The SAAQ Responds to My Letter Regarding Accompanied Rider Law in Quebec! Le SAAQ Repond a ma Lettre Concernant la Loi D’Accompagnement!

I apologize for the delay in posting this, but I did receive a follow-up from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec a couple of months ago, here is their response to my letter, which you can read by clicking HERE.

Je présente mes excuses pour le retard dans l’affichage, mais j’ai recu un suivi de la Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec il ya quelques mois.  Voici leur réponse à ma lettre , que vous pouvez lire en cliquant ICI.

Monsieur,

j’ai pris connaissance de votre correspondance du 5 janvier dernier, transmise simultanement a M. Robert Poeti, ministre des Transports, ainsi qu’a Mme Nathalie Tremblay, presidente et chef de la direction de la Societe d’assurance automobile du Quebec (Societe), concernant le retrait de l’accompagnement obligatoire durant la phase d’apprentissage des futurs motocyclistes.  En 2010, la societe a mis sur pied un comite d’experts charges d’analyser differentes pistes de solution pour ameliorer la securite routiere des motocyclistes. Au terme des travaux de ce comite, Le Rapport moto – Volet securite routiere, a ete rendu public en avril 2013. Ce dernier presente dix recommandations sur differents themes lies a la pratique de la motocyclette. Une de ces recommandations concerne le retrait de l’accompaqnement obligatoire.

Actuellement, plusieurs des recommandations du rapport sont deja appliquees ou en voie de l’etre puisqu’elles ne necessitent pas de modifications leqislatives. Les autres mesures, don’t le retrait de I’accompagnement obligatoire, pourront etre mises en ceuvre des qu’une opportunite d’effectuer des modifications legislatives au Code de la Securite routiere (CSR) se presenters. D’ici la, les titulaires d’un permis d’apprenti-conducteur de motocyclette doivent respecter la reqlementation en vigueur, telle que prescrite par le CSR. A cet effet, I’article 100 du CSR stipule qu’une personne titulaire d’un permis d’apprenti-conducteur conduisant une motocyclette doit etre accornpaqnee d’une personne, elle-msme titulaire, depuis au moins deux ans, d’un permis de conduire valide
autorisant la conduite d’une motocyclette.

Si vous eprouvez des difficultes a vous trouver un accompagnateur, sachez que vous pouvez consulter certains sites Internet, tel que le site de Motodirect (www.motodirect.netiaccompagnateurs) qui fournissent des listes de personnes interessees a accompagner des aspirants motocyclistes.

En terminant, je vous invite a consulter I’ensemble des recommandations proposes par le comite sur le site Internet de la Societe a I’adresse suivante:

http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/documents/documents_pdf/prevention/rapport_comite_moto.php

Veuillez agreer, Monsieur, mes salutations distinquees.
La chef de service,
~
Helene Beaulieu
HB/AMUjl

So basically the letter is explaining that they do intend to do away with the accompanied rider law, however the neither the SAAQ nor the Transport Ministry can simply remove it as it is a legislative law.  So this means that the provincial government has to table the law reform and then vote on it, pass it, and apply the new law and the intention is to do so this fall.  So in other words, nothing is going to happen until next year.

I am somewhat amused by her telling me to go to Motodirect to search for available accompanying riders… how amusing!  At this time, there are 4 available riders listed on the site for my area of Montreal, and they are available on weekends on sunny days and some evenings.  Wow, that’s beyond useless seeing as I use my bike to commute, thanks a bunch for nothing.  This province never fails to amuse me with their ridiculous policies and attempts at placating the public with worthless solutions.

Francais: Donc, fondamentalement, la letter explique qu’ils ont l’intention d’en finir avec la loi d’accompagnement, mais ni la SAAQ, ni le ministère des Transports ne peuvent tout simplement supprimer la loi, comme il est une loi législative. Donc, cela signifie que le gouvernement provincial doit presenter la réforme de la loi et ensuite voter sur elle, passer, et d’appliquer la nouvelle loi et l’intention est de le faire cet automne. Donc, en d’autres termes, rien ne va se passer jusqu’à l’année prochaine.

