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Grows on You Survey

peter

By peter

94 comments


Hi folks,

We would really appreciate your help with the first ever GoY survey.

UPDATE: The survey is now closed

The survey is for members and non-members alike and if you complete the survey you will be entered into a draw to win one of 20 gardening vouchers worth £25!

We’ve teamed up with three academics interested in online communities for this project: Caroline from Cass Business School (UK), Ben from Jonkoping University (Sweden), and Eric from the University of Wyoming (US).

Why are we doing this? And why are the academics so interested?

Ajay & I hope the results of the survey and the analysis from the online community experts will throw some light on to how the GoY community is working and help improve even further. It would be great if everyone could participate!

The boffins get a chance to observe a successful online community (their words). So we can all give ourselves a pat on the back for that title :o)

How do I take part?

The survey is now closed.

We really appreciate your help!

By completing the survey, you are consenting to us using the answers you have given us (all published findings will be anonymized and aggregated).

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Comments

 

Done and completed. :-)

3 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Jem, brilliant :o) Thank you so much for your help.

3 Aug, 2010

amy
Amy
 

Done it ... ..

3 Aug, 2010

 

Done it too !

3 Aug, 2010

 

Thank you! We're hoping for lots of responses, and each one makes a difference :o)

3 Aug, 2010

 

Just done it too.

3 Aug, 2010

 

Me too. :~))

3 Aug, 2010

 

Brilliant, thanks folks :o)

3 Aug, 2010

 

And me :o))

3 Aug, 2010

 

me too!

3 Aug, 2010

 

Just done it.

3 Aug, 2010

 

I'v'e done it .

3 Aug, 2010

 

Done :-)

3 Aug, 2010

 

Wow! That's great folks!! Thank you :o)

3 Aug, 2010

 

I've done the survey too. : o )

3 Aug, 2010

 

ALL DONE YIPPYYYYY

3 Aug, 2010

 

Been there and done that ;~))))

3 Aug, 2010

 

All questions answered - great survey, great site x

3 Aug, 2010

 

yep me too. hope I win. I never win these things.

3 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks everyone, we really appreciate it :o)

3 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks for your help in finding this!!!

I've done it too. :-))) Fingers crossed now.

3 Aug, 2010

 

I've made a start, will finish it now. Great idea.

3 Aug, 2010

 

All done

3 Aug, 2010

 

Finally made it. I enjoyed it.

3 Aug, 2010

 

Logged on ... did the survey ... realised the time ... gone to bed! :o))

3 Aug, 2010

 

Sorted.....

3 Aug, 2010

 

Can you tell me a bit more about what the purpose of the survey is?

The survey says
''We are interested in your opinion about the growsonyou.com (GoY) community overall, how you experience your visits to GoY, and if the community has an influence on your gardening practice. This research is very important to help understand and further improve the GoY community.''

But if you have any questions the survey says to direct them to Caroline Wiertz (a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the Cass Business School).

So are we to assume that this is really about marketting?? and how to better market products to us, which I suspect is not the main desire of users of the site. Note the shopping questions!! and the rather distastful how often you buy section!! who uses this data particulaly and for what purpose.

''The boffins get a chance to observe a successful online community (their words). ''
Why do they want to observe this community and whats in it for them? and what data exactly do/will they have access to? and what will they do with that data and thier findings?

I ask as there are alot of identifiers for folks on the survey and as you can come back to the survey I notice it must log users IP addresses and/or MAC addresses. I would assume therefor that this might come under the data protection act and so any use of any identifier or personal data would need consent first.
You cant be too careful these days what with misuse of data for targetted advertising for example and many more uses which need consent first.
Also recording how they feel about stuff and having the ability to identify them or there address through IP etc would make you need to get consent to use that info wouldnt it? and have an obligation to describe how you would do so.

Also you do not offer alot of 'opt out' or 'decline to answer' options and as such are coercing users to give you personal data without the necessary safeguards which is inapropriate not to say immoral as you dont describe how this data will be stored or shared!

Many surveys 'say' they will only use averaged date but them pass whole datasets around like conffetti which begs the question will you be giving whole datasets to your third party academics? and if so in what form?

Also where is the finance for the £25 tokens coming from and what financial gain if any do you or your third parties stand to or intend to make?
whos paying who for what?

Please dont direct me to ask questions elsewhere as this Survey is from your site and you are responsible for it and any breaches of the data protection act.

