Public opinion at a mouse click

12May08

Over the weekend, I stumbled across Ask500People, a survey website – currently running in beta – that gives users the opinion of 500 people on a first come first served basis.

Questions are submitted via twitter voted for by the community, with the most popular ones being run live on site and then archived, so that viewers can look back and get the verdict on today’s burning issues such as “Is it wrong to pirate movies and music?“, “Do you trust Wikipedia?” and “Did you get a cold last winter?“.

The site’s been running for about seven months now, but the necessity of creating a profile may be holding some potential users back. Some of the questions hosted by Ask500 are highly personal, dealing with private matters, and there may be some hesitancy around pouring out your secrets and personal thoughts online. In addition, premium survey companies like YouGov have the benefit of being able to select a particular geography or demographic, unlike this resource – which is essentially used by early adopters and regular web-users. As a result, the answers are likely to give a skewed view of the world and not necessarily reflect the broader public opinion.

First published at Shiny Red.

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