Survey is off… and running.

We’ve gotten well over a hundred responses in the first few days of the survey. I’m so heartened – and to be frank, relieved! – by the participation of the permaculture community. Thanks to all, and please go ahead and keep on suggesting that your friends and colleagues refer their friends and colleagues…

I’m doing on-going quality control on the survey, based on respondent comments. Some early bugs were flushed out and fixed right away, as well as a few cases where question format or clarity could be improved. For the most part, complaints about questions are widely distributed, rather than clustering around trouble spots. This is good – as long as most people complain about different things, we’re doing ok. And the frequent comments about actually enjoying the survey certainly help.

(The relatively few problems with roll-out can be attributed largely to  Eric Toensmeier‘s generosity in live-testing the survey last week. Big ups to Eric and Perennial Solutions!)

I went ahead and looked at 90 closing comments from respondents, and coded them – assigning each a number: 0 for “Hated it,” .5 for “Minor problems,” 1 for “No probs,” and 1.5 for “Loved it!” As of now, the average is .84, which I think is pretty good for an internet survey. One person commented on a forum that the survey is “borderline fun!”

To be clear, most of those .5 scores were from folks who were a little annoyed by not having a “neither agree nor disagree” option for many of the questions. I know: it’s annoying. Sorry about that. But by forcing respondents to identify their own slight lean, one way or the other, just produces much better data. Otherwise there is a VERY strong tendency toward the milquetoast middle value.

The upshot is that, if you leave out the (understandable) complaints about the (necessary) answer choices, the respondent satisfaction is way high. I would go back and calculate that score for you… but actually I’m not sure why I’m even still awake right now… at 2:somethingAM… analyzing survey data. 😮

Is this the most exciting internet survey… ever?

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