No offence guys, I like the site, but whilst I support reasearch I am not happy that this is for wholly genuine reasons and so will not be doing this survey.
Surfice to say I do not consent for any of my data to be made available to anyone without my written consent.

3 Aug, 2010

uma
Uma
 

Done it! :)

3 Aug, 2010

 

Do I really spend that amount of time on here? survey completed!

3 Aug, 2010

 

Agree I didnt click the final time and went back to delete my answers.
This seems to me to be a marketing survey masquerading as something else.

3 Aug, 2010

 

i`ve done it!

3 Aug, 2010

 

I assumed it was was a commissioned marketing survey and had no objection to it so I have done it.

3 Aug, 2010

 

Well seems not to be presented as a marketing survey. Just my opinion.
Me, I get a bit frosty about giving strangers details about my salary and buying habits so they can work out ways to try and sell me more

3 Aug, 2010

 

I had no objection either!! But - it wouldn't let me enter my e-mail for a chance to win! ;-((

Stevie! You could have done the survey quicker than write this! !!!!!,

You can leave certain questions unanswered, of course.

I am interested to see how my fave site is faring! Have observed the development of the shopping section, Google listings, adverts, etc. They are all helping to keep growsonyou a free site for us all!!! I await, with exictement, the result!!

3 Aug, 2010

 

Done it as well - fairly quick survey. As to the marketing - I can & do know how to say "No!", lol!

3 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks David, my questions are really meant for Peter and his site for what its worth.

But I dont think it gives a good impression if some users might get the impression that in reality thier opinion is only worth something if they buy things and have money to spend. And if they are not spending money then thier opinions are worth nothing.

I rememebr when the comparison sites started taking paybacks and rigging thier searches and sold any imparciality down the river. Not saying anything like that will happen her of course, but lets see how the results are presented!

3 Aug, 2010

 

You have the option to ignore it Stevie! If your question is for Pete why not send it to him?

4 Aug, 2010

 

Hi folks,

Thanks again :o)

Stevietheterrible, let me try and answer all your points,

Caroline is a lecturer in marketing but her area of research is online communities (as you can tell from her previous published papers). Ben is currently doing a PhD and any findings may form part of his thesis. The prize money, questions etc all come from the researchers. They have not paid us and we have not paid them, we're helping each other.

There is no "opt-out" on the main questions as the researchers would have to discard incomplete surveys, so opting out of one of the main questions is as good as not doing the survey.

Memorising questions is done via cookies and not ip or mac address.

The dataset will not be seen outside us and the 3 academics.

We agreed to this survey, our first ever in over 3 years, because we thought the questions the researchers wanted to ask were interesting and potentially insightful. We don't want to force anyone to do it though, so please don't if you feel uncomfortable.

4 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks Peter

4 Aug, 2010

 

I think thats pretty obvious Denise but users have the right to know as well hence me posting here, I would have though that was obvious too!

More importantly users also have the right to be informed properly as per the Data protection act in British law. Do you care about users data rights Denise?

Feel free to check for yourself, heres one link re surveys.

http://www.marketresearchworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=391&Itemid=53

Please note the bit where it says;
''The processing of the data must be exclusively for research purposes''
but here we can see it is/is also for marketting purposes!!

PS pls no more sniping this is a serious issue even if you disagree.

4 Aug, 2010

 

I completed the survey without any qualms as,-- having been a member for a year-- felt that I could trust Peter & Ajays word on this, up to now anything that has happened --- good or bad -- here always seems to be with consideration for us -- the members-- I suppose i'm saying that I trust their judgement and always have the option of leaving if that trust is ever broken ( which I am sure will not happen)

4 Aug, 2010

 

Peter

I disagree with you I am afriad, thats not what the questions say to me.
As per my last comment/link the survey has to be exclusively for research purposes. If there is any marketting purpose at all you have to state this and I find it a bit disigenuous with some of these questions that there would not be.

Also you need to explain on the survey what the particluar academics interest in the survey is. And after I would also ask if you will be supply a link to any related papers or thesis that arise from the survey so we can see what they are paying for and judge for ourselves. Not to mention a list of improvements you intend to make.

I think you need to provide opt outs on all the personal data questions which you currently dont. My query regarding opt outs was for personal data not the main questions, although shopping habits is also personal data.

