Monday, October 24, 2005

Lies, D^^^n Lies, and Statistics

Following my last post on the corporate blog adoption survey executive summary shared last week at the BlogOn 2005 Social Media Summit in New York, I continued reading the comments on the Guidewire Group’s work. One of the more acerbic posts came from Constantin Basturea’s weblog PR Meets the WWW.

Basturea takes Guidewire to task raising questions about the statistical validity of the sample size and survey methodology, and Guidewire’s choice to put forth the data as relevant to corporations in spite of these validity questions. He sums up his comments by raising similar concerns with the 6 October 2005 Edelman/Technorati study entitled Engaging the Blogosphere.

Let me say that Mr. Basturea appears to be a pretty bright chap. His criticisms merited a response from Guidewire co-founder and CEO Mike Sigal.

For a moment, I actually felt stupid about my comment posted on the BlogOn site. But thinking about it for a few minutes, I concluded I stand by my post.

Here’s why.

While I agree Basturea’s criticism of quantitative reliability is well-founded, I believe the greater significance of both of these (arguably pseudo-) surveys are the qualitative significance in the findings. Let’s not forget the thesis of Clayton Christensen’s classic work The Innovator’s Dilemma: the disruptive innovation advantage goes to first-movers who act when the least is known about the market. Sizing disruptive markets is fraught with faulty (and mostly understated) data. Eight plus years after his book, I’d hope we’re getting better at sniffing out innovation and not being blind-sided by it.

If the blogging disruption to messaging and communications hasn’t already occurred, I believe it is clearly a market work-in-process.

What do you think?

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