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Re: Web based Surveys

At 07:25 PM 5/6/2004 +0000, Al copland wrote:
>I am not a web designer, it is not my field. I'm an ICT engineer, but were 
>AMSAT willing to go down the road of a full survey based on a membership 
>database, I could certainly consult our web designers at my workplace or 
>elsewhere  about the possibility of commisioning such a project.   The 
>real question is whether or not the AMSAT BOD would embrace voting for 
>all, rather than statistical methods.

The idea of Web Surveys is very controversial at best.  For very carefully 
and politically correct opinion oriented questions this is OK in small 
doses - notice the type of polls run by CNN - they will give you a lot of 
insight into this process (and this is run by Gallup - the experts in the 

Trying to take something as complex as designing, building and launching 
satellites and putting that out to the general membership would be chaotic 
at best.  Of the 4000 members of AMSAT I suspect that only one-half to 
one-quarter ever visit the website, if that.  Then there will be those who 
are loud and opinionated on the mailing list but who aren't members.  Do we 
allow people on the mailing list who aren't members to participate because 
they have loud voices and claim to represent the silent majority?  One 
might make the argument that participation of former members would improve 
the process and possibly bring them back into the flock.  So where do you 
draw limits?

Although I have no idea if AMSAT recruited professionals to design and 
implement a membership survey, I have read enough about the process they 
are using to conclude it's as valid as any other I've seen 
recently.  Although I was not a recipient of the survey, I'm pleased to see 
that the management is making some effort to get it's finger on the pulse 
of the organization in some way.

- Emily

W0EEC - CM87tm
AMSAT Area Coordinator - San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.projectoscar.net    http://www.PlanetEmily.com 

Help Launch Echo - http://www.amsat.org/amsat/sats/echo/index.html

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