Internet Intrigue: What are you using it for?

Internet Intrigue, UF, Research, Survey

Internet Intrigue: What are you using it for?

A Survey

I have always enjoyed taking surveys.  The idea that someone is interested in my opinion makes me want to help them by giving my input.  I especially like simple, multiple-choice questions and surveys that use humor; it’s just another clever way to connect with your audience.  Another reason I often take surveys is the fear that “they” will know if I agree to take their survey or not. I have my suspicions that whether or not I complete the survey will affect the service that I receive.  You know, like when you call Comcast Cable, and they ask you before they direct to customer service if you would be willing to participate in a survey.  I am always nervous that if I say no, I will be lost in the sea of never-ending hold.

This assignment is my first experience in creating and distributing an online survey of my own.  As a past program director at a community college, I conducted paper surveys.  I’ll never forget a written comment from a member that said I played favorites.  I was crushed.  I never actually analyzed any data, however, just read over them and put them in a desk drawer to have on-hand for SACS accreditation.  If I were still employed at the college, I probably would have created a survey that focused on opinion and customer satisfaction of the programs that I was responsible for, but since, I’m no longer in-charge of those programs, I thought I’d focus on something else.  As always, the internet and social media are a central focus for me.

My Facebook list of friends is extremely diverse.  I am “friends” with people across this country.  I have young friends, friends my age, friends my parent’s ages, and since, I managed a program for retirees, I have some older connections as well.  I am intrigued by how differently people use the internet and social media. So, voila, my purpose…how are people of different ages using the internet, how are they accessing it, and what are they using it for?  Some other questions: do they trust its security and where do they see this thing, called the Internet, going?

I used Qualtrics, as my survey service.  I found the service easy to use, and it offered so many fun options.  I created a simple, 16-question survey.  I focused on multiple-choice questions but also included the slider, rank, and hot spot question format.  I included one text entry question, just for fun, since those are my least favorite.  I included a request-response option for all questions, thinking that would be a gentle push for people to answer all the questions.  I also used the carry forward, and skip logic functions. I tried to experiment with as many tools as possible, without complicating my survey.  I am excited to find out the results.  I am most curious as to how many people I can get to take the survey, using the Snowball technique.  I posted the survey, after several edits and pre-tests, on Facebook. In the first hour, I have had 30 responses.  I love data, I just hope it is relevant. The hardest part of the assignment was selecting a topic/question to conduct a survey on.  I have concerns about how many people will abandon the survey without completing it, so far 5, and that my responses will end at 30.  I think checking my results will become my new obsession. I may even check it more than I do my Facebook page.

 “According to a recent survey, men say the first thing they notice about a woman is their eyes, and women say the first thing they notice about men is they’re a bunch of liars.” Unknown

Oh yea…

here is a link to the survey:

12 thoughts on “Internet Intrigue: What are you using it for?

  1. Thank you Kimberly! I am so glad that you thought it was well-done. It will be interesting to see all of our classmates results. As for negative feedback, I don’t know if I took it well or not…I still remember it and it came in a couple of years ago. I flung myself around…it hurt. I had over 300 members in that group, and probably received 200 surveys back at a time (usually). Most were positive about me and the program…but that one…really stood out. To be perfectly honest, I knew it was true, too. I developed very close relationships with my members and some were closer than others. My personality can sometimes be over the top and when I see people I love…I go a little crazy. So, I made a conscious effort to change. My job was to make everyone feel special. I also had my suspicions as to who the person was that wrote it, so I made special efforts towards them as well. In the end, I think I changed opinions. I became close to several people I wasn’t close to before and made more of an attempt to be fair and even with all members.


  2. I really enjoyed taking your survey and thought your questions were thought-provoking and well written. I’m very much looking forward to the results! I think my favorite part about your survey was the “Which logos do you recognize?” question at the end. I think I impressed myself with that one! I look forward to seeing how responses differ among genders and generations.

