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[vox] Survey question - self-harvesting our lists for someone else?
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[vox] Survey question - self-harvesting our lists for someone else?

So LUGOD has been asked if we could help conduct a survey on Open Source for
a local university (no, not UC Davis :) ).

The latest incarnation of the plan is as follows:

  1. Someone from LUGOD (e.g., me) takes a randomly-generated sampling from the
     mailing list subscriptions and/or members list

  2. Someone from LUGOD (e.g., me) e-mails the information about the survey to
     the chosen members

  3. Presumably, some subset of those who receive it will go to some URL and fill out
     the survey

The #1 part is necessary because the survey-takers can't be self-selected.
(In other words, it wouldn't work well if we posted to VOX, for example, and said
"Hey, wanna take a survey?  Go here...")

The #2 part was a compromise.  Rather than having the actual surveyors (the folks
from the university) send out the private e-mails, it seemed less 'spam'-ish if
LUGOD, the origanization, was the one to contact the recipients.  It shows that
the survey is 'approved', so to speak, by the LUGOD officership.

Before we actually go ahead with this, I wanted to see what people's feelings were
on this.  I had considered a pre-#1 step where we'd post a message to the list
in question and say "Hey, people subscribed will be randomly-selected to maybe take
part in some survey.  Let us know if you wish to opt-out."

Would even this be sufficient?  Are we setting ourselves up for a bad precident?

What are peoples thoughts on this?  Would the fact that the survey is being
conducted by academia, and the fact that LUGOD would be the 'vessel' for the e-mails,
be sufficient to keep from pissing people off?

Your thoughts are welcome...  thank you!


PS - I'm not sure what the time-line is for all this, either.  The process of getting
this survey to the point it is now seems to have taken months and months, so I doubt
we'll be asked to start randomly e-mailing anyone any time soon.
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