Je suis un peu amusé par la partie de la lettre que me dis d’aller à Motodirect pour rechercher un accompagnateur … Tres amusant! A cette époque, il ya 4 accompagnateurs disponibles répertoriés sur le site pour ma région de Montréal, et ils sont disponibles le week-end, les jours ensoleillés et certains soirs. Wowfantastique pour quelqu’un comme moi qui utilize leur pour se render au travail, merci pour rien! Cette province ne manque jamais de me faire rigoler avec leurs politiques et leurs tentatives ridicules à apaiser le public avec des solutions sans valeur.

Well, at least they answered my letter…

Dan

Contre la Loi de L’Accompagnateur pour Moto au Québec? Against the Accompanied Rider Law in Quebec? Take Action!

blog_moto

UPDATE! The SAAQ replied to my letter, click here to read! Le SAAQ a repondu a ma letter, cliquez ici pour lire!

(Francais) Bienvenue à mon premier post bilingue et mon premier post de 2015! Aujourd’hui, je voulais parler un peu d’une loi provinciale au Québec qui affecte tous les nouveaux motocyclistes, et j’espère que je peux encourager les autres individuels et des groupes au Québec de prendre des mesures et obtenir cette loi révoqué à temps pour la saison 2015 de moto au Québec . Cette loi est la loi de conducteur accompagné, obligeant tous les nouveaux conducteurs de motocyclettes être soumis à au moins 11 mois de conduite probatoire dans lequel ils doivent être accompagnés en tout temps lors de la conduite de leur moto par un autre conducteur sur leur propre moto qui a eu leur permis complète au moins de 1 an. La loi est carrément ridicule et éprouvées pour être dangereux, causer plus de tort que de bien pour une variété de raisons.

Je n’entrerai pas trop en détails sur mes points de vue et réflexions sur cette loi, je simplement vous invite à lire une copie de ma lettre récemment adressée au ministre des Transports du Québec, M. Robert Poeti, et à la SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) Président, Natalie Tremblay. Si vous souhaitez également être entendu, je vous invite à bien vouloir tendre la main et envoyer des lettres aussi. C’est le temps de se débarrasser de cette loi!

(English) Welcome to my first bilingual post and my first post of 2015!  Today I wanted to talk a bit about a provincial law in Quebec that affects all new motorcycle riders, and I hope I can encourage other riders and groups in Quebec to take action and get this law revoked in time for the 2015 motorcycle season here in Quebec.  That law is the accompanied driver law, requiring all new motorcycle drivers be subjected to at least 11 months of probationary driving wherein they must be accompanied at all times when driving their motorcycle by another driver on their own bike that has had their full license for at least 1 year.  The law is flat out ridiculous and PROVEN to be dangerous, causing more harm than good for a variety of reasons.

I won’t go in to too many details on my viewpoints and thoughts on this law, I simply invite you to read a copy of my letter recently sent to the Minister of Transportation Quebec, Mr. Robert Poeti, and to the SAAQ (Society de l’Assurance Automobile du Quebec) President, Natalie Tremblay.  If you would also like to be heard, I invite you to please reach out and send letters of your own.  Let it be known that 4 years of floundering is enough, get rid of this law!

Write to / Ecrire:

Presidente Mme. Natalie Tremblay
Société de l’Assurance Automobile du Québec
333 Boul Jean Lesage N-6-2
PO BOX 19600
Quebec, QC
G1K8J6

Mr. Robert Poeti
Cabinet du Ministere
700 Boul Rene Levesque Est 29th Floor
Quebec, QC
G1R5H1

Version Francais:

5 Janvier, 2015
Cher Monsieur Robert Poeti,

Je vous écris aujourd’hui dans l’espoir que cette lettre, en collaboration avec plusieurs études connexes, les commentaires des écoles de conduit et les clubs de moto à travers le Québec, contribuera à faire de la Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec et le ministère des Transports du Québec pour finalement abolir la loi du «conducteur d’accompagnement» pour les permis 6A d’apprenants à temps pour la saison de moto 2015.

