whirl and see how it runs. Before I get started I should divulge that I do have a vested interest in survey software. Rock Research is a uSuite partner and as such actively promote the uSuite solution. All the same I keep an active interest in the development of survey technology and am always on the look out for something new and interesting and have tried as best as I can to approach Lime Survey with an open mind.

I also like free stuff and am pretty familiar with a number of open source projects and having played around with the following, SugarCRM, PHPFilenavigator, WordPress , Silverstripe I do have something to compare Lime Survey with.


Downloading Lime Survey was pretty straightforward. I downloaded the Lime Survey 1.52. It is not a big file and all happened seamlessly and pretty fast. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Online Market Research Tools, Online Research, Survey Technology | 8 Comments »

Get your teeth stuck in Tafiti

August 28th, 2007 by Jared Bothwell

Microsoft have released Tafiti which they are describing as a experimental search front end. Tafiti, which means “do research” in Swahili (also known as Kiswahili), uses Silverlight 1.0 RC and AJAX to provide a rich, cross-platform user experiences and leverages the following Microsoft services on the backend.

It has a nice interface, with a lovely wooden trim, while the search term remains in the heading,


If they wooden trim is not enough Tafiti allows you go fully organic with their tree-view. The neat thing about the tree is that your search results move gently in a breeze not dissimilar to a rotary washing line.

Results Tree

TechCrunch asks the question that matters most: Will people use it? The answer: Probably not. Still it looks pretty cool.

Tafiti is best viewed as an open experiment and not a Google killer. Still, I’ll give it a go over the next week and report back on how it goes.

Posted in Online Market Research Tools, Online Research | Comments Off

Build your own Custom Online Panel

August 27th, 2007 by Jared Bothwell

While ‘online panels’ are nothing new, their potential to help organisations to gain a greater understanding of their customers and their markets is enormous. It is most likely that you would of heard of some of pre-existing panels that exist, but rather than borrow someone else’s panel – why not build your own?

Custom online panels can provide a multitude benefits to both profit, non-profit and Government organisations. Just three of the benefits are:

  1. BECOME ENGAGED WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS:By creating an ongoing dialogue with a group of existing and potential customers you can strengthen existing relationships. With a panel you create an ongoing dialogue, unlike a survey or focus group you can ask follow-up questions. The panel tells you something, you respond and together you both explore. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Citizens Panels, Market Research 2.0, Marketing Research, Online Market Research Tools, Online Research, Survey Technology | Comments Off

The Survey Police are Watching

August 25th, 2007 by Jared Bothwell

In a previous blog titled “Make Money from Home, fire your Boss” I wrote about the large number of scam survey websites that asked for money upfront so you could then earn $1,000′s from online surveys. Thankfully we now have websites like the Survey Police keeping the web safe. And while they do not go as far to hunt down the perpetrators of badly written surveys they do seek to sort out the legitimate online survey panels from the scammers.

Posted in Marketing Research, Online Research, Survey Technology | Comments Off

Surveying Second Life

August 24th, 2007 by Jared Bothwell bought to my attention an article by Quirks Marketing Research Review who have publised an article highlighting the research opportunitys that Second Life provides. And while Second Life sounds like a place where ex-cons hang out the article rekons that by the year 2011 80% of internet users will be active participants of virtual worlds like Second Life. I do not disagree that there is huge opportunity if these numbers are true but I can’t help but feel these virtual worlds are a little overhyped.

From what I have seen and heard Second Life is pretty much empty and has been a waste of money for those that have invested (some do disagree) most of the time with the only drawcard being the occasional event. I signed up once over a year ago, thought it was cool and have been back once. When I went back it was never saw anyone and have since found I just don’t have the time or inclination to hang out in a virtual world. So while there is strong potential for market research is there strong potential for virtual worlds?

Posted in Marketing Research, Online Market Research Tools | 2 Comments »

Dwarf Survey with Ricky Gervais

August 24th, 2007 by Jared Bothwell

Ricky Gervais with an insightful survey on the British publics perception of dwarfs.

