Whether you avidly like to read the news or not, you probably still have opinions about what’s going on in the world. Maybe you share those opinions on a social media platform, or even just generally in discussions with people. YouGov is a survey site that puts an inventive spin on sharing thoughts and learning about trends.
First, some survey strategies…
I’ve found that, over the years, I’ve developed a strategy for joining survey sites. I’m a member of no more than 5 of them at any given time, have a specific email address for the survey invitations, and let the points accrue before I cash out on each of the sites towards the end of the year. Why only 5? Wouldn’t it make more sense to join as many as possible? Not for me, because it can become incredibly time consuming – more than a full-time job, in fact! Surveys, for me, are a nice way to depart from usual work while still earning a little something.
Next, the initial impressions…
I came across YouGov recently, while searching for one more survey site to complete my “threshold of 5.” I liked how, right there on the main page, a number of different topics were presented – anything from Politics, to Travel, to Health. It was also stated that major media outlets, nonprofits, and other types of companies use YouGov as a way to gauge public opinion. Pull quotes from some of my favorite online newspapers attesting to YouGov’s awesomeness was enough to convince me to sign up immediately.
The dashboard is about as comprehensive of a dashboard as could ever be. Possible awards (in the form of gift cards) are presented right at the top in the middle, so that users can get an idea of what they might want to save their points for. Also, YouGov is more of an interactive survey site, wherein users can actually follow the opinions, recommendations, and tips of fellow users of their choice via an opinion feed. However, those who just want to take surveys can do so and adjust their profile privacy levels accordingly. As a side note, there’s a fun library of avatars to choose from for your profile picture!
Now, how it all works…
As of this writing, it takes 25,000 points to earn a $15 gift card; it goes up from there, of course, depending on the value. It doesn’t seem as if it’ll take all that long to meet that minimum amount. Upon signup, I got 2,000 points just to answer a couple of questions. Surveys have come regularly – I got my first official survey a couple of hours after signing up. It’s the usual email invitation with a link to click on for the survey – this part I found particularly efficient, because there’s no need to log in first and then get directed to the survey, like so many other survey sites do.
Questions are a departure from other survey sites, in they don’t just ask basic questions about brands and purchasing habits, but popular culture questions like which brand is a sponsor of which sporting team, and which brands support various charitable initiatives (it’s okay not to know – a “don’t know button is provided).
At the end of each survey it has asked if I found the survey boring or interesting, and to what degree. Also, I’m given the option to either check points balance or answer more profile questions in order to possibly qualify for more surveys.
There has regularly been an opportunity at the end of a survey to earn an additional 100 or so points by doing YouGov ratings. For example, I could be shown 30 cards on a variety of different topics and rate how I feel about them; these could be Strongly Negative, Slightly Negative, Neutral, Slightly Positive, Strongly Positive, or Not Heard of.
A couple of days after signing up, I got an email that said if I provided my full name and address so that they could send surveys that are customized to local elections and politics, I’d get another 2000 points, as well as the opportunity to take another survey that would be at least 250 points. I figured, why not, since most survey sites require that information upfront anyhow without an incentive.
Well, that other survey I was offered beyond the 2000 points was only worth 100 points – another YouGov ratings opportunity. It only took a minute or two to complete, though, so it wasn’t that much of an imposition.
Sometimes, I’ve gotten more of a generic email to take surveys, wherein I proceed to screener questions and might or might not actually qualify for a survey through this method. There were a bunch of screener question opportunities, in one scenario, but as it went on it became tedious so I closed my browser on that for the day. In general, I’ve found that I could at least make 500 points per survey session which has, so far, usually taken less than 10 minutes to complete.
Finally, the bottom line…
YouGov is great catalyst for thoughtful debate and conversation outside of the platform. Even if you choose to stay completely anonymous, you’ll still, upon logging into your dashboard, see a cross section of user opinions about an incredible range of topics that you’ll want to bring up with people you do know. YouGov is a survey site I recommend not just for its ease of use, but also for how much can be learned. After all, the more informed we are, the better decisions we can make.
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