Freakonomics Joins Federated Media, Foists Survey on Readers

I am pleased to announce that the Freakonomics website is now a part of Federated Media Publishing, a consortium of blogs (including BoingBoing, BuzzMachine, Digg, and GigaOM) founded by John Battelle. This means, among other changes, that our site will now accept advertising. (You may have already spotted a banner for CNBC earlier this week.) We are also planning a redesign, which may or may not be drastic. (Suggestions, btw, are welcome.)

In the meantime, please answer this Federated customer survey if you are willing. It is meant to help them figure out who reads this site, and why.

We do know a little bit about our readers already:

* There are roughly 45,000 of you on a given day.

* Most of you are incredibly kind, wise, and polite. (As for the others, we know where you live.)

* About 84% of you are from the U.S.; after that, you are most likely from Canada, the U.K., or Japan.

* Here is a list of the remaining countries where at least 100 of our daily visitors live: Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Russia, France, Brazil, Italy, Singapore, New Zealand, Finland, Israel, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, India, Portugal, Mexico, Taiwan, Argentina, Norway.

* And here is a list of countries where, according to our hosting company, there is one lone reader of the Freakonomics blog: Bermuda, Cyprus, Guyana, Jordan, Paraguay and … wait for it … Tuvalu.

I didn’t know where Tuvalu was, either. It’s in the western Pacific Ocean, a former British commonwealth composed of nine low coral atolls; the capital is Fongafale, on the island of Funafuti.

Hello and thanks to our lone Tuvaluan reader, and to the rest of you as well.


tmitsss

I wonder if the reader from Tuvalu was truly in Tuvalu, I seem to recall that Tuvalu sold its .tv internet domain name for some significant cash.

John S.

I live in the U.S. but have perused your blog from hotels and cafes in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland.

Gaijin51

I didn't understand the questions about accessing the site via RSS or "feed"

What exactly is "feed" anyway?

I access via Firefox browser.

kolya

I heard Tuvalu makes bank off ".tv", since it belongs to them.

And I didn't know you had an RSS feed. Exciting stuff.

kolya

Oops, someone already mentioned ".tv".

Garry

I was happy to fill out the survey. Would suggest that that you make it clear that people do not have to specify their household incomes.
Regarding the website, it is terrific the way it is. My only suggestion is that the log-in is rather cumbersome. Whenever I want to submit a comment, I am asked to log in, which is fine, but then it is not clear how I get back to the comments section.

AdamRuby

Do you benefit (ie profit) from the click's on the advertisements? Interesting article in BusinessWeek (http://www.businessweek.com/premium/content/06_41/c4004015.htm#ZZZVCRGUMSE)(subscription only)

ariellem

Stupid survey :-p I started filling it out, and then at one point hit "enter" - thinking about going to the next line - and it submitted my survey. BACK wouldn't let me back in, nor will restarting it - they've already logged the partial one I did. Stupid programmers (and I was a programmer until staying home with the kids) should NOT have done that. Blech.

Gaijin51

I didn't much like it either. The survey assumes too much.
Just remember that the bug is bad for them, not you. They don't good data. The stuff was not too interesting really, so you didn't miss anything.

kickstand

From an economics point of view, I often wonder about surveys such as yours. What is my incentive to fill it out? What is my incentive to tell the truth? Would it be unethical for me to lie about my age or income? Would you benefit (being able to charge more money for ads, maybe) if I put my income as higher than it actually is?

JoeKeeley

KICKSTAND:

Your incentive to fill it out is to express a blog user's opinion, the simple reason for the survey is to understand this blog's audience.

Your incentive to tell the truth is that it's much better, cleaner and kinder to your soul to be honest. What would be your incentive to lie?

Yes, it would be unethical to lie about your age and income - duh! Even a simple, internet survey, white lie is a (very useless) lie.

Why do you care if this blog makes a few bucks? A hell of a lot of us read it and like it. They have taken a print book published a couple of years ago and made it a living (and current) way of thinking about things. It may have been more freakonomical if they kept their mouths and fingers shut and just published a sequel containing what they've written in these blogs. As to their motives, they proved their integrity in "the product" when they offered signed bookplates (signing, shipping and handling) at their own cost.

I trust them, the book and their thoughts largely because of a simple thing like that - offering signed bookplates to those who ALREADY bought the product.

Bring on the ads, they enhanced the product I bought via these blogs and I don't mind giving back a little extra (my consumer eyeballs) in kind.

Read more...

tmitsss

I wonder if the reader from Tuvalu was truly in Tuvalu, I seem to recall that Tuvalu sold its .tv internet domain name for some significant cash.

John S.

I live in the U.S. but have perused your blog from hotels and cafes in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland.

Gaijin51

I didn't understand the questions about accessing the site via RSS or "feed"

What exactly is "feed" anyway?

I access via Firefox browser.

kolya

I heard Tuvalu makes bank off ".tv", since it belongs to them.

And I didn't know you had an RSS feed. Exciting stuff.

kolya

Oops, someone already mentioned ".tv".

Garry

I was happy to fill out the survey. Would suggest that that you make it clear that people do not have to specify their household incomes.
Regarding the website, it is terrific the way it is. My only suggestion is that the log-in is rather cumbersome. Whenever I want to submit a comment, I am asked to log in, which is fine, but then it is not clear how I get back to the comments section.

AdamRuby

Do you benefit (ie profit) from the click's on the advertisements? Interesting article in BusinessWeek (http://www.businessweek.com/premium/content/06_41/c4004015.htm#ZZZVCRGUMSE)(subscription only)

ariellem

Stupid survey :-p I started filling it out, and then at one point hit "enter" - thinking about going to the next line - and it submitted my survey. BACK wouldn't let me back in, nor will restarting it - they've already logged the partial one I did. Stupid programmers (and I was a programmer until staying home with the kids) should NOT have done that. Blech.

Gaijin51

I didn't much like it either. The survey assumes too much.
Just remember that the bug is bad for them, not you. They don't good data. The stuff was not too interesting really, so you didn't miss anything.