Saturday, August 09, 2008

It is Saturday, let's relax some: survey results, awards and updating links

This past week we have seen at play a coup against democracy, or rather what was left of it. I had to write a lot of hard posts so I think that we all deserve to discuss something else today to take our minds away. Since I am in no mood to write anything fluffy, too concerned about Venezuela's future, I will instead worry about a few things left unfinished.

Results on the survey about surveys

A couple few weeks ago I asked readers to take a survey to give their opinion about making surveys a regular feature. The first question was about whether folks liked the previous surveys. All but one of you liked them, to various degree for sure but you liked them. Yet only 9% of you would like regular surveys. In fact 7% would like no more surveys ever. 50% thought that one survey every couple of months would be enough. So that is that for surveys in this blog, a rare one only when events require one.

As to what kind of survey would readers want to see. The clearer reply was that 65% of you did not want fluff surveys, no surprise there. Nor did you care much about best/worst type of surveys. No ratings, thus, on anything in this page. Surveys on issues and politics are the only ones that could muster the interest of 80% of those who replied.

All of these goes a great length to explain the result on question 3, Are you a survey junkie? 59% of you replied "I do not do surveys, I did yours because I like you and I felt it was important." And by the way 69% of you were not surprised by the results. We seem to know each other, don't we?

It was thus a good thing that this survey only had 6 questions, and even though I did not get to 100 allowed answers which in a way confirmed even more that surveys should be a rare and special occasion: survey fatigue sets in quick. In other words no need for me to pay for the subscription to the survey site, any site that allows me a single question with unlimited respondents will be quite enough for the rare surveys that we might want to do in the future. Suggestions of such sites are welcome.

The sixth question was the US vote at this point, among regular readers. The image below is eloquent: McCain wins among the US readers but Obama wins among the non US readers. The result for VN&V is a dead heat, with a surprising percentage of did not reply, do not care and undecided. We thus confirm the result that if Germany were the 51 state Obama could already be sworn in.

Updating the links section

Finally, for the first time since 2007, I have made a major update of the link section, erasing the deadwood and including many new links. I have done that thinking on the coming election and thus I have added many links in Spanish. After all at least half of you have admitted reading enough Spanish, and many of the local issues might be covered by some of the links posted. I am not completely done yet so if anyone of you wants to suggest a site that should be included, please let me know as I will do another visit in the next days and then there will be no more editing until, well, who knows....

Because I have the old Blogger template I have a hard time finding a translation tool that works. Any recommendations? The Google gadgets failed miserably.


Because of the many things that kept us preoccupied, I forgot to acknowledge that I got two other awards. I am thus acknowledging them now but I am also taking the opportunity to to comment on awards in general.

Apparently there has been a fashionable trend to create all sorts of awards in the Spanish Blogosphere. Which is fine, why not? But many of these require that in turn you pass along the same award to several other people. As a scientist I was immediately bothered by that because if you know anything about geometric progression even if a fraction of these new awardees in turn award the prize, soon enough we will all be having awards. The risk is to be torned between ridicule and mild arrogance.

Fortunately the two I mention below were not in this category which is why I accept them, and even feel honored as it shows that an English language blog really can cross the barrier language without a decent translating tool.

Marta Colmenares sends me an award that she transmitted to all blogs she deems "dedicated to the defense of Liberty and Democracy". I am certainly grateful for this, the more so that her blog is usually on top of the Blogalaxia rating system, for the Venezuela section, and as she has been a frequent target of pro Chavez hackers.

The other award came in May from an Argentina site, Argenlibre, who apparently has learned the hard way the toxic influence that Chavez has had over the Kirchners. It is not useless to remind folks that in February 2004 Nestor was still receiving Venezuelan opposition when this one was beaten, gassed and killed by pro Chavez Nazional Guard. Then Chavez started buying bad Argentina debt and we know what came of it.

-The end-

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