Stephen Baker

The Numerati
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Who answers pop-up surveys?

September 20, 2008languages

I'll have to touch base with people at Platform-A to see how our targeted ad campaign is going. I haven't seen any of the Numerati ads yet. (I guess my Web surfing habits don't match the profile of the typical Numerati buyer. Or maybe the algorithms are so sophisticated that they recognize me as someone who has already read the book...)

In any case, one of the tools they are using(to a limited degree) to test the public are those customer surveys that pop up in little boxes. I was surprised to hear that, because I instinctively shoot those intruders down. And I imagine that most prospective Numerati buyers do too. So I asked the expert at Platform-A about the participation rate in pop-up surveys. Low, she told me, very low. And who participates? According to their analysis, I learned, the most likely to participate are Midwestern women with modest incomes. The challenge, then, is to calculate the statistical correlation between this group and the population at large.

Also, here's a commentary I did on Marketplace last night. I heard from lots of people all over the country who heard it. The idea is that as we deal with more automatic systems, we'll have to hone our personal algorithms, much the way companies have to optimize Web pages to show up on Google searches.

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