Posted in Funny, Marketing Research | Comments Off

Old brigade goes feral with Upstart Pollster

August 23rd, 2007 by Jared Bothwell

As I reported yesterday in Australia Gets Own Version of YouGov the Sydney Morning Herald has covered the response from YouGov to criticisms from the the ‘Old Brigade’ – Newspoll and Roy Morgan Research. “It’s a joke. You’re wasting your time even reporting it,” Roy Morgan Research’s executive chairman, Gary Morgan, said. “Online research is growing but you need a cross-section of people. The problem with online surveys is that 70 per cent of people who do online surveys are broadband users so they are skewed to heavy Internet users.”

Yet as Ray Poynter points out in It’s the results not the inputs “YouGov in the UK, and Harris in the US, have a long track record of predicting election results at least as accurately as the conventional polling organisations, but quicker and cheaper. There is no point in old fashioned providers bleating about methodology, in this field the results speak for themselves, and the results favour online.”

The proof will be in the pudding and the upcoming elections and the polls will be fascinating to watch.

Posted in Citizens Panels, Online Research | Comments Off

Australia Gets Own Version of YouGov

August 21st, 2007 by Jared Bothwell

As reported in The Australian, the high profile Internet researcher YouGov is planning to launch an Australian Internet panel with up to 50,000 members. They claim that they can predict the result of the federal election to within 1 percent.

Newspoll chief executive Martin O’Shannessy was dismissive of online polling, saying it was less statistically rigorous because it was not random, such as a telephone survey. While there is some truth to what Martin has to say it would be wise not to underestimate YouGov.

YouGov has done well in the UK and have performed better than the telephone pollsters in predicting the outcomes of the elections in Great Britain. Revenue growth has been strong and they are now about to double in size.

Posted in Citizens Panels, Online Market Research Tools, Online Research | 2 Comments »

Sell your Survey but only if its Worth Selling

August 21st, 2007 by Jared Bothwell

In Sell the Survey it may have seemed I was focusing just on telephone surveys but selling your survey applies to any survey methodology. In Online Research Under Fire light is made of the recent case where a story posted in Advertising Age outlines how a number of online surveys when replicated were producing contradictatory results.

The are a number of aspects being blamed but the key problem as I see it is just about anybody can build an online survey and just about anybody does. Poorly designed questionnaires and poorly worded questions result in a negative user experience, a high non-response error and invalid results. So when I say “Sell your Survey”, the precursor to this is that you actually have something worth selling.

Sometimes I feel being a marketing researcher feels a little how a writer must feel. Just because someone can write does not mean that they can write well. And just because someone can write a question does not mean that they can write good question. While I am not here to sell the benefits of using an experienced and trained researcher to design and build surveys, the main benefit of using an experienced and trained researcher is that it is most likely they have already made the mistakes that the novice is about to.

In summary, sell your survey to your sample, but make sure you have something worth selling first.

Posted in Ideas, Online Market Research Tools, Online Research | 1 Comment »

Sell the Survey

August 20th, 2007 by Jared Bothwell

Market Researchers all around the world are lamenting over the fact that no one wants to answer their surveys. Low response rates are depressing for all concerned but there are things that can be done. What thing I believe is that market researchers must sell the surveys.

Let’s face it, the number of people sitting around hoping that someone would approach them, ring them or email them with a survey is pretty small.

When someone rings me up in the evening all I hear is this, “Hi, I am a complete stranger and I am very bored and just incase you were not convinced, I even sound very bored. I have called you uninvited this evening to interrupt your very valuable time and ask how much money you earn, how old you are, do you have a girlfriend or a wife, where you live, what sort of stuff you buy, how healthy you are, and a few other deeply personal questions. This is all so the company that commissioned this research can sell you more stuff, oh and by the way thank you for your time, I need to go and call some other complete stranger and ask them deeply personal questions so my client can sell them some more stuff too – bye” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Ideas, Marketing Research | 1 Comment »

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