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February 12 2014

'Words' Are in the Air this Valentine's Day

The folks at Zynga are out with their third annual Words With Friends Valentine's Day survey, and have shared a handful of fun stats concerning the likes - and dislikes - of more than 11,300 players. If you've ever wished you knew more about the mystery gamers on the other side of the Words With Friends virtual game board, now's your chance.

Centered around a Valentine's theme, the third annual survey showcases "players' passion for word rivalry, penchant for smooth talkers, and preferences for expressing their love," according to a press release that recently reached our inbox. Out of 11,317 respondents, 63% noted that they "thrive on competition with their partner," and almost one-third admitted to throwing a match on purpose when playing a game of Words With Friends against a loved one, according to the survey. Read more...

More about Survey, Love, Zynga, Passion, and Valentine S Day

February 05 2014

Hey Guys, She Doesn't Want Your Sexy Photos

Dating can be a jungle. If you're with someone, the hours scouring dating websites have finally paid off (that, or the local bartender misses pouring your favorite brew). But finding love and keeping it are two different battles. Every relationship is unique, and the best way to keep the person you're with happy is to be yourself. Unless, of course, your gut instinct is to do something 75% of women don't like

Singles in America, an annual academic survey developed by biological anthropologist and Rutgers University professor Helen Fisher, and sponsored by Match.com, posed questions to singles of all ages and preferences, coast to coast, to determine the norms for dating in the present age Read more...

More about Survey, Online Dating, Match, Lifestyle, and Work Play

December 09 2013

Readers: Map Out The Future Of ReadWrite With Our Survey

We at ReadWrite are constantly searching for better ways to serve our audience, including covering the stories you would most like to see, in a way that resonates with you. So we're conducting a reader survey to learn more about our audience. Alongside your comments, your searches, and the articles you choose to read, this survey provides another set of valuable data for us to ingest.

Please take two minutes to answer a few questions, and help us create more of what you want.

If you have problems with the embedded survey, click here to take it.

Tags: survey

September 26 2013

America Offline: 15% of U.S. Adults Don't Use the Internet

You're probably using the Internet right now. In fact, you probably use the Internet every single day. It's almost hard to imagine life without it, right?

Well, it's not that way for everyone. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 15% of Americans age 18 or older do not use the Internet, and another 9% said they don't use it in their homes, according to a report released this week

More than a third of the 15% who don't use the Internet cited relevance as the reason, saying they're not interested, they're too busy or they think it's a waste of time. Read more...

More about Online, Survey, Internet, Us World, and Us

July 25 2012

February 10 2012

January 10 2012

July 11 2011

5 Tips for Creating an Online Survey

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

Would you be willing to take a brief survey after this call? What’s your zip code? How did you hear about us?

Each of these questions probably sounds familiar to you. We’ve all heard them when stuck on the phone with the cable company, or checking out at The Gap, or signing up for a newsletter.

That’s because knowing more about the customer is valuable to the companies you patronize.

Similarly, more information about your customers, including their demographics, preferences and sentiments on your product, can be extraordinarily useful to you as a small business owner or entrepreneur, if you know how to properly gather information and interpret results. Online surveys are one inexpensive and quick way to do this and get great feedback. Here are some steps to get started.

1. Define Your Objectives

First, it’s important to define the business objectives you are attempting to further by conducting a survey. Are you trying to decide whether or not to launch a new product line? Are you attempting to collect information that will bolster pitches to potential advertisers or investors? Are you assessing performance of your marketing campaigns? In order to limit survey length, you’ll have to resist the urge to ask everything that’s on your mind, so having a clear set of objectives will help you to determine which questions should make the cut.