    I agree with Kelly, BRAVO! Your survey has been my favorite thus far. It felt very professional and well structured. I felt it was easy to navigate and at no point did I feel overwhelmed while completing it. Your response, too, was very well organized. Thank you for being “real” with us about the feedback you received in your role as program director for the community college. You seem to have handled it so well! What would your advice be to others (peers, colleagues, small businesses, etc.) who are struggling to figure out how to handle negative feedback?


  3. Leia,

    I had so many “Me too!” moments while reading your blog. Here are a couple of them: “I especially like simple, multiple-choice questions and surveys that use humor; it’s just another clever way to connect with your audience.” I love that you mentioned the humor and consideration for the respondent’s time both as ways of connecting with the audience. Since surveys are a research tool, it would seem like they are meant to be very sterile and scientific. However, as mentioned in the lecture, it is important to use more conversational language in order to create a sense of comfort and ease. I tried to do this with my own survey, but I’m not sure that I was quite able to add any character or humor to it…. (Next time??? 😉 ) I must admit that I appreciate the short multiple choice surveys as well. I feel that if I am giving a company my time and thought energy, then the least it can do is make the process easy on me. So, it seems I prefer to be on the responding end of a quantitative survey. Although I certainly understand and appreciate the benefits of qualitative research, it can be a lot of work to answer thoroughly and honestly. Perhaps then a good blend of the two, such as 70 % multiple choice and 30% free response, might be a good blend? I’m just throwing that out there, but I don’t think it was mentioned in the lecture, so I have no idea if it’s a good practice or not.

    You also said, “Another reason I often take surveys is the fear that “they” will know if I agree to take their survey or not. I have my suspicions that whether or not I complete the survey will affect the service that I receive.” I have often felt this way myself. I am also leery of surveys that include free response answers. In my undergrad program we were given surveys to fill out at the end of the term, and we returned all surveys to an envelope all at once at the end of class. Although the answers were meant to be private, and someone was going to type out the written responses so there was no chance a professor would recognize a student’s handwriting, I was still aware that we all have a very distinct writing style. Therefore I was pretty sure most professors would be able to pick my answer out of a stack. Maybe I’m wrong, but when I was a Language Arts teacher I could tell who wrote a paper without looking at the name.

    Great post and I’ll be back next week to see how it all turned out!



    • Hi Angela! We think alike. I appreciate your comments. I also read your comments to my post on your blog and I think I might read more blogs than I originally thought. This class is an eye opener, huh?
      I agree with you on qualitative surveys, they seem so time consuming. I want to give thoughtful answers but time is something no one has enough of. I think multiple choice answers are so much more user friendly. I also agree that it can be easy to pick people if you are surveying people you have a relationship with. Even with my one text entry question, I can pick out some of my friends…based on their humor or sarcasm. It’s funny how our uniqueness comes through. Looking forward to reading more from you. Thank you for your interaction.


  4. Checking my survey results is my newest obsession too!

    I am also paranoid about the “participate in short survey after this call” but I since I work in a call center I can tell you that the agents do NOT know who gets that message. It does, however, affect our performance evaluations.

    I took your survey and passed it on to my friends. Hope you get a lot of responses!


    • Hi Elizabeth!

      You will be receiving the MOST CONGENIAL award at the end of this assignment. How selfless of you to put other people’s survey’s on your Facebook page… I would have lost all my friends if I would have done that. Seriously, I barely had a fraction complete mine. So, because of that, I do think I am going to post a list of survey’s today. Maybe some will feel compelled to complete them and if I lose some friends, I didn’t like them anyway.

      On call center surveys, I know they don’t know, but I think they might “know” so I am going to keep on filling them out and pressing 2 for no and 1 for yes.

      You are sweet. Thank you very much for taking my survey and for passing it along.


  5. Leia — By far my favorite survey and entry I have read yet!
    Your survey shows that surveys don’t have to be boring and can have a touch of personality. Your answers about posting “I have a responsibility to my public” made me giggle out loud.
    I will admit when I read your blog I cringed at 16 questions but I found it very easy to move through and navigate because of the personal touches.
    I also liked that you gave smartphone instructions to make it easier for people. This shows you clearly tested mobile–very smart!
    I found the logo question at the end a little confusing but that may be less you and more Qualtrics. I clicked and clicked waiting for something to happen but nothing. Knowing the tool I am aware of what it was doing but for the new user it may be good to explain that nothing will happen!

