Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Surveys helping to fund news websites


Last weekend, I followed a web link to a story on the Christian Science Monitor website. But I could read only the headline and the first paragraph. To read the rest of the story, I had to answer a simple survey question. Just one question.
In just one click, by answering a question about home video, I gained access to the rest of the article. Other websites require users to register or to be paying subscribers to access news articles. The survey question was quick and painless.
With online advertising not paying the bills, many news websites are looking for alternatives for revenue. Surveys seem like a good one.
The survey question I answered was provided by Google Consumer Surveys. Market research firms fund the surveys and content websites earn money for posting them.
Google competes with SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, Qualtrics and others in the online survey business, which generated $2.4 billion in the U.S. in 2011, USA Today reported.
By aggregating survey responses from millions of Web surfers, researchers can gather data in a timely and cost-effective manner. And news websites can benefit from the additional revenue.
Another nice thing about Google surveys is that they offer people the opportunity to respond to a different question. The first question I saw was about coffee creamers. But since I’m not a coffee drinker, I decided to select a different question.
I saw questions about vacations, smartphone apps, travel to Nevada and fast-food restaurants before I chose to answer the home video question.

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