2. Work Backwards

Once you’ve defined your objectives on a high level, you can start to take a more granular approach. Think about the information you’d like to glean from the survey results, and then reverse-engineer questions that address these issues. For example, if you are trying to determine whether or not your customers are satisfied with the level of service at your restaurant, make a list of the various elements of the customer experience — e.g., cleanliness, friendliness of staff — and then frame each individual element in question form. Make sure to avoid what Dr. Phil Garland, vice president of methodology for SurveyMonkey, refers to as “double-barreled” questions; for instance, “how friendly and knowledgeable were the customer services representatives?” Perhaps they were friendly but not knowledgeable, or vice versa, which could affect how a customer responds. The more focused and narrow the scope of your questions, the easier it will be for you to gain useful intelligence when interpreting the results.

3. Check For Bias

Since you have a sense of the answers you’d ideally like to get, it’s a common pitfall to write your questions in a leading manner, i.e., “The customer service representatives were friendly. Do you agree with this statement?” Garland says this can skew your results in a more positive direction, since people naturally tend towards politesse and tact. So, when working backwards to create your questions, take care to make sure that each of your questions is just that — a question — and not a statement. You might also consider randomizing the order of your questions and response choices.

4. Do a Test Drive

As is good practice in any written online medium, have someone with copy editing experience — or, at the least, a strong grasp on language — take a look at your survey once you have built it. What seems intuitive to you could very well be confusing to a reader. Additionally, having a guinea pig take your survey before you let it out into the wild means you have a chance to double check not only for logistical issues but also for how long it takes to complete. If it’s more than 12 minutes, you need to bring an editing eye to your masterpiece to whittle it down — Garland estimates that the optimal length is eight minutes. Additionally, while open-ended questions take longer to answer, they can yield fruitful insights. Melissa Kim, vice president of product for Minted, an online paper goods company, always makes sure to include at least one such question, noting that some of the most useful information she gets from customers is in the free-response areas. “If we start to see something popping up in those types of questions … within a couple of days we can have an entire assortment [of products] sourced,” Kim says. “It’s like absolute gold in there.”

5. Collect Results and Analyze Data

Depending on how you keep track of your customers, you may send out emails soliciting feedback, run interstitial ads on your site, or even utilize third-party sites like Mechanical Turk to target survey respondents. But whatever means you use, Garland suggests keeping your survey open for at least a week, since respondents at different times of day and days of the week may tend towards different answers.

Once the results are in, sites like SurveyMonkey will allow you to compare your results across segments. This is a good time to go back to your core objectives you identified in step 1 and parse the data you’ve collected by those criteria. For instance, Kim highlighted Minted’s “How did you hear about us?” question as a useful “point of triangulation.” By comparing responses based on acquisition source, she is able to gauge which customer acquisition sources are bringing in the most satisfied clients.

There are a lot of factors to consider here, so getting started may seem daunting. But if you are able to make meaningful business decisions, as Kim has, based on the information you gather, it’s worth the extra effort needed to design and execute your survey properly.

Have you learned anything that affected your business from conducting a survey? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, bluestocking

More About: feedback, minted, small business, survey, surveymonkey

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June 04 2011

May 28 2011

Social Media Distractions Are Costing Businesses Major Money [STUDY]

How many times each day are you distracted by social media, email or instant messages?

According to a recent survey from social email software provider harmon.ie, you and other employees are blowing $10,375 in productivity each year, and all because we don’t disconnect from an online chat quickly enough, or we get sidetracked by a bulging email inbox, or we fall into a Facebook hole of photos, updates and messages.

In a survey of more than 500 employees in U.S. businesses of all sizes, harmon.ie found that at companies with more than 1,000 employees, these kinds of digital distractions can waste more than $10 million each year.

And in this social media-obsessed age, typical water cooler banter and pointless meetings are no longer the greatest time-wasters at work. Almost 60% of workplace distractions involve social networks, text messaging, IMs or email. In fact, navigating between multiple tabs and windows to keep an eye on a wide variety of apps is a huge distraction in itself.

In the end, almost half of the employees in this study said they worked just 15 minutes or less without getting interrupted or distracted. More than half said they wasted at least one hour every day day due to distraction.

Yaacov Cohen is a co-founder and the CEO of harmon.ie. In an email, he wrote that the survey results were particularly ironic.

