So, you ready my letter to anyone who would listen about the American Community Survey, right? Hopefully you’ve also read the amusing reply from PA State Rep. John Maher. Now we have the thoughts of political blogger, Benjamin Kirby of The Spencerian. Through the magic of Google I happened upon his blog, saw that he liked answering political questions, and (of course) asked my question(s). I got an excellent reply…
from: Benjamin Kirby <firstname.lastname@example.org>
to: Recrat Demopublican <email@example.com>
date: Thu, Oct 21, 2010
subject: Re: A POLITICAL QUESTION: The American Community Survey?
Hey, great letter, Recrat! Really good.
I’ll try to answer it on the blog — you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t re-post the whole thing. I’ll try to do your general concept justice, though.
Just as a quick answer, let me say that I think you’ll see huge changes in things like the ACS as well as the ten-year census over the next five to ten years. We have Facebook, Twitter, and who knows what else in the future. There is almost no reason to cut down a forest to do the ACS.
That said, I know some people who rely on the data the ACS provides, and it. Is. Critical. It’s really important stuff, and it’s so important that people fill it out, that they’ll do whatever it takes to get their attention. There’s the old marketing adage: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you’ve told them. And the only way the government can do that efficiently right now is through snail mail and paper. Sounds weird, I know — but it’s true.
We’ll explore this more in the post in the next few days.
Thanks so much.
…and it was followed-up by a blog post:
Q & A: Answering a Question with a Question
I won’t re-post the whole thing here, but I would urge you to check out his blog, and post your comments there or here.
First of all, let’s be totally fair to Recrat: he asked a great question. The only problem with it was that it was in the neighborhood of, oh, around 1,250 words. The highlights he asked about involved wasted resources in producing the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey in the area of money, time, energy, and paper.
Ha ha. Sorry for being wordy, but…
I guess it’s in all of us blog people. ☺