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Re: [dow2tf] Whois tf 2 survey - clearing up confusion

  • To: <jbuchanan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [dow2tf] Whois tf 2 survey - clearing up confusion
  • From: "Milton Mueller" <Mueller@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 15:32:00 -0500
  • Cc: <dow2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <gnso.secretariat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <liaison6c@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Sender: owner-dow2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


>>> "Jordyn A. Buchanan" <jbuchanan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 02/20/04 11:17AM >>>
>Actually, the intention of the task force to allow responses from the  
>general community, constituency representatives, as well as the  
>constituencies as a whole in the form of more coordinated responses.   
>In fact, the cover sheet on the questionnaire (approved by the task  
>force) is quite explicit in this regard:

I respect your intentions, but that was a mistake. I make my 
living doing research. You have defined a completely confused methodology. You are conducting a survey and you haven't 
defined a population you are surveying. You are also, in effect,
allowing the most interested members of the relevant population 
to take the survey multiple times.

>The data gathering that we are doing is qualitative as opposed to  

You do not evade fundamental questions about
what you are gathering data about by calling the
research "qualitative"  - although many a doctoral 
student wishes that you could ;-)

Even if you are doing qualitative research, if you are doing 
a survey you have to define your subject population and 
make the data collection representative of that population, 
otherwise your results are useless. 

Nothing can be concluded from a survey unless
there is some at least vaguely understood relationship
between the respondents and the surveyed population.
If the respondents are the constituencies this problem
is simple. 

Bottom line:
If you want to do legitimate fact finding, you have three
ways of handling this problem:

1) Eliminate completely the notion that this is a "survey
questionnaire" and that it is "research." Label it what it is: a 
call for public comments; i.e., a verbal expression of 
opinion about Whois data elements.  Stop calling your 
teams "data analysis" teams, just read the comments. 
This is probably the most honest thing to do. 

2) Continue with the survey research facade...
Analyze results for each constituency, compile that
into a table. Put the rest into a different box. I will 
refuse to touch that box; others can do what they
want with it.

3) Continue with the survey research facade...and
as you suggest, organize each response into buckets
corresponding to constituencies. Then develop an aggregated
response for each constituency and use that as the basis
for drawing conclusions.


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