BLOG 3: Community Information Surveys
For me, collecting all 30 surveys wasn’t a problem. Sure, I had a few people who didn’t want to participate, but they all handled it well; I didn’t have anyone get seriously upset at me. At first I was just handing the surveys to people and waiting for them to fill it out. I found out very quickly that this took longer and was less successful at getting serious answers than if I went through each of the questions with the person. I only had a problem with the question about yearly income. Most of the people I asked seemed skeptical about our intentions with this information, as that’s kind of a private subject. I explained to them that answering the question wasn’t necessary, but reminded them that they were ranges (we weren’t asking for a specific number) and that we were seeing if income had an impact on the number or quality of sources they might have access to. After telling them that, most people were ok answering that question. I only had 2 people still decline to answer it. In general, though, I really enjoyed conducting these surveys! I felt that a lot of people don’t normally look introspectively at why they consume the information they do, they just do it. This survey got them thinking about that and I had numerous people begin talking about what the information environment should be like in Columbia. I am excited to see the final results of everyone’s surveys and to see where we can take this information. I also wonder how our surveys compare with the Pew Report and what that might say about Columbia’s information compared with local information elsewhere. That, too, might point to needed improvements.