 

Je suis nouveau motocycliste au Québec, en passant mon test de circuit juste avant la fin de la saison 2014 au début Octobre. J’avais un permis de moto en Ontario au milieu des années 1990, que je n’ai pas renouvelé quand j’ai déménagé à Québec en 1997 – j’ai renouvelé seulement mon permis d’auto. Apres un dossier de conduit très propre pendant 22 ans j’ai décidé de relever la moto à nouveau dans la province de Québec, mais je dois commencer le processus d’octroi de licences depuis le début, ce qui signifie que je dois commencer avec le permis de 6A et vais devoir le faire pour la majorité de la saison 2015.

 

Pourquoi une moto? Mis à part la jouissance de conduire un moto, je cherche à réduire ma consommation de carburant pour aller au travail, abaisser mes coûts d’assurance (j’ai déjà acheté une moto 650cc), réduire mon empreinte carbone en réduisant les émissions et le recours à des fluides à base de combustibles fossiles tels que l’huile de moteur, et ayant un impact sur l’environnement global, financier et routière plus petite.

 

C’est avec une grande inquiétude que je trouve que je peux réaliser aucun de ces objectifs, en raison de la loi impossible d’accompagnement extrêmement inefficace et très honnêtement, cavalier. Je n’ai pas d’amis qui conduisent des motos, pas de connaissances, pas de collègues et aucune famille qui possèdent une moto ici, au Québec. Même si oui, aucune partage le même horaire de travail ou le chemin que j’utilise. La SAAQ a créé un obstacle majeur à apprendre à conduire une moto et le fait est, les titulaires de classe 6A sont obligés soit de briser la loi et conduire illégalement, ou garer leurs motos jusqu’à passer le test de route pleine.

 

Il y a aussi aucune manière que ce soit fourni par la SAAQ pour correspondre nouveaux motocyclistes avec des gens expérimentés pour les accompagner. Une recherche rapide sur Google montre des centaines de nouveaux motocyclistes qui mendient pour accompagnateurs, mais à part de quelques personnes qui se rendent disponibles pour les balades du week-end, il est presque impossible de trouver quelqu’un qui viendrait près d’égaler mon horaire de travail et de la voie.

 

Votre propre étude commandée avec la FCM indique clairement cette loi ne fonctionne pas: SAAQ Publications

 

En termes clairs, l’étude recommande “le retrait de l’accompagnement obligatoire de l’apprenti motocycliste.“

 

Je suis sûr que la loi de accompagnateur a été créé avec les meilleures intentions pour protéger nouveaux motocyclistes, mais malheureusement, les études et les évaluations montre le contraire qui se passe. Les nouveaux conducteurs sont obligés d’attendre jusqu’à ce qu’ils puissent obtenir un permis complet pour commencer effectivement la conduite, à quel point ils ont zéro restrictions et peuvent même transporter des passagers, au lieu de profiter de la période probatoire pour construire leurs compétences avant de devenir admissible à un permis complet. Cette loi est universellement révélée inefficace, contre-productive, et dans certains cas réellement dangereux.

 

En conclusion, je demande encore une fois, s’il vous plaît permettez-moi de pratiquer mes compétences et avoir une saison de conduite agréable, légale et sûre en 2015 et mettre fin la loi de accompagnateur. Sinon, ce sera une autre année de mon moto assis dans mon garage ne rien faire.

 

Je vous remercie sincèrement pour votre temps et svp trouver inclus les deux pages pertinentes de l’étude SAAQ / FCM qui traite l’abolition de la loi d’accompagnateur pour reference.

English Version:

January 5, 2015
Dear Mr. Robert Poeti,

 

I am writing you today in the hopes that this letter, in conjunction with several related studies, feedback from driving schools and motorcycle clubs throughout Quebec, will help push the Societe de l’Assurance Automobile du Quebec and the Ministere des Transports du Quebec to finally abolish the “Accompanying rider law” for 6A learner permits in time for the 2015 riding season.

