Monday, October 20, 2008

Why not put together a survey?

Last Summer I participated in J Nielson-Seawright's survey Experiences of the Book of Mormon. After taking the survey, I asked myself why not put together a survey to learn about LDS attitudes towards the environment? I answered my question with two good reasons why I shouldn't take on a survey project:

1. I'm lazy. Surveys take a lot of work.
2. As a Mormon/Environment blogger, I have a distinct point of view that limits both my ability and credibility for conducting an unbiased survey.

Not too long after taking the JNS survey, Bryce Hammond published this post on the Millennial Star blog. I summarize Bryce's post in a sentence: The Pixar movie Wall-E is part of a Satan-inspired scheme to trick people into sin by baiting them with calls to save the planet. Before you think harshly of Bryce, read on...

Bryce's post led me to an AHH-HAH moment: I should ask Bryce to team up on the survey! His involvement would solve both of my problems. Bryce could share the workload, and his "opposing" point of view would add balance and credibility to the survey. I sent an email to Bryce, and he agreed to join the project.

Wanting some additional help, I also petitioned the LDS Earth Stewardship group for assistance. Peter Ashcraft, a member of the group, agreed to be the third member of the survey team.

Bryce, Peter and I have been working for the past few months to create what we hope is an unbiased and meaningful survey. My main contribution to the survey was putting the team together. Peter and Bryce provided the brains and brawn behind the project. My next post will give a link survey. Stay tuned.

The survey writing process wasn't always smooth, but it did provide ample learning opportunities. For example, I learned that Bryce Hammond is a nice person who is great to work with. Another important lesson: Different points of view can be a great blessing if they are viewed as such.

Just don't get me started on the Gospel Principals that are affirmed by Wall-E. ;)

Thanks Bryce. Thanks Peter.