Yes, but supposedly phone survey companies are able to get representative samples of broad populations despite many people refusing to respond to phone surveys. If opt-in users were chosen using similar methods, could arguably representative data be obtained?
<quote who="Pine W" date="Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 12:07:53PM -0700">
> I suppose you could get more granular data by conducting an opt-in study of
> some kind, and you would need to be careful that users who haven't opted in
> are not accidentally included or indirectly have their privacy affected. I
> agree that collection at intervals shorter than an hour is going to raise a
> lot of privacy considerations for users who have not opted in.
That would certainly work for some research questions and that's more
or less what most toolbar data is.
The problem is that often questions answered with view data are about
the overall popularity of visibility of pages which requires data that
is representative. There's lots of reasons to believe that people who
opt-in aren't going to be representative of all Wikipedia readers.
Benjamin Mako Hill
Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far
as society is free to use the results. --GNU Manifesto
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