As promised, here are the results of the Dangerously Irrelevant 2007 Education Blogosphere Survey…
- I made a short Flash video describing the general findings (or you can download the PowerPoint file without my voice narration).
- I made a privacy-protected Excel file that you can download to do your own analysis.
- If you just want to read participants’ responses but don’t want to do any analysis, this subset of the Excel file is formatted for easy reading and printing. Just click on the different worksheet tabs at the bottom.
Some info about the survey:
- While the survey was a nonscientific, general request for all interested edubloggers to participate, there are some good (and interesting) data in there.
- Results represent 160 education bloggers. I have no idea how many education bloggers there are total, so it’s hard to know what proportion of the whole these 160 represent.
- As I discuss in the video, it was neat to see fairly strong confirmation that, for most folks, blogs are not, in the words of one respondent, “narcissistic ventures” of self-publication but rather a powerful mechanism for communication, personal learning, and community-building. Blogging to build personal learning networks is as good a meme as any for folks who are unfamiliar with blogs.
Thanks to everyone who participated in and/or publicized this survey. I’d like to do this again next January with mostly different questions. If you have any questions or comments about the survey results, or have ideas or suggestions for next year, please contact me directly or leave them here as a comment.
Well done! I enjoyed your commentary and the information that you obtained.
Is there a way to have a text transcript of the results? All I see after the first screen is blank white, and it becomes a podcast instead.
Tiara, I added a downloadable PowerPoint file to bullet point #1. All you’ll miss is my voice narration (which isn’t much!). See if that works for you. I’m not sure why the video didn’t work – it’s just a Flash file…
Wow, nice to know I’m “average” among edu-bloggers with the number of feeds that I subscribe to.
I’ll have to look over the data you collected but it seems that audience and community are the main drives for us as bloggers, which is similar to our students, don’t you think?
I appreciate the sharing.
I do hope that survey participants were aware that their responses, with author identified, would be shared, as in 2007EducationBlogosphereSurvey01.xls
Most presentations to survey results anonymize the submissions, so specific people are not identified with specific responses.
If participants were not informed, this is a significant breach of ethics.
Stephen, the last question of the survey was as follows:
Can we associate your name / blog name with your responses or would you rather stay anonymous?
The two response choices were:
1. Yes, feel free to associate me with my survey responses
2. No, you may use my responses but I’d rather remain anonymous
If you download and open the Excel file, you can see this item (column AF) and you can see that we deleted the cells in columns AC-AE (i.e., the rest of the purple area) for those folks that said they would rather remain anonymous. That’s why I said in the post above that it’s a ‘privacy-protected’ Excel file.
As a university faculty member at one of the world’s largest research institutions, I am extremely cognizant of the need to respect respondents’ confidentiality. I think I did so for this survey, but if you have additional recommendations, I’d love to hear them for next time. Thanks.
OK, I didn’t scroll far enough to the right (wasn’t expecting a question after the identifications).
I still feel uneasy about it. If I answered the survey, I did so anonymously. But now it looks like I was a ‘dastardly scoundrels’ who didn’t fill it out. Should I now tick the box in order to receive credit?
It leaves open the possibility that people didn’t realize what they were agreeing to when they checked the box. It also creates a pressure to write appropriate or acceptable answers.
It is certainly unusual. I cannot recall seeing any other survey reported with the respondents identified in this way.
Stephen, I think we may have to agree to disagree on this one. Although I tried to model careful data analysis and presentation, this wasn’t a research study. I never pretended it was one, never treated it like one, and didn’t report it like one. As I noted in my original post, it was a ‘completely unscientific, but hopefully interesting’ survey that was intended to try and gather some basic information on whatever folks were willing to share. There were no mandatory items; participants could (and did) answer whatever questions they wished. I think I was clear that the results would be shared publicly on my blog and I asked folks quite directly whether they wanted their names and/or blog names associated with their responses. Given that we’re talking about adults here, I’m feeling fairly comfortable that I satisfactorily protected folks’ privacy and/or reputational interests.
Your point about folks feeling like they had to identify themselves in order to not be labeled a ‘dastardly scoundrel’ or a ‘notty-pated hedgepig’ is an interesting one. Perhaps for a few folks that was true. Hopefully, however, most folks understood that I was writing those phrases in a joking, tongue-in-cheek manner and didn’t feel any duress or undue pressure. I didn’t note in any way whatsoever the folks who chose not to respond or wished to remain anonymous. I merely listed the individuals who agreed to have their names made public so that others could hopefully find some new, interesting blogs to start visiting.
Thanks for the concern and for sticking up for your fellow education bloggers. I appreciate your input and will continue to think about how I might do things differently next January.
Dr. McLeod, thanks for the work you did on this. I have taken the liberty of republishing the slide show at SlideShare.net; couldn’t figure out a way to get what I wanted for my post (see http://chronicle-of-a-search.blogspot.com/2007/01/why-blog.html) from what you had posted, if that makes sense.
Anyway, great job & thank you.
And, if you’d like me to remove the posting to slideshare, just let me know. I know; I should have asked first…
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