“Information technology that was designed at least in part to save time is actually doing precisely the opposite. The very tools we rely on to do our jobs are also interfering with that mission. We’re clearly seeing what psychologists call ‘online compulsive disorder’ spill over from our personal lives to the work environment.”

Here are the greatest digital distractions noted in the survey:

  • Email processing: 23%
  • Switching windows to complete tasks: 10%
  • Personal online activities such as Facebook: 9%
  • Instant messaging: 6%
  • Texting: 5%
  • Web search: 3%

While these distractions are money-wasters for companies, they also negatively effect individuals’ ability to creatively solve problems, think deeply about work-related issues, efficiently process information and meet deadlines.

Does digital distraction have an impact on how you work? In the comments let us know how Facebook, IMs and email hamper or help you in the office — and what steps you might have taken to minimize distractions.

image courtesy of Flickr, rishibando

More About: distraction, social media, study, survey, workplace

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May 13 2011

Two Thirds Of Moms Shop With Their Smartphones

Most smartphone-wielding mothers put their phones to work while they shop, according to a survey by mobile ad network Greystripe.

In a survey of 239 mothers, whom Greystripe recruited using mobile banner ads in its network, 66% acknowledged that their smartphones play a role in their shopping trips.

Around 45% said they use their phones to locate the nearest store. The next most common use of smartphones was to compare prices. Only 15% of the women surveyed said they actually made purchases using their phones.

Since Greylock has an interest in portraying mobile phones as an excellent place to target mothers while shopping (women make the majority of household purchase decisions, and this makes them a favorite target of the advertisers Greylock courts), it’s not the most reliable source of research on the topic.

Other research about mobile phone marketing and women has shown more varied results. Last year, a company conducted mobile shopping survey of 1,600 women that found 94% of them were interested in more mobile shopping and mobile marketing.

In the same month, social network SheSpeaks conducted an online survey of similar size that found only 10% of women have downloaded any shopping-related applications to their mobile devices, and 62% are not even interested in doing so.

For now, whether mobile phones are indeed the key to reaching women depends largely on which indicator — shopping app adoption, interest in mobile, reference during shopping trips — you believe proves it.

More About: MARKETING, mothers, shopping, study, survey, women

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April 05 2011

Is Working From Home Becoming the Norm? [SURVEY]

According to a survey conducted by Skype, one of the bastions of telecommuting technology, working from home is becoming more common, more accepted by managers, and more sought-after by employees than ever before.

As someone who regularly works from home, I find this trend hardly surprising. But it’s not just bloggers, startup types and technophiles who are making pajamas the new “business casual.” Even seasoned executive types (like my own father, for example) are logging in remotely these days.

The proliferation of online collaboration tools is one indicator that “WFH” (that’s short for “working from home,” my dad tells me) culture is blossoming. In fact, Skype and tools like it have pretty much made the necessity of a 9-to-5 physical presence behind a cubicle-bound desk obsolete.

And video capabilities are a large part of those tools. Video conferencing and desktop video are two communication technologies Skype expects to see increase in usage most over a two-year period, followed by VoIP, room-based video, mobile phones and IM.

Given the widening availability, affordability and understanding of technologies such as VoIP and video, the time is right for remote working and working from home. According to Skype’s survey, which included responses from 1,000 professionals at around 500 businesses of all sizes, flexibility on in-office presence is, indeed, becoming the norm.

Around 62% of the companies surveyed already have remote workers. Of these companies, 34% of their workforce occasionally works remotely, and of that 34%, WFH-enabled employees say they spend around 40% of their work hours at home.

Naturally, employees at WFH-friendly companies listed this area of flexibility high in their criteria for job satisfaction. But employers seemed to be fans of the WFH lifestyle, too. Of the respondents who were decision-makers and managers, 75% said working from home was becoming more acceptable, and 56% said workers-from-home were more productive.