 

I am new motorcycle rider in Quebec, passing my circuit test just before the end of the 2014 season in early October.  I used to hold a full motorcycle license in Ontario in the mid 1990s, which I did not renew when I moved to Quebec and I have been licensed and driving motor vehicles with a very clean record for 22 years.  I have decided to take up motorcycle riding again in the province of Quebec, however I must start the licensing process from the beginning, meaning I must start with the 6A permit and will have to do so for the majority of the 2015 riding season.

 

Why a motorcycle?  Aside from the enjoyment of riding, I am looking to reduce my fuel consumption to and from work, lower my insurance costs (I have already purchased an older 650cc motorcycle), lower my carbon footprint by reducing emissions and reliance on fossil fuel based fluids such as engine oil, and overall having a smaller environmental and financial impact.

 

It is with great alarm that I find I can achieve none of these goals, due to the extremely ineffective and quite honestly, impossible accompanying rider law.  I have no friends that drive motorcycles, no acquaintances, no co-workers and no family that own a motorcycle here in Quebec.  Even if I did, none share the same work schedule or route that I have.  The SAAQ has created a major roadblock to learning how to drive a motorcycle and the fact is, class 6A holders are being forced to either break the law and drive illegally, or park their bikes until passing the full road test.

 

There is also no venue provided whatsoever by the SAAQ to match new riders with experienced riders to accompany them.  A quick search on Google shows hundreds of new riders begging for accompanying permit holders, but aside from a few people that make themselves available for weekend rides, it is next to impossible to find anyone that would come close to matching my work schedule and route.

 

Your very own commissioned study with the FCM clearly states this law does not work: SAAQ Publications

 

In no uncertain terms, the study calls for le retrait de l’accompagnement obligatoire de l’apprenti motocycliste.” ***

 

I am sure the accompanying rider law was created with the best intentions to protect new riders, but unfortunately studies and feedback show the opposite is happening.  New riders are forced to wait until they can get a full license to actually start driving, at which point they have zero restrictions and can even carry passengers, instead of taking advantage of the probationary period to build their skills before becoming eligible for a full permit.  This law is universally proven to be ineffective, counterproductive, and in some cases actually dangerous.

 

In conclusion, I ask again, please allow me to build my skills and have an enjoyable, LEGAL and safe riding season in 2015 and do away with the accompanying rider law this spring.  Otherwise, it will be another year of my bike sitting in my garage for nothing.

 

I sincerely thank you for your time and I have included the 2 relevant pages from the SAAQ/FCM study that discusses the abolition of the accompanying rider law for reference.

 

All the best and I hope to hear from you on the subject.

*** Translates to “the removal of an obligatory accompaniment driver for new motorcycle drivers”.

The study to which I am referring to can be downloaded HERE.  The two key pages are as follows / L’étude à laquelle je me réfère à peut être téléchargé ici. Les deux pages principales sont les suivantes:

reportmoto1
reportmoto2

(English Translation) In case you do not understand french, the report outlines the 6 major flaws in the law:

  1. The complete lack of available qualified drivers to accompany new riders.
  2. The inability for the new driver and experienced driver to effectively communicate.
  3. The impossibility of the experienced rider to make corrective decisions and maneuvers on behalf of the new driver.
  4. The danger of having the new driver focus on the experienced driver for signals and queues instead of keeping his eye on the road and what’s in front of him.
  5. The danger of forcing a new driver to keep up with an experienced rider.
  6. Most new drivers on the road are young people learning to drive a car, and vehicles tend to be easily accessible by the vast majority of road users.  New motorcycle drivers tend to be older and often don’t know anyone else that drives a motorcycle.

