Open data please!

David Sasaki mentioned the lack of open data in last year’s SA blogger survey in this post, but it was glossed over, I guess, because of his more controversial statements about blogger diversity. Now, after reading the results to find out more information about the South African blogosphere, I’m surprised that no one else (that I can see) has demanded the release of the raw data.

Instead, the controversy has focused on the really weak interpretation of the data. But if it had been open, then this interpretation would have been just one weak interpretation among many others published by a diverse range of interested bloggers. Our fabulous eagle-eyed bloggers pointed out a few errors based on the slides, but what makes us believe that there are no others?

It is clear that we need better data next time round, and as someone who completed the survey before, I for one won’t rest until there is a guarantee for the raw data to be made available to all. I’m also certain that at least some of the companies supporting last year’s survey (, Afrigator, Amatomu, MoneyWeb Life, Bizcommunity) would be supportive of that too.

Next time, let’s see the data.

4 thoughts on “Open data please!

  1. I’m pretty sure there were a couple calls for access to the data underlying the “results” although I don’t remember who asked for it at the time.

  2. You wonder whether it’s worth asking for the raw data or whether it’s even worth it given that there is so much more detail that needs to be considered. A collaborative survey-building process, I think, would yield much more relevant results. I, for one, am really interested in finding out more about the intellectual property sharing practices of local bloggers, for example. And others have noted their own suggestions. I feel like it would be useful to try and commission a new study soon – now that we’re fresh from the mistakes of the previous one. What do you think?

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