- Started January 1994 by Jim Pitkow as part of his effort to help figure out who was using Web, how it was being used, and why.
- The surveys solicit user participation by placing banners on high exposure Web sites, resulting in 10,000 to 25,000 respondents per survey. However, this methodology suffers from:
- Self-selection (people get to chose to participate or not)
- A non-random sample (segments of the user population may not be represented)
- As such, no claims are made about the representativeness of the results to the entire Web population.
- Just the same, comparison of our results to random surveys (Nielsen, FIND/SVP, Forrester, etc.) shows strong agreement on core demographics, but does show a bias towards the heavier users (our participants must use the Web in order to participate). However, often times it is this regular user population that is of interest to marketer, etc.
- We therefore recommend using both sources of data (random and our web-based surveys) in tandem when making decision and conclusions.
- Surveys are run as a public service every 6 months by Colleen Kehoe and Jim Pitkow for one month starting April 10 and October 10 every year. The 7th survey starts this Thursday!
- All results and collected datasets are made publically available from: www.gvu.gatech.edu/user_surveys