You are also not clear on the dataset and what level the academics will have access to. I would sugest you should state if the data is annonymised before they get it or what potential identifiers ther may be.
De-personalised data is exempt yes, but that is not to say that at some future point depending it can be personalised.

Yes you are not forcing poeople to do it but many may feel obliged to and then feel they have to supply data which they are uncomfortable with, particularly at the end of the process.
I have already recieved some feedback to this effect.

4 Aug, 2010

 

Pamq

Its not a matter of wheather you trust anyone or not, its about compliance.

4 Aug, 2010

 

Hi again,

I think the main point I want to get across is that we don't want anyone to feel obliged or pressured into completing the survey.

Stevie, to answer your other questions:

No marketing will be done using the data collected.

The academics have full access to the survey results.

What the academics want from this is to get data for Ben's PhD and publication in a marketing journal. They are academics, not marketeers.

We are happy to publish what the academics are interested in once the survey is complete, but can't right now as it would potentially bias the answers. We will also blog about the results once their research is complete.

The information that personally identifes you is only used once for verification of membership and the prize draw.

Sorry if any of this wasn't clear, if anyone that has already completed the survey has any concerns please let us know the email you entered and we will ensure that your responses are deleted (use the contact us link at the very bottom of this page to get in touch).

4 Aug, 2010

 

I realise that we have asked members to help us and the academics, and that is a matter of trust. We are also aware that there is a code of conduct governing research and we do not think we have breached any of the guidelines.

4 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Peter

Well thanks for that clarification about no marketing. However thats not quite my main point. The Survey is described as for being for research and to make the site better, but to looking at the questions its hard to believe you are not after info to inform for better marketing.

Yes, you may not be doing any marketting right now with this data but it would seem there is a purpose to inform for better marketting for the site which is different to the purpose stated and that would be contray to the DPA guidelines. Thats all I am trying to say re that point.

You confirm this by Bens publication re marketting. I am I afraid I am not swayed by them being 'academics'. And you cant say what they are interested in!!! which also leads me to believe the pupose stated is not properly made clear. Ok genuine reseach sometimes needs that but it also cant be in breach of the DPA thats all. You have asked some very personal data questions and they need to be explained and protected properly.

Full access to results, yes but will those result be anonymised properly?

4 Aug, 2010

 

Have just recommended GOY to Helen Gazeley who asked in the Kitchen Garden magazine if any of us had a favourite garden site.

4 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Stevie,

The academics conducting the research are experts in marketing & online communities - marketing is an academic research and that is their full time profession. As I said they are only conducting this survey for research purposes:

Caroline Wiertz: http://www.cass.city.ac.uk/faculty/c.wiertz/
Ben Hartmann: www.ihh.hj.se/doc/7302
Eric Arnould: http://business.uwyo.edu/mgtmkt/displayfaculty.asp?facultyid=3168

Not sure what else might reassure you on that front.

You can see an example of Caroline's published research here for what anonymized results might look like:
http://arno.unimaas.nl/show.cgi?fid=18957

Caroline is happy to talk to you more about the reserarch if that is what you're interested in, her email address is on her web page.

4 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Peter

No offence but I am not interested in your academics or thier research so please dont direct me to them. I am afraid I remain not reassured. Also it is you and your site jointly that is responsible for the survey and and so would be legally liable re the DPA.

Ok I wont dwell on this so promise I will shut up.

I did however find this for you from the University of Edinburgh which you may find useful

http://www.recordsmanagement.ed.ac.uk/InfoStaff/DPstaff/DP_Research/ResearchAndDPA.htm

you will see the link for - Researcher's checklist for compliance with the Data Protection Act

Can you take a look and confrim that to conform to all of the manadtory requirements?

You see you explain the pupose of the quetionaire as
'''We are interested in your opinion about the growsonyou.com (GoY) community overall, how you experience your visits to GoY, and if the community has an influence on your gardening practice.'''
and then go on to ask questions about users spending habits without explanation which are not related to this explanation etc etc.
This doesnt seem to conform to the madatory things on the checklist, A1.
And as you dont explain the level of anonymisation re personal data questions (not relevant to the stated purpose of the survey) you dont seem to have conformed either to consent issues re B1
These both seem to contravene also the 3rd principle C1.
Because you have done this also, I would say may contravene the 6th priciple E1.

From what you say also the stated purpose of the survey is disingenuous but I am afriad we all have to comply with data law of the land

Kind regards
Stevie

4 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Stevie,
Thanks for your concern. We are happy we comply.

