Of Surveys and Social Media

Full disclosure: I squirmed; I evaded; I didn’t enjoy this assignment.┬áHere’s why: I don’t take surveys on the web. While they’re not quite as bad as spam, they fall into the same general category of internet annoyance, about on par with rollover ads.

I wouldn’t mind posting a survey if I was working on a substantive research project. But as it was, posting my experimental survey to real people’s Facebook groups and email list-servs felt a little yucky.

That said, CUNY J-Schoolers were fair game, so we spammed each other ad nauseum and collected results from our facebook group, from emails, and from a google doc which someone created for the purpose.

Then, with John’s advice, I homed in on young lawyers as a group of particular interest. So I posted a discussion on the Facebook page of the New York State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section. Posting a “discussion” was less visible than posting to their wall, but only members can post to the wall.

I wanted to track the effectiveness of this particular posting and be able to tell how many responses were generated from it. But a limitation of Google Forms is that it doesn’t track the referring page when it records survey results. I considered writing some JavaScript code to inject the referrer URL into the form, but then decided on a quicker workaround. What I did was create a separate bit.ly shortcut link for each place I posted the survey. The link for the young lawyer’s site was bit.ly/fewer-hours-yl. This allowed me to see that that particular posting resulted in two clicks.