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Rewarding geek^W survey participants

Sooner or later, I will conduct a series of interviews as well as a community survey among Debian package maintainers as part of my research. The motivation for my research is to improve the workflows in the Debian project.

How could I make you take part in such a survey?

A key challenge and necessity of a survey is to ensure a high degree of participation, or else the responses cannot be read as descriptive of the entire group. Well-formulated questions and a smart way to present them are prerequisites. For instance, I'd consider it quite counter-productive (somewhat ironic even) to ask Debian package maintainers to hit radio buttons on a web form. Instead, participation should require the use of tools with which we are familiar.

Another way to get people to respond is by showing how their time will help the project. This assumes that the research hypothesis is tangible and the whole endeavour plausible. And that people care.

A third means of motivation is to reward participants. Commonly, this is done by way of a draw among all participants at the end of the survey, and a price given out to the (random) winner. Obviously, the individual's chances get slimmer with every additional participant, but if the price is right, it's still worth a try.

I've been pondering for a few days on what a right price would be. Previously, Nokia Internet tablets have been hip, but would you dedicate your time to a survey where you could win one of those? Or a Neo1973 (thanks Lo-lan-do)? Or would a game console, such as the PS3 or the Wii be more exciting? Or is there something (in the same price range) out there you want and would, uh, fill for… fill out the survey I mean…

Please take a moment and let me know which price you could not resist. Don't hesitate to provide me with a list — I could just as well let the winner of the draw chose her/his favourite…

NP: The Pineapple Thief: 8 Days Later

Update: Gaudenz Steinlin suggested a Thecus N2100. In January 2008, after a bit of persuasive work, Thecus has sent me a free device!

Update: Frans Pop suggested an Asus Eee PC.