2015 WebSM blog overview (as of september 2015)

Sep 16 2015

We overview here the 2015 situation with blogs related to web survey methodology (so far, with 2015 we mean the period between January 2015 and the end of August 2015). During the update 46 blogs were removed during the update. Deleted blogs were no longer accessible or were no longer posting relevant content. On the other hand 41 new blogs were added. The list of the blogs can be found here:

http://www.websm.org/c/1811/Blogs/?preid

The blogs are sorted into 4 categories: 

  • Experts: These are professionals, dedicated to the issues of survey methodology and marketing who (sometimes) also reflect on topics related to web survey methodology;
  • Associations and media: We talk here about organizations with a mission to reflect/discuss topics objectively; they are not directly involved neither in selling software or methodology nor into the supply of survey research services.
  • Software vendors:According to recent WebSM study on web survey software, more than 100 vendors also produce their blog. Of course, this  is basically an element of their marketing/PR/sales strategy, however, for being readable to broader audience they must provide interesting and relevant stuff - and often they do. This is  also the first place to learn about interesting new features.
  • Market research companies: We have here predominantly market research companies doing empirical research, but also organization from public and nonprofit sector. They all  have a lot to say about web survey methodology, particularly about its nesting into the research and into survey industry. Similar to software vendors they  write blogs predominantly for promoting their organization and their core activity, but doing this they do provide certain added value also to readers interested in web survey methodology.

Blogs can belong to more than one cathegory: 23 blogs are in the experts category, 15 blogs are in the associations and media category, 40 blogs are in the software vendors category and 52 blogs are in the market research companies category.

Top blogs sorted by the relevance of posts

The blogs were sorted by number of relevant posts in the first 8 months of 2015. Relevant posts are all posts directly of indirectly related to web survey methodology. In the picture below the blogs are sorted by the number of relevant posts in 2015. Only blogs with ten or more relevant posts can be found.

http://www.websm.org/uploadi/editor/doc/

Top blogs sorted by quality posts

The second criterion was the number of quality posts. Quality posts are posts that have a focus on web survey methodology and they bring a specific added value to the field. For instance, the posts about new features of some software (which are new only to this software, not to the industry) are relevant, but are not quality posts. In the picture below the blogs sorted by the number of quality posts in the first 8 months of 2015.

http://www.websm.org/uploadi/editor/doc/

Selection of top 10 blogs

According to above criteria, plus some WebSM subjectivity, we list the top 10 blogs in alhpabethic order::

Green Book Blog  (category: associations and media) is a blog where posts from different sources are found. They usually publish only the best posts from leading experts in the field and is therefore definitely worth reading.

infosurv Blog (category: market research companies) is another interesting blog where many web survey methodology topics are covered. Just in the last couple of days they have covered important topics such as survey incentives and open-ended questions.

LoveStats Blog (category: experts) is a blog with many posts that are usually notes from different seminars and other events where new trends in survey methodology are the main topic.

Peanut Labs Blog (category: software vendors) covers many web survey methodology related topics and is interesting to anyone interested in these topics.

PeW Research Fact Tank (category: associations and media) is a blog by Pew Research. They share their knowledge in survey methodology on this blog. Many survey findings can also be found here.

Qualtrics Blog (category: software vendors) came in second in both relevant and quality posts in 2015 WebSm overview. They cover topics such as mobile surveys, questionnaires and improving survey data.

QuestionPRO Blog (category: software vendors) is a  blog that has had the most relevant and quality posts in 2015. Many topics are covered on it and many of the content is relevant to web survey methodology.

Survey Monkey Blog (category: software vendors) is a blog by one of the world's biggest survey software vendors. Most of the content is web survey methodology related and also interesting.

Survey Gizmo Blog (category: software vendors) is another blog by a software vendor. They cover many web survey methodology  related topics like survey incentives and email invitations.

The Survey Geek (category: experts)is Reg Baker's blog where he shares his tips and valuable insight.

As we can see most of the top blogs in all categories (relevance, quality and subjective) are software vendors. This is not surpising as this is the core of their bussines and they also have resources to hire quality staff. Off course other categories also post great content too, but not on such a large and systematic scale.

The list and statistics

List of all removed blogs with URLs and list of new blogs with URLs can be found HERE (Word document).

List of blogs with at least one relevant post in 2015 can be found HERE (Excel spreadsheet).

Some statistics:

  • There are  now 118 blogs in WebSM database. 77 od them have posted at least 1 relevant post in 2015, 66 have posted at least 2 relevant posts in 2015 and 55 have posted at least 3 relevant posts in 2015. 73 of them have posted at least one quality post  in 2015, 58 have posted at least 2 relevant posts in 2015 and 49 have posted at least 3 relevant posts in 2015. There were 41 blogs that have not yet posted a relevant blog post in 2015. Reasoning behind this situation is the same as for new blogs that have not posted relevant posts in 2015.46 blogs were removed during the update,
  •  41 new blogs were added compared to 2014 list and out of 41 new blogs 25 blogs have posted at least 1 relevant post in 2015, 20 have posted at least 2 relevant posts in 2015 and 15 have posted at least 3 relevant posts in 2015.
  • 10 blogs with most relevant posts posted more than 48% of all relevant posts monitored in our database and 10 blogs with most quality posts posted more than 50% of all quality posts monitored in our database.
  • 77 of 118 blogs (65%) posted at least one relevant article in 2015 and 73 of 118  (62%) blogs posted at least one quality post in 2015. .

Reasons for non-activity are different. Some blogs were simply inactive, but have posted relevant articles in the past and therefore weren't removed. Some were active, but their content is not directly relevant to web survey methodology. These blogs post mostly marketing related topics that can still be interesting to a person interested in web survey methodology, but not directly. One of the blogs is just a calendar of events from market research indrustry. Some websites are not blogs per se, but more like news sites for market research industry. Some blogs offer only survey and poll findings and results without actual methodology. Those sites are useful and interesting, but their posts can't be considered WebSM if they don't share their methodology and tips on their blog. Finally there are some blogs that write no dates next to their posts and the number of relevant and quality posts for 2015 could not be identified. 

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