10
\$\begingroup\$

Every year Stack Overflow corporate does a big survey of main site users. This year's survey can be found here. We also have a meta question here asking whether our stack can get a similar survey. While there are no actual answers to that question yet, I suspect the answer will be no, since a survey for the RPG stack won't provide nearly the same value to SO corporate that the SO survey does.

That doesn't mean we can't have a survey, though! It's not hard to make a survey for free on Survey Monkey, Google Forms, or other similar websites. The real question is whether the community really wants to do that, which is what this meta question exists to determine. If we seem to have consensus in favor of making a survey, we can use this question to hammer out exactly what we would want to ask.

To clarify, I created this question so that we have a place to discuss whether we should have a survey since the other question is unlikely to go anywhere. If I decide to argue in favor of a survey, I'll make an answer on this question laying out the case in favor of one.

Addenda: Making a survey is fairly easy once it's been decided what questions should be on it; I don't mind doing it myself if nobody else steps up.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm sure a bunch of people will say "they want to." Unless that's backed up with being willing to do the work, it's irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jan 27 at 16:02
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Honestly, making a survey on those free sites isn't that hard once you know what questions you want. If meta can hammer out the details of what questions to ask, I don't mind doing the work of actually creating the thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Jan 27 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ That would then be a better question. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jan 27 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk If we can't get at least a dozen users to take the effort to upvote a, "Yeah, that would be cool," answer, then there's no way we'll get enough input in the question development stage for it to get anywhere. I'd rather wait until we know people want one before we start building it. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Jan 27 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean a question saying "I will do this if we get upvotes and consensus on questions." But as you will. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jan 27 at 16:09
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ What would we get out of a survey? \$\endgroup\$ – Raddu Jan 27 at 18:36
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Raddu A "yes we should create a survey" answer would hopefully answer that. I created this question because the answer to the linked "will SE corporate make us a survey" is almost certainly no. If the community wants a survey (something I don't have strong feelings for or against), then it will have to be self-created. I made this question so that we have a place to discuss that topic, not necessarily to argue in favor of a survey. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Jan 27 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I created a post to collect the questions we might want to ask. rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/q/8763/48759 \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Jan 28 at 23:02
8
\$\begingroup\$

No, a survey is useless

A survey won't achieve anything useful and there is no point going to the effort of making one.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you simply answering with both opposing perspectives so that people can vote on them correspondingly? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 30 at 2:37
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Correct. I thought that was the sort of this this post needed. If someone with an actual reason why we shouldn't wants to edit this or replace it with a better one feel free. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Jan 30 at 2:44
8
\$\begingroup\$

Yes, we should make a survey

An annual survey will give us an extra tool to see how we are tracking as a community. We will gain demographic and location information that can inform how to look at inclusiveness.

As a large community with a decent cross-section of the RPG space we will be able to identify trends and shifts in the industry. Potentially we will find areas of the community that we aren't serving well and can work to improve that.

There are more reasons we should do it, and some of them will depends on the questions we ask. But I believe if we put effort into choosing good questions, then promote it on the main site to get high participation, we will get results that are interesting and useful.

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

We can't answer this without ♦ mod support

♦ mods get access to site statistics we don't get access to. A survey could be useful for looking for unexpected demographic gaps (provided we have some sort of way in which to find those gaps). If that information is stuff our ♦ mods already have, though, then the survey would largely be wasted work because we could instead just, like, ask nicely or something. Even if it's information we do want and don't have, a survey would work best if it's data could be synthesized with our preexisting site analytics, and I'm not sure how to do that.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ We don't have this information available. Stack Exchange doesn't care about demographics (and data protection laws give them good reason to keep it that way). Honestly you see 99% of what we see by visiting a profile page. You haven't filled out any demographic information, right? Stack Exchange isn't invisibly trying to figure it out either. So far all the stuff in the survey questions proposal would be completely new data. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 8 at 17:23
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Notably, we should probably avoid asking anything like demographic information. We don’t want to be responsible for managing GDPR compliance… or complaints. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 8 at 22:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie So long as the survey is anonymous GDPR shouldn't be an issue. We just need to be careful not to ask for identifiable information like city or date of birth. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Feb 18 at 0:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @linksassin CMs have said they would rather that we not ask demographic information. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 18 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie That's good to know, thanks for sharing that tidbit. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 21 at 19:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, at least this mod is completely uninterested in a survey. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Feb 23 at 20:12
0
\$\begingroup\$

No

The mods have advised against asking demographic information and advised that the community managers have also advised against this. Inasmuch as a survey might be useful, it is exactly a tool for gathering demographic information. Therefore we ought not do a survey, as all useful information we'd be gathering would be demographic in nature (what % of users are D&D users, what % of users are primarily GMing, etc).

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ What game you play and whether you GM is not demographic information we were advised against. Demographics in this context only refers to; age, location, education, gender and other information that can identify an individual. We were advised not to collect this for privacy reasons. It would not invalidate the entire survey. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Feb 19 at 0:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @linksassin Pretty sure what RPG system you play is at least as identifying as age. There are less people whose primary RPG system is Phoenix Command in the world than who were born in the last minute. I suppose ages over 100 could be uniquely identifiable, but so would systems like Mist, the current playtest round of which has 1 GM and two sets of players. I believe that management has not specifically addressed RPG information, but it is exactly the same sort of information as age, gender, sexuality, religion, etc-- personally identifiable information about the userbase \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Feb 19 at 4:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In fact, GDPR compliance was mentioned as a concern, and our RPG information would probably run afoul of that in terms of the desire to avoid having to check whether or not is compliant by avoiding having it collect personal information. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Feb 19 at 4:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .