Online beer

Sometimes I participate in online research. You fill in a questionnaire and that's it. There's no fee involved but you could win a small prize (gift voucher, city trip,...). Multinationals use it to target their ads, see if their campaigns have had the desired effect, newspapers use it for polls etc. I am not you average Jane Doe so I would probably distort any questionnaire I'd fill in. Just being helpful, not subversive in any way. The last one I wanted to fill in was about beer. It would take about twenty minutes to complete the questions online. I had some time to waste so I started to tick the relevant boxes. Gender and age were easy. And then the next screen popped up: "Thank you for your participation, but you are not part of the target group we intend to reach. Please leave your e-mailadress to have a chance at winning some of our give away prizes." Bleh. Alfa males are allowed to partake, with or without beer bellies. I tried to pretend I was Dr. Livingstone and enter his details, but the nice marketing people are very honest and their smart machines tell you you've already done the questionnaire. It probably recognises your IP number. The example above illustrates just one of these polls these research facilitator chappies do. The question shown is 'Who will be the next Belgian PM?' The vote I cast eventually was filed under the category 'Others'. I filled in Pol Pot just for a laugh.

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