Doing something about signal:noise complaints

Andrew Sayers andrew-ubuntu-devel at
Thu Jan 22 19:36:06 UTC 2009

Thank you for the detailed review.  I've made some changes based on it,
which I'll explain below.

I've made the language in section 1 a bit more subjective.  I'm not sure
whether you were meaning that the [] boxes should be for numeric input,
but I've left them as drop-down boxes because numbers would add make it
a harder question to answer and to analyse, without really helping to
answer any more questions.

In section 2, I appreciate the thought about time, but I have plenty of
free time to trawl the archives at the minute - that's why I'm posting
this now instead of a few months ago.  I've generally tried to reduce
the amount of work involved in filling the form out, in order to
increase the number of people that will bother.  Of course, if you feel
like linking directly to posts, I won't complain :)

I agree about "would read" vs. "would like to read", and have fixed that

The first question in section 3 is kind of interesting, and serves two

The first purpose of section 3 question 1 is as a check on my own
sanity: I have previously assumed that developers and non-developers
should mingle on this list, but I have no real proof - maybe people
think that developers shouldn't be on a list for gossiping behind their
backs, or that non-developers have no place in a list for discussing
development ideas.  It would significantly alter the debate if either of
those were the case.

The second purpose of section 3 question 1 is to look at what sort of
mandate we have to change things on the list.  For example, a discussion
based on the survey results might look at moderating just the first post
someone sends to the list.  IMHO, any such rule would drive some
non-developers away - a moot point if the group is happy with that
compromise, but an issue worthy of long discussion if it's seen as

I've tried to clean up the remainder of section 3 based on your
feedback.  I'd appreciate any comments you have about what it's like now.

I agree with most of your points about section 4 - I must confess the
whole Ubuntu Member thing is a designation I'd forgotten all about.  The
only point where I'd disagree is with unsubscribing.  It's an assumption
to say that most subscribers have been around for a while, so I've added
a question to test that very issue.  I've also changed the wording to
ask whether people are likely to leave within 6 months, to test for
people that are gradually becoming unhappy, but aren't on the brink of
unsubscribing right at this minute.

Finally, I should point out that I've written a page describing some of
the ways I intend to analyse the data.  If you're interested, it's at

	- Andrew

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