I would also recommend you check out a great online letter that was posted by Michel Barrette on Autonet.ca by clicking here.  My favorite part of his letter is the following / Je recommande également de lire une lettre en ligne qui a été publié par Michel Barrette sur Autonet.ca en cliquant ici. Ma partie préférée de sa lettre est le suivant:

Vous vous direz sûrement ce qu’on se dit tous : j’ai payé mon cours de moto, j’ai été présent tous les jours, les instructeurs professionnels de l’école ont jugé que j’étais apte à conduire ma moto en toute sécurité, j’ai passé mon examen théorique avec succès, j’ai refait une journée de rafraîchissement avec les instructeurs, je suis allé faire l’acrobate dans la cour du centre d’achats avec mon dossard jaune orange (oui je sais, je ne l’ai pas digéré, celui-là), j’ai pratiqué dans les rues de la ville et sur les autoroutes, j’ai suivi sous la pluie des semi-remorques, me suis fait couper la route par un taxi sans me planter, alors normalement, sauf erreur, je suis prêt à prendre SEUL la route pour aller où je veux et quand je le veux.

 

Vous allez me dire que maintenant, pendant 11 mois, je dois me trouver quelqu’un qui possède déjà un permis moto, qui doit venir me chercher chez moi avec sa moto et non l’inverse, sinon ce serait illégal, qu’on doit choisir ensemble notre destination, que je ne peux donc pas aller travailler avec ma moto s’il ne travaille pas au même endroit, que je ne peux pas décider d’aller voir ma mère à Chicoutimi ou de faire le tour de la Gaspésie parce qu’il n’a pas le temps ou que ce n’est simplement pas de son goût ?

(English Translation) He is basically saying the following:

This is my understanding: I paid for my mandatory course, I was present every day, professional driving instructors judged that I was able to safely drive my motorcycle, I passed the written exam, I ran a 1 day refresher course with the professional instructors again, did the acrobatic closed course riding exam, I practiced in the streets and highways of the city, was water blasted as I followed 18 wheelers, I was cut off by a taxi and didn’t crash, so at this point, I would say I am ready to drive on the road by myself when I want and where I want.

 

BUT now you’re going to tell me that for the next 11 months I have to find someone who has already had their full license for at least a year and has their own motorcycle and that they have to come and meet me at my place (I can’t drive to meet him otherwise it is illegal), we both have to have the same destination meaning I can’t use my motorcycle to drive to work unless he works at the same building and has the same schedule, and I can’t drive to go and see my mother in a different city nor can I tour the beautiful Gaspesie because I can’t find a driver who has the time or interest to go to the same place I wish to visit?

The law is ridiculous and downright dangerous.  Please write a letter or file a complaint with the SAAQ today and hopefully the accompanied driver law is abolished in Spring 2015. / La loi est ridicule et carrément dangereux. S’il vous plaît écrire une lettre ou déposer une plainte auprès de la SAAQ aujourd’hui et j’espère que la loi de conducteur accompagné est aboli au printemps 2015.

Merci,
Dan

Your Lack of Privacy on the Internet – Do you know who’s watching you?

Here’s an interesting infograph I found on the web, and you really have to wonder… have you been thinking about pulling back online and protecting your privacy? Are you truly aware of what can be found online about you personally?  It’s amazing what you can find out about someone via simple search engines.  Check it out:

Comscore and Quantcast – How they work and why they are the gold standard of guess-work.

Greetings sports fans, welcome to another post that I hope will either spark some discussion, open some eyes or perhaps help me understand this situation in a different light, granting it some legitimacy a bit heavier than the feather-weight I feel it has.  It is often said that comScore is the gold standard of measured site metrics used by advertising agencies when they make their digital media buy decisions, shortly followed by Quantcast.  These companies have the power to influence multi-million dollar decisions that can potentially be made based on their demographic reports.

I deal with comScore and recently Quantcast on a regular basis, and quite honestly I’ve come to the conclusion that they are really nothing more than peddlers of educated guesses.  I also feel that the possible error-range in their evaluations has the potential to me massive, hence unfairly denying someone possible revenue dollars due to their metrics net being too small.  I often scratch my head wondering, how in god’s green earth did these guys get so influential in the world of advertising?  Really good PR I guess.  I also often wonder just how far is the line pushed when polling the demographic data they gather in the efforts for online accuracy supremacy.

I would say one of the biggest errors the digital ad industry makes is confusing or blurring the lines between actual site metrics, vs site demographics beyond what is provided in the browsers header information.  Let me be very clear here, the ONLY way a site can truly know the age, race, income or favorite beer of any given user is if that user enters it in a form and clicks enter.  Anything beyond that, is quite honestly guesswork.