4 Aug, 2010

 

Just completed your questionnaire without any worries. Found it interesting and it certainly made me think! Due to circumstances (new dog!) I haven't been on GoY very much over the last couple of weeks but now I am itching to catch up (if that's possible) on all I've missed :)
It's a great site and has certainly broadened my horizons as well as my knowledge.

4 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks, Gee :o)

David, I will make sure you're entered in to the draw and get in touch if it's good news :o)

4 Aug, 2010

 

Peter

Can you answer the points that I have put to you, thanks

4 Aug, 2010

 

Stevie,

I think I already have.

Your concern is with spending & income questions? I spoke to Caroline earlier and she said they "always control for income etc..".

I also happen to think that how much someone spends on their garden is very much a part of their "gardening practice".

All published findings & conclusions will be anonymized and aggregated.

I have added a note to the original blog post saying that by completing the survey you give consent to us using your answers for the research.

4 Aug, 2010

 

just done it peter ;o)

4 Aug, 2010

 

Did mine yesterday, Peter. Interesting survey. :~))

4 Aug, 2010

mad
Mad
 

I have completed the questionnaire, but I probably agree with Stevie. although I must admit that I didn't even consider it.
I do believe that Peter has agreed to the survey in good faith and no payment has been or will be made. Its true we could opt out, but honestly I do think that the vast majority of us are rather naive in the ways of commercialism and how insidious it can be, so therefore we are unlikely to refuse to participate.
I don't regret doing it though, as I genuinely feel that I will not be coerced into buying things I wouldn't have bought anyway. However if it doesn't really end up being used for its stated purpose I will feel rather angry.
I really hope that people will not turn against Stevie because of his views, this is a democracy.

4 Aug, 2010

 

I think Stevie has made some really valid points, and I appreciate him bringing them to our attention. It was definitely thought provoking.

4 Aug, 2010

 

just done it great survey Peter,i think everyone has the choice either to take part or decline also everyone has the right to have there views aired :~))))

4 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks for helping, folks :o)

4 Aug, 2010

 

im not worried as you get the option as weather to fill in your income which i declined as its no-ones buisness , apart from that there is nothing which is personal,

4 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Peter, I wasn't bothered about it not letting me put in my e-mail address, but Many Thanks for doing so for me. :-))

4 Aug, 2010

 

All done Peter, also declined on income, don`t get enough to worry about tho.LOL..

4 Aug, 2010

 

踩一脚

5 Aug, 2010

 

lol sue, me neither haah

5 Aug, 2010

 

Oh strewth I only came on to say "done it " wow the end at last :o)

6 Aug, 2010

 

I'm confused. I already did the survey. You don't want me to do it again, do you?

6 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Tug--- I find it easy to get confused on Goy.......;o)))

7 Aug, 2010

 

I think I have completed it but my home PC still has the orange banner?

With regard to the debate. There is a big difference between "marketing to" and "studying marketing". I have a PhD in fish but I'm not a fishmonger. I help moderate another website where there is a small income from click through adverts and the questions asked in this survey seemed perfectly at home with the website structure here. I would ask similar questions for the other site.
I think the segment..

'''We are interested in your opinion about the growsonyou.com (GoY) community overall, how you experience your visits to GoY, and if the community has an influence on your gardening practice.'''

... does include spending habits as that is a source of income and a part of this website. Spending on this site would be "an influence on your gardening practice".

Just as everyone has a right to post their objections I hope my right to an opinion stands too. As that is all this is an opinion.

With regard to the data protection act I think you need to be careful with interpretation. If my answers could be identified as Pamsco's answers that isn't a huge threat as my real name is not logged here - therefore is it truly identifiable?

Thanks,
Pam

PS I didn't opt out of the income question as I have never understood the secrecy about that? Go to any jobs section find a job similar to mine and bingo you know what I earn ;-)

8 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Pam ... you can hide the survey message if you click on the red cross ... I presume that keeps it hidden for good? :o)

8 Aug, 2010

 

Filled it in no problems with doing it, i love being on GOY...

8 Aug, 2010

 

Me too Carole. :o)

8 Aug, 2010

 

Crikey I'm going to have to go back and alter the length of time I'm on here....an extra hour! Awaiting the results of the survey....and like you Carol and Fluff, I love it too...........:o)

8 Aug, 2010

kev
Kev
 

done it thanks .good idea.

