Offline people under-represented in online survey

Techdirect reminds me of the writing style on of the Lex column in the FT – punchy and incisive comment. More bizarre is that I find myself nodding in agreement with their commentary on many occasions.

This post noted with mock surprise that a much reported online survey into time spent online might have been unrepresentative.

The WSJ Numbers Guy makes an astute observation, that “people who answer online surveys aren’t likely to be representative of Americans when it comes to online behavior.” When he dug a bit deeper, he found that the survey was conducted with a panel of 1,011 online respondents, who responded to the survey during the week that it was open. Furthermore, the people surveyed were drawn from a pool of people that actually signed up to be surveyed. Obviously the results are skewed to users that actively use the Internet. When questioned, Ann Mack, JWT’s director of trend spotting replied “The fact that the survey was conducted online may skew the results a bit.”

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