Take a look at Skype’s full report, and in the comments, let us know what your WFH options are like. Are you a couch-bound working warrior? Or are you fairly chained to your desk at the office?

image courtesy of iStockphoto, Mari

More About: Skype, survey, WFH, work from home

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March 30 2011

How Women Really Feel About Their Facebook Friends [SURVEY]

When it comes to Facebook, we have friends, and we have “friends.” A recent survey found that for many women on Facebook, their true feelings about many of their Facebook friends might be less than friendly.

Daily deals site Eversave talked to 400 women about their Facebook relationships. The company originally conducted the survey as market research on the social network’s influence on the daily deals ecosystem, but Eversave was surprised to uncover the love/hate relationship between women and their online friends.

For example, the majority of female respondents said they had at least one friend who was a “drama queen” on Facebook. A majority also said they had at least one obnoxiously “proud mother” as a Facebook friend.

Most women — 83% of respondents in this survey — are annoyed at one time or another by the posts from their Facebook connections. For these respondents, the most off-putting post was some kind of whine; a full 63% said complaining from Facebook friends was their number one pet peeve, with political chatter and bragging coming in a distant second and third.

The respondents also said at least one of their Facebook friends tended to:

  • Share too many mundane updates too often (65%)
  • “Like” too many posts (46%)
  • Inappropriately or too frequently use Facebook to promote causes (40%)
  • Project false information or images of a perfect life (40%)

These kinds of Facebook archetypes have become part of the cultural lexicon. We recently covered an amusing music video about Facebook “types.” But it’s fascinating to see these characteristics quantified by the women who get teed off by them.

Here are a couple infographics with more details from the survey:

More About: facebook, gender, survey, women

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January 27 2011

Americans & TV: How Social Media Users Watch Video [INFOGRAPHIC]

Researchers at Lab42 did a study of social media users, surveying 400 adults earlier this month.

Using applications within Facebook and MySpace, they found out that even bigger changes are underway in TV land, and viewers are doing lot more of their TV viewing online.

In this exclusive graphic, you can see that viewers, particularly those under 34 years of age, are more willing to watch TV shows online. And, an overwhelming majority of the respondents are recording their TV shows on DVRs such as TiVo.

It’s no surprise that social media users are a lot more tuned in to video on the Internet, but the most unexpected statistic was that at least 72% of those aged 34 and younger are watching TV shows online.

Looks like that prediction we heard last year that online video will quadruple Internet traffic by 2014 might happen even sooner than expected.

According to Lab42, the 400 respondents were equally distributed across age groups and income levels.

[via Lab42]

More About: Americans & TV, cut the cable, infographic, social media, survey

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December 20 2010

How Consumers Are Using Smartphones in Stores [STUDY]

Smartphone-toting consumers are increasingly using the devices to scout out better deals when shopping in-store, a new survey reveals.

Thirty percent of consumers with smartphones said while at a store looking for a product, they scout out better deals on their device. The phone-based survey, by GfK Roper on behalf of SapientNitro, was conducted December 3-4 among a sample of 1,004 adults. Not all respondents had smartphones.

According to Nielsen, only 28% of U.S. consumers have smartphones, but the researcher projects that by the end of 2011, that number will hit 49%.

The news isn’t all bad for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, though. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they e-mailed or texted someone to tell them about their experience at the store, such as finding a great deal or gift. Nineteen percent used their phone to post something on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or some other social networking site to convey that information.

Other findings:

  • 52% used their smartphones to find a store location.
  • 48% used them to browse for products.
  • 40% compared prices with their smartphones.
  • 35% looked for discounts, deals, coupons or discount codes on their phones.
  • 34% checked product availability at retail stores or websites.

More About: retail, shoppers, smartphones, survey

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November 23 2010

Checking Work E-Mail During the Holidays? You’re Not Alone [STATS]


A new survey from Xobni and Harris Interactive says 59% of employed American adults check their e-mail during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of the 59%, more than half (55%) check their work e-mails at least once a day, while about 28% check their e-mails multiple times throughout the day.

The survey was conducted online among 2,179 adults, 18 and older, earlier this month.

