[wp-hackers] Automatic feedback from users

Dave Pappas villiageidiot at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 18:23:19 GMT 2007

Self selecting means I can choose to participate or not.  Because I am
interested in the results, I'm likely to participate (and will).  All of us
who find the subject will end up participating.  Those other people who are
too busy, or too paranoid or too something else won't participate.  In this
case, self selecting means it is not random.  Because people like me are
more likely to participate then the general population we skew the results
to represent people more like me - and less like the general population.

Don't get me wrong - I will be interested in seeing the results. I just
don't think you can use the results to say PHP4, or PHP5, or SwiftMail or
PHPMail or anything else is the right or wrong architecture direction.  I
look forward to seeing the results of your work.  I'm really only commenting
on one specific use of the data you  produce - not the idea behind
collecting information.

On 9/19/07, Omry Yadan <omry at yadan.net> wrote:
> Dave Pappas wrote:
> > "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics"
> >
> > This is a great topic.  I am sure the effort will produce interesting
> > statistics.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure it will produce actionable
> > information.  Self selecting surveys are less meaningful then other
> > approaches.
> How is this self selecting? (Assuming this goes into core and not into a
> plugin).
> > My fear is that you are producing a plugin that will be
> > installed by a subset of users and of that subset, another subset will
> opt
> > in.  You don't need a large sample size to draw conclusions about the
> > population as long as the sample is truly representative of the
> population.
> > Allowing people to opt in or out means you will have a (relatively)
> small
> > sample size that probably does not reflect the entirety of the Wordpress
> > installations in the world.
> >
> Will you agree that there is very little correlation between how the
> privacy awareness of users to their server PHP and MySQL versions?
> > I would still find the information interesting - I just don't think you
> can
> > make decisions driven by what the 'average' WP user has installed.  You
> > won't know much about the average WP user - only those who like
> contributing
> > towards these kinds of efforts - like myself ;-)
> >
> Judging by my own efforts to collect such data, I can tell that between
> 10 to 20 percent of the users installing FireStats agrees to send
> anonymous statistical information.
> this is surely high enough to draw conclusions about many things.
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David Pappas

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