    Back to your blog, I almost wrote the exact same thing in either lecture or reading responses this week. I think I even referenced Comcast! I feel exactly the same way. I take the survey because I am CONVINCED I will get better service. Since I have to mentally prepare to call Comcast and set aside 7 hours to deal with them….rolling the dice on a survey yielding better service is worth it.

    Good entry. Good survey. I will be coming back to see the results but also just to read your blog!



    • Oh Kelly,
      You made my day. It was a lot worse…I think I am way funnier than I actually am and toned the answers back a bit as to not have them damage my grade…
      I think I was the first one to post my survey so needless to say I learned a lot from looking at others, one person had a one-question survey. I was just trying to keep mine under 20. I have the same problem with our lecture / reading posts…some of mine have been over 1000 words…I just have so much to say.

      The most frustrating thing…was watching people under “currently responding” and seeing people quit when they were 93% complete. I was screaming at the computer, like it was a horror film, …just keep going…you are almost there….don’t stop, no don’t GO BACK…and then they were gone, dead to me. REALLY good thing it was anonymous.

      Smart phone instruction tip came from one of my testers, my mom, she called and couldn’t figure out how to get the slider to move past 5…I told her to flip her phone…she told me I should tell people that. Other than that, she told me it was perfect and that I was just “so smart” to have created something like that…I don’t know if she realized it was a computer program that did most of the work.

      Anyway, the last picture was used, just because I thought the hot spot feature was so cool! I wanted to use it somehow. Most people struggled with that one. Also, I still hate text entry…people kept answering who knows, and we’ll see. I am convinced people just don’t want to have to think.

      Thank you again, Kelly. Seriously, you made my day.


  6. The internet has impactedYour approach to surveys is pretty interesting – I come from a different perspective in that I think most of the time surveys are done with the intention to do something about the situation but in reality nothing happens. After all if surveys worked then Comcast’s customer service would have improved greatly.

    The internet has impacted every demographic on this planet such that I find it nearly impossible to imagine a life without it. I shudder to think of the day my kids ask me what life was like without the internet. I have just dated myself with that statement.

    To see the direction you took with your survey has made me even curious to know what the responses will be and see how each demographic responds and receives the internet.

    I liked how you aimed high with the number of responses you were looking to get. I aimed low I was looking for a minimum of ten responses and I have 22 the last time I checked. I guess folks see value in taking surveys.
    every demographic on this planet such that I find it almo


    • I think part of your comment was cut off but thank you for replying. I hate COMCAST, and your right…even if they are watching who says yes to completing the survey…they are not listening to what the survey results are saying. I agree that most surveys are pointless if no action is taken to correct problems addressed… but they are so much fun to create. This has been such an interesting assignment. I think I may create one for my husband…question 1…what would motivate you to clean out the garage…question 2…besides that, what would motivate you to clean out the garage?


  7. The Internet has changed so much not only since its inception but quite dramatically in the last few years as social media channels have started taking precedence in our Internet use. I will be really curious to see the results since the friends you sent the survey to are so diverse.

    I feel your results will be highly directed toward a majority of Internet use being for social media, online shopping, and media streaming services. A key part of the future of communications will heavily rely on the answers to surveys of this nature as we continue to discover the way people are using the Internet.

    I like how much data you have received thus far since you are allowing all your Facebook friends to view and respond to your survey. Keeping the demographic of your respondents broad will allow you to receive a large variety of responses. I can’t wait to see your results!


    • I may have given my friends too much credit. I really thought that the responses would flood in…116 started / 103 completed as of right now. Friday at 11:21 a.m.. I posted it Monday morning. I wonder what would have happened if I would have offered an incentive…obviously being “friends” with someone isn’t quite enough. I did have several share it and pass it along…and was very surprised at some of the ones that did share it and some of the ones that didn’t. This turned into a whole different experiment for me…personally.


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