RE: Online Salary Surveys

Subject: RE: Online Salary Surveys
From: Technical Writer <tekwrytr -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 09:36:41 -0400

Basic research methodologies require that postings--even anonymous--be limited to single postings from the "same" source. Even that is tough to do, because it usually sets cookies, which can be deleted by posters between postings. The alternative (rarely used) is to keep server records of poster computers, and only allow one posting per computer.

Bottom line is that "anonymous online surveys" are not especially useful in depicting reality. In forums, for example, questions like, "What is your favorite software app for whatever?" are routinely flooded by entry-level software developers touting their own products to generate the impression of a "bandwagon effect."

As for the STC salary survey, it seems (to an outsider) they picked the higher number; if the government's number is higher, claim that, else use our numbers. The salary survey is not intended to provide information--it is intended to bolster membership by implying that higher salaries are associated with STC membership. The same strategy is often used by universities indicating "average salaries" for MBAs, TWs, or software developers, with the unstated assumption that graduates will somehow be awarded such salaries on graduation.
tekwrytr - Specializing in cost-effective technical documentation, online content, and web development for growing businesses.
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