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Online Audience Response Testing

Techstination feature for Thursday, May 3, 2001

Testing audience response... on the Web. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. The television networks have been doing it for decades... bringing people in to look at programs in development to gauge audience response. On the Web... a company called Vividence has been conducting research in a similar fashion... .but, says Chairman Artie Wu... on a somewhat larger scale... .

"We have a panel of about a hundred fifty thousand people, but we can use anyone, your own customers if you like, we send them to Web sites. We ask them to test them and with our proprietary software infrastructure, we're watching everything they do, everywhere they go, everything they see, as they're testing the site. We're also asking them questions along the way about what's really working, what's not working."

Clients include some of the biggest names in the tech world... Microsoft, Compaq and ebay to name a few. And those 150 thousand panelists... .are volunteers who have signed up... in exchange for small rewards... usually a ten dollar online gift certificate for helping to evaluate a Web site...

"Now you would know while you're doing this that you'd be using the Vivdence browser to basically test any given Web site that we take you to and that that brower's going to watch everything you do on a screen shot by screen shot basis and also ask you questions along the way. And you're okay with that because you've kind of stepped into a bit of a virtual laboratory to let us watch what's really working and what's not for you."

If you like to surf the Web and want to share your opinions... .you can sign up at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.