The survey also delved into how these workers feel about receiving these e-mails while on a holiday. Forty-one percent of who receive work-related e-mails during time off say that they’re typically annoyed or frustrated to see the messages in their inbox. It looks like younger adults — specifically, 56% in the 18-34 demographic — are most likely to express these sentiments. Meanwhile, only 39% of those between 35 and 44, and 30% of those in the 45-54 age range, admit to being annoyed by work-related e-mails during the holidays. At least 12% of respondents admit to feeling dread.

But despite negative feelings, 42% of those who check their work e-mail also say they feel it’s important to stay up-to-date. Some believe it helps ease workloads — and a small number (19%) admits that the e-mails occasionally serve as a welcome distraction. Men are most likely to check their work e-mails during breaks. And as far as regions are concerned, those in the southern U.S. — 63%, in fact — are more likely to check their inboxes.

These new findings seem to be in line with a previous Xobni and Harris Interactive survey, which we reported on in September. The earlier survey looked into the habits of 2,200 workers in the U.S. and the UK. In that one, at least 50% of Americans admitted to checking e-mail during vacation days.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Daniel Go

More About: e-mail, survey

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September 30 2010

How NPR Is Leveraging the Twitter Generation [STATS]

NPR has just released a fascinating set of stats about its Twitter followers, including information about how much they click through, how they get their news, how they interact with content and even how old they are.

In a survey of more than 10,000 respondents, NPR found that its Twitter followers are younger, more connected to the social web, and more likely to access content through digital platforms such as NPR’s website, podcasts, mobile apps and more.

NPR has more than one Twitter account; its survey found that most respondents followed between two and five NPR accounts, including topical account, show-specific accounts and on-air staff accounts.

The data on age is hardly surprising. The median age of an NPR Twitter follower is 35 — around 15 years younger than the average NPR radio listener. This lines up with data we recently found about other traditional news media; the average Facebook user reading and “liking” content on a news website is two decades younger than the average print newspaper subscriber.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the future of news media lies in successful integration of social media to get the attention (and click-throughs) of a younger generation — a generation whose news needs are vastly different than those of the generations that preceded it.

Of NPR’s Twitter followers, the majority (67%) still do listen to NPR on the radio. But the other ways they access NPR’s content are indicative of a growing trend:

Of survey respondents, 59% said they use NPR.org, 39% listen to NPR’s podcasts, around half use an NPR mobile app and 28% say they access NPR via Facebook. All told, 77% of NPR’s Twitter followers said they get all or most of their news online.

And Twitter followers are more likely to expect breaking news, too, likely because of the real-time nature of the medium.

What do you think of NPR’s stats? Do you use Twitter to follow and access news? What about mobile apps or podcasts — do you find those media useful when produced by a mainstream news organization? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Reviews: Facebook, Twitter

More About: journalism, media, new media, News, news media, NPR, radio, stats, survey, twitter

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August 10 2010

iPhone Owners Have the Most Sex Partners [STUDY]

Dating site OkCupid has completed a study about its users’ smartphones and sexual history and has determined that among people who use smartphones, iPhone users have the most sexual partners, followed by BlackBerry users and finally Android users.

OkCupid looked at the data hidden in the images that users uploaded as profile pictures to see which cameras were used to take them — including smartphone cameras. With many of the site’s users also having taken personality tests like “The Dating Persona Test” or “The Slut Test,” which ask for a count of sexual partners, the site was able to cross-reference that data to complete the study.

In one approach, the survey sample was restricted to people aged 30. That way, differences in the usual ages of users of one smartphone type or another couldn’t affect the results. Among Android users aged 30, the average man had accumulated six sexual partners in his lifetime, while the average woman had accumulated 6.1. Among BlackBerry users, the number was 8.1 for men and 8.8 for women. Male iPhone users had 10 sexual partners and female iPhone users had 12.3

We’ve included OkCupid’s chart for that data below. We’ve also included another chart in which OkCupid mapped out and compared smartphone owners by age from 18 up through 40. While the sizes of the gaps varied, the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android rankings remained the same.