9 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks everyone :o)

10 Aug, 2010

 

Wow! What have I missed? I only took a little time off to get used to my new computer and WW3 broke out!!!

When the dust has settled I may take a look at the 'controversial' survey - that is if it is still available? Actually, I hate surveys of any kind and usually avoid them although the £25 prize was a little luring in this case.

Peter and Ajay, I absolutely love being able to express myself through this site and to absorb all the interesting contributions from such a variety of people. I do hope no damage has been done and that everyone will carry on as usual. I think
Steviethete has a right to his opinion and has put up a good argument, giving us food for thought. Unfortunately, this world and its wily ways has made most of us very wary of all sort of things. Hopefully, there is no cause for concern in this instance.
Looking forward to many more happy hours here
Lyn

10 Aug, 2010

 

Gosh what a petty lot on here

Pamsco, you are entitled to your opinion but I disagree. The description is not what the survey contained and it was badly designed in that it didnt provide opt outs or explain data could be left blank. Peter also said the purpose was different to that described.
Also you have no idea what identifiers or potential identifiers are being handed over and what info is can be used by a third party forever.

With regard to the data protection act I think its clearly a breach. If not then its certainly a breach of trust. I wonder if Peter would be as happy if I reported him to the ICO.

Simplylyn, WW3!! just people expressing themselves. There may indeed be no eventual cause for concern but I think there is an immediate one. I for one am now wary of putting pics on here. If there is a problem later on, who you gonna thank? the saem person you have criticised?

Thats the problem with this country, people following like sheep then complaining later

13 Aug, 2010

 

Read the comments read the survey reflected on it , decided that more at risk every time use chip and pin or shop on line.So completed it.

13 Aug, 2010

 

Done and dusted..... Or should I say Dug and watered ? LOL

17 Aug, 2010

 

yep Bonkers, look for 2 wires coming out the back and always cover your hand : )

20 Aug, 2010

 

I hope I havnt lost the gist of this but....I am told that a lot of sites on the internet place cookies on your system. I have no idea how to stop this but it does seem that they can monitor what you do on the internet and use the info to place ads they think might interest you in the ad boxes that are common on sites like this. it is more than a coincidence that as we have just got an allotment and I have been shopping around for weed suppressant that now nearly all the ad boxes on my computer show suppliers of weed suppressant. Im convinced that no matter what the legislation re data protection, companies will always find a way around it. So, even if you do or do not complete a questionairre BB will still manage to know more about you than your best friend!

27 Aug, 2010

 

You CAN wipe your "cookies" when ever you want - if you are clever enough..but it is a pain in the proverbial having to do so !!! I must say I have never been bothered by adverts like that ....my PC Guru must have set me up well....needless to say - I haven't the foggiest how!!!!! As you say Mageth....BB always seem to find a way to watch over us..;<<(((

28 Aug, 2010

Sid
Sid
 

I'VE WON!!! He he he......Just checked my e-mails and I've got a message from the researcher bods to say I've won the £25 voucher! And I never win anything.... :-D

4 Sep, 2010

 

Well done there Sid, spend it wisely !
Kazzer, why do we need to be wary of putting pictures of 'flowers' and 'gardens' on here?? What can anyone do with those?

4 Sep, 2010

 

Well done Sid, how exciting!!

4 Sep, 2010

 

Good for you, Sid!!!! Enjoy spending it!!! :-))))

4 Sep, 2010

 

nice one sid enjoy.......

4 Sep, 2010

 

Happy for you Sid !!

4 Sep, 2010

 

Great news Sid, well done!

5 Sep, 2010

 

Congrats Sid.....now you will have to buy something special to mark the occasion!!

5 Sep, 2010

 

Good on you Sid! Enjoy!:o))

5 Sep, 2010

 

Well done Sid enjoy spending it..........

7 Sep, 2010

 

Congratulations, Sid :o)

Everyone that won was sent an email last week. I think Ben is still waiting for a few responses though.

We'll be writing about the results soon.

7 Sep, 2010

Sid
Sid
 

Thanks guys! Was thinking about putting it towards a new camera....hmmm, now there's a thought ;-)

Nice to see some familier names/faces BTW - haven't been around much lately, but I dare say I'll be back once the weather closes in...!

8 Sep, 2010

 

congrats Sarah!!!

15 Sep, 2010

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