Audience surveys, segmentation and OpenAudience

How do you get to know more about what kinds of people attended an event?

Two fairly common quantitative approaches to this question are surveys and segmentation. Regarding the latter, we’re talking specifically about geodemographic segmentation, rather than sales or marketing based segmentation.

What if someone was able to do both and compare the difference in results?

Or is this more like a Ghostbusters ‘don’t cross the streams’ kind of thing? Read on and find out.

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Open Audience Finder

Open Data Kit + Audience Finder = Open Audience Finder?


I’ve worked on audience surveys for a long time and I’m always looking to improve my methods. Relatively recently the roll out of Audience Finder from the Audience Agency has done a lot of good in standardizing many basic questions and methods for a range of arts organizations. (see standard questions: link)

This makes a lot of people happy as they have a basis for comparing and contrasting their results with others. Most of the arts organizations I’ve worked with see the value, one way or another. Everyone has their own tweaks or preferences to suggest but some collaboration around some standard questions is generally a good thing…

Around the same sort of time, I started learning about and putting Open Data Kit into use, for various audience and other kinds of end-user/patient surveys. Hence the combination of the two, and in this post, I will be describing how you, with less technical expertise than you probably think, can use it too.

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Open Tech Forever

“Imagine a world where almost all the products we use are manufactured locally using sustainable practices. We work with people throughout the world to achieve this.”

image: opentechforever
image: opentechforever

With links to Open Source Ecology, Open Tech Forever sets out with the ambition to never patent, copyright or otherwise prevent the sharing of ideas and designs created by them (and their wider community). On the ground, they are renovating a 1960’s barn on 40 acres in Colorado into their first “Open Source Microfactory” and ran a modestly successful Indiegogo campaign to help with the funds.

The next major project is an open challenge, inviting entries to design a ‘Forever Home’ out of Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB), that the team will then go on to build on the site in Colorado. It needs to be built to Living Building Standards 2.1, which as a set of guidelines is worth a look in itself. The use of CEB’s ties in to the open source design of the CEB Press (brilliantly nicknamed The Liberator) which you can see and even attempt to build for yourself here.

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