This data was tagged on as a bonus on a blog post about which cameras, camera settings and photography techniques resulted in the most attractive profile pictures. As you might have guessed, the higher the camera quality, the better the result in many cases.

The post is just the latest in a series of fascinating studies by OkCupid based on user data. In the past, the OkCupid blog debunked several of the biggest dating profile picture myths and found the ideal first message length for would-be lovers.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, bjones27

Reviews: Android, iStockphoto

More About: android, blackberry, cameras, dating, iphone, okcupid, Photos, sex, smartphone, study, survey

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July 24 2010

73% of iPhone Users Are “Very Satisfied” With AT&T [SURVEY]

A survey performed by the Yankee Group found that 73% of iPhone users are “very satisfied” with AT&T, despite all the negative press the cellular network has received since the iPhone launched back in 2007.

Also, 77% of iPhone owners would buy another iPhone, while only 20% of people who use the competing Google Android smartphone platform would repeat their purchases.

The survey was cited at CNNMoney.com, which was quick to suggest that the positive reviews from iPhone owners must be a result of a “halo effect” or “reality distortion field” accompanying the iPhone’s slick and impressive interface and features. The idea is that some users are so pleased and wowed by the iPhone’s presentation that they gloss over the downsides — in this case, AT&T’s struggle to prevent dropped calls or other problems caused by poor or lost signal.

That theory is supported by the finding that iPhone users are more likely to be satisfied with AT&T’s service than other AT&T customers, only 68% of whom are satisfied.

This all seems to conflict somewhat with a previous report by market research firm ChangeWave, which estimated that if the iPhone is released on Verizon in addition to AT&T, AT&T could lose more than half of its iPhone customers. Who knows when that might happen, though. Depending on which rumor you believe, it will either occur in January of next year, or sometime in 2012.

It just goes to show you that predictions and surveys in the tech world are educated guesses, not products of precise science.

More About: 3g, apple, att, iphone, iphone 4, survey, yankee group

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July 21 2010

Facebook Among Web’s Worst in Customer Satisfaction [SURVEY]

The 2010 American Customer Survey Index conducted by ForeSee Results gave Facebook 64 out of 100 points in a customer satisfaction survey; that’s lower than any other business in its category. However, it’s not at the bottom of the social media heap; MySpace received one point less.

ForeSee Results CEO Larry Freed says that “privacy concerns, frequent changes to the website, and commercialization and advertising” are responsible for the low rating. Those reasons for dissatisfaction mirror the ones revealed in previous surveys.

By contrast, Google received a score of 80 (though that’s 7 points lower than last year’s score), Bing and Wikipedia managed a 77, Yahoo pulled a 76 and YouTube landed at 73. Facebook also received a lower rating than any of the major news websites, which were led by FOXNews.com at 82. MSNBC.com and CNN.com trailed behind at 74 and 73 respectively.

We’d love to see what Twitter’s score would be, but the survey excluded Twitter because so many of its users experience it through third party applications, making it difficult to judge how much their perceptions reflect Twitter itself.

Not Dissatisfied Enough

Even though Facebook’s users are dissatisfied, they haven’t demonstrated the will to leave. Perhaps it’s because there is no strong competitor, or because their social lives would suffer tremendously if they opted out of this now-essential tool for communication and event planning.

After the Instant Personalization opt-out controversy, thousands of users committed to quit on May 31. The movement failed when many of them simply didn’t. Instead of suffering perceptible negative consequences for its choices, the social network has continued to grow. It will celebrate 500 million users later this week.

Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be giving a rare TV interview with Diane Sawyer tomorrow, presumably to talk about the milestone and repair some of the PR damage in the wake of these privacy scandals and in anticipation of the release of the film The Social Network. What do you think he’ll say? What does he need to say?

Reviews: Bing, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo!, YouTube

More About: 2010 american customer survey index, acsi, customer satisfaction, facebook, myspace, study, survey

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