W3C Demographics

Workshop on Internet Survey Methodology and Web Demographics


January 29-30, 1996

Cambridge, MA

Organized by

of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in cooperation with the
This call for participation is at:

The explosive growth of the Internet, particularly the World Wide Web, has caught the attention of media researchers, advertisers and political organizers. All major Presidential campaigns have already established sites on the World Wide Web with press releases, news clips, position papers, and opportunities for participation. Surveys and Web logging tools are used for commercial and political marketing.

The goal of this two-day workshop is to evaluate the current state of the art in measurement of online demographics and suggest future directions. The workshop will assemble a select group of survey and media researchers, methodologists, and Web technologists who will focus on techniques for online surveying and server logging. Particular attention will be paid to methodologies for analysis and interpretation of results.

  1. What can learned from online surveys, focus groups, or log analyses?
  2. How reliable are the survey and logging techniques?
  3. How can online findings be projected to the general population or specific sectors?
  4. What distortions in surveying and logging are caused by the current Internet and Web protocols and what protocol extensions are needed?
  5. Are ethical issues raised by this activity, and what might be needed to protect individual rights?
  6. What tools and methodologies are likely to be relevant in 1996?
  7. What are the trust models for surveys and log analysis?
  8. What extensions to web protocols could ease these problems?

On the first day, presentations will:

The second day will involve presentations and breakout sessions on:

The outcome of the workshop may include a proceedings and working groups that:

Proposals for presentations can be about implemented survey systems, log analysis tools, or special algorithms for analyzing them. We are interested in both commercial products and development systems and want to include a representative sample of different measuring systems, and methodologies for evaluating their findings. For your reference, some systems and studies are listed at:

Statements of positions, that are not presentations of systems, should clearly address the goals of the workshop, making a case either for a particular technology or a methodology.

Program Committee (in formation)

Tim Berners-Lee
World Wide Web Consortium
Jim Conaghan
Newspaper Association of America
Ed Goeas
Tarrance Group
Stanley B. Greenberg
Greenberg Research, Inc.
Dave Harkness
A. G. Nielsen Company
Evelyn Hepner
Audit Bureau of Circulations
Roger Hurwitz
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Massachussets Institute of Technology
Marion Just
Political Science Department
Wellesley College
David R. Karger
Laboratory for Computer Science
Massachussets Institute of Technology
John C. Mallery
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory & Political Science Department
Massachussets Institute of Technology
Roberta McConochie
The Arbitron Company
J. Walker Smith
Yankelovich Partners, Inc.
Philip J. Stone
The Gallup Organization &
Psychology Department
Harvard University
Other members to be confirmed.

Instructions and Schedule

Participation will be by invitation only based on statements of interest.

All submissions will be reviewed by the program committee. Invitations to present or attend will be sent by January 8, 1995.

The workshop will be held at the Cambridge Center Marriott Hotel, which is in the immediate vicinity of MIT. The hotel is offering a discounted rate of $129 per night to workshop attendees, for the nights of January 28 and 29. Details about reservations and cut off dates will be sent with the invitations to the workshop.

Further Information

Please address questions scope or content of workshop to the chair and questions about organization to the Workshop Coordinator:

Workshop Coordinator:
TBD (workshop-coordinator@wilson.ai.mit.edu)
TBD (workshop-chair@wilson.ai.mit.edu)

Last updated 12/5/95 1:50pm EST