Skype as an interactive survey tool
University of South Florida is doing a survey about Skype user satisfaction. (This is a project commissioned by USF itself, so it has no “official” connection to Skype.) Besides surely providing them interesting insight about Skype use, it’s also a great example of how Skype itself is a versatile interactive survey tool. They start with a call and then follow up with a Skype chat message that takes you to a web-based form. It just happens to be so that the survey is about Skype itself, but it could as well be about peeled potatoes or, indeed, candidates in the next parliament or president elections.
Before the recent US elections, I heard many people say they got pre-recorded phone calls from the candidates, which is a form of spamming and thus bad and I believe a practice that won’t really be with us much longer, as people and phones get smarter and better at rejecting such unwanted contacts. Instead, what people want is participation, and this sort of mixed-mode survey, poll or panel, when done well, works much better than either a “pure voice” or “pure webpage” experience.