CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Demographics Workshop

Rohit Khare (
Fri, 1 Dec 95 19:06:18 -0500


JANUARY 29-30, 1996



Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Laboratory for Computer Science
Political Science Department
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

World Wide Web Consortium


Location of this call for participation


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
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:

* Review current practice in online surveying and server logging.
* Offer proposals for protocol extensions in support of these

The second day will involve presentations and breakout sessions on:
* Methodologies for analysis and interpretation of results.
* Requirements for extending protocol functionality.

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

* Develop guidelines for conducting and interpreting online surveys;
* Recommend extensions to common World Wide Web Protocols to enhance
surveying and tracking by servers in ethically appropriate ways.

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:

Survey Methodology:
Web Demographics:

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.


Tim Berners-Lee
World Wide Web Consortium

Jim Conaghan
Newspaper Association of America

Stanley B. Greenberg
Greenberg Research, Inc.

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
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.


Participation will be by invitation only based on statements of

* Presentation: To submit a proposal, please send an extended
abstract of no more than 1000 words describing your interests,
current activity, and proposed presentation or position statement
before December 20, 1995. Submissions should be sent by email to

* Attendance: To attend the workshop only, please send an abstract
of less than 500 words describing your current activity and
affiliation before December 20, 1995. These should should be sent
by email to

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


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

Workshop Coordinator:



Last updated 11/30/95 6:56pm EST