Site Metrics

Real site metrics easily defined is the collection and reporting of REAL visitor data to your website by a piece of analytical software, the most popular in the world being Google Analytics.  GA uses the REAL data from your REAL visitors, records and collects that anonymous data and provides you easy-to-read formats of that traffic information in a vast palette of reporting options.

The site demographic metrics reports you get from comScore are really just educated guesses based on a pool of poll users that are tracked via plugins, web beacons and/or tracking cookies.  They then average out that information with the number of uniques and page views you have and their advanced algorithm provides you with Gold Seal demographics… or what I call educated guesswork.

This is also why you can’t marry the data comScore spits out vs actual Google Analytics information.  So if your comScore reporting is telling you the median age of your site is 28 and 35% of your audience is gamers, you can’t ACTUALLY track who those people are and what parts of your site they are visiting.  You can’t track them because they aren’t real visitors, it’s just a guess.

What is comScore?

comScore is an Internet marketing research company providing marketing data and services to many of the Internet’s largest businesses. comScore tracks all internet data on its surveyed computers in order to study online behavior. You can visit their site at http://www.comscore.com.

How does comScore work?

One of the most common questions asked is how does comScore work?  Where do they get the demographics information that almost seems to come out of thin air?  Well, they in fact have a couple of primary methods.

comScore is a paid measuring tool, meaning you must subscribe to their services in order to track and report your comScore metrics reports.  The website to be tracked must have the comScore tag propagated throughout the entire website in the same way you would a GA code and this will allow comScore to accurately measure your traffic, pageviews and other information that you a standard analytics program would collect.  So typically pageviews and unique visitors are quite accurate and should line up with GA numbers, although UVs will likely be a bit lower due to the way comScore measures uniques vs Google Analytics.  GA uses actual uniques, comScore magically tracks you and guesses when you are using your work PC, phone and Home PC and then numbers you as a single unique.

When I asked a comScore rep how exactly age is calculated by comScore for the demographics reporting, they confirmed the above:

“Demographic information is gathered from our panel.  When someone opts into the comScore panel, they are required to fill out a short questionnaire where we gather demographic information for themselves as well as other people in the HHLD who will be using the metered computer.  We then use census populations estimates to project out to the total internet population.”

So how does this part of the magic happen? How does it know what color your poop is, how old your car is and how much you make a year?  A couple of ways.

The Research Panel

comScore maintains a group of around 2 million monitored research panelists that run a background monitoring software package that tracks everything they do online.  comScore partners up with several technology brands to create and maintain this software, such as Permission Research, Opinion Square and VoiceFive Networks.  The users in this group are given benefits for being a panelist, including free software, online storage data, and chances to win cash and prizes from comScore.  comScore then uses a series of weights to adjust the statistics so that they have a better reach that reflects US and global browsing than just the two million panel members bring to the table.  This is where the guess-work comes in, as well as comScore panelists…

comScore Panelists

comScore regularly recruits panelists through random digital dialing, as well as additional online and offline methods such as polls, quick questionnaires and much more.  comScore then uses that data to determine total people online, geographic location, income, age, and other factors and then apply that information to “massage” their research panel stats and generate an accurate global or US demographic.

Additional information about comScore

I sent comScore a request with some of my questions and got back some great information directly from comScore:

comScore measures people and not cookies or IP addresses as your internal data does.  The way we do this is as follows:

When a company wants to become unified they sign up and place a beacon (or a tag) on every page of their website.  Whenever anyone goes to one of those pages (regardless of whether they’re in our comScore panel or not) our beacon call will place a comScore cookie on the machine. We count these cookies and then we use the people in our panel to understand the following:

  • Users deleting or blocking cookies
  • Users using multiple browsers per machine
  • Users using multiple machines across home and work
  • Users using multiple machines at home
  • Multiple users on the same machine
  • Computer Overlap: An adjustment is applied to the cookie counts to account for usage across multiple machines within the same household.

Based on our findings from the above criteria, we then assign an average Cookie Per Person ratio for that site. This CPP is updated every single month for every single entity we report on.

We then take the following steps to calculate the Unique Visitors:

  • We sum up the number of cookies for the particular country we’re measuring and  just for Home and Work (so we filter out International traffic, shared computers and mobile devices)
  • We use the Cookie Per Person ratio based on the criteria above to calculate Census Only Unique Visitors from cookies
  • We use the panel to understand the number of UV’s NOT seen from cookies.  Since the site may not have tagged every single page, some UV’s will go unnoticed by cookies.
  • We sum the Panel only Unique Visitors and Census Only Unique Visitors to reach Unified Home and Work Unique Visitors
  • We use the panel to understand the overlap between people using BOTH home and work computers
  • We report the final UNIFIED UNIQUE VISITORS

Page View numbers are calculated by the following:  

This measure comes 100% from the tags on your site.  We take the raw tag number and filter it from: 

  • International traffic (if you are only purchasing US data)
  • Shared environment/mobile traffic
  • Auto refreshes and don’t comply
  • Forced viewing (pop-ups….)
  • Nedoms (non-essential domains) comScore maintains a list of pages.
  • Non human traffic from bots and spiders are also removed

Why the comScore numbers don’t match my Web Analytics data:

  • comScore measures unique persons
  • Web Analytics “unique” numbers are a measure of unique cookies
  • Differences in the numbers come from:
    • Users deleting or blocking cookies
    • Users using multiple browsers per machine
    • Users using multiple machines for home/work
    • Users using multiple machines at home
    • Multiple users on the same machine
    • Web Analytics data totals include approximations of visitors using a  combination of IP addresses and user agent when a cookie cannot be dropped.
  • comScore filters out the following:
    • International data (for US subscribers)
    • Non-human traffic (bots and spiders)
    • Nedoms (non-user initiated traffic) pop-ups, & partial page loads
    • Shared usage environments (internet cafes, libraries, airport kiosks…..)

What is Quantcast?

Quantcast is a media measurement, web analytics service that allows users to view audience statistics for millions of websites. Quantcast Corporation’s prime focus is to analyze the Internet’s web sites in order to obtain accurate usage statistics by surfers from the USA.  It is primarily used by online advertisers looking to target specific demographics such as age, income or other traits. You can visit their site at http://www.quantcast.com.

How does Quantcast Work?

Quantcast has a large network with millions of sites running its data collection feeds, web beacons and anonymous cookies, so it can track a person as he/she visits any of the websites in its network, and can build a profile of that person’s browsing habits, and then extrapolate demographics.  Quantcast tends to associate themselves to the way search engines examine how webpages are interlinked, and thereby determine relevancy within it’s network and the demographics they collect.  You can read more about what they do from a company perspective at http://www.quantcast.com/how-we-do-it.

Is it Legal?

Both comScore and Quantcast use proprietary algorithms they use to try to make educated guesses about the age of the user based on their internal measures and then displaying that person the ad.  This is again not real data, it’s based on educated guesses based on their own measures and not on the real data of the actual visitor, which is what true analytics use.  They can only track anonymous browsing habits…  AGAIN, the only real way for a site to know 100% the age of the user is if the user enters their age on the site and submits that information… anything above and beyond that is quite honestly educated guesswork on an internal formula of indicators and measures gathered by web beacons and cookies that track behavioral browsing patterns.

This is actually why Quantcast and other demographic tracking companies have faced numerous lawsuits and privacy violations… they all have to walk a very fine line of how intrusive they can be in their data gathering methods until they start to break the law.  It is illegal to gather personal individual data without authorization via cookies, beacons and other tracking means unless the user agrees to it, which is why contest pages etc all have terms and conditions the user has to agree to (one of the reasons anyhow).  All general traffic behavior research gathering has to be anonymous and is generally mentioned in website privacy policies, which you can see on just about every company website you can think of. This is why the demographics information from comScore can’t actually be applied to the real analytical data.

Both companies have an extensive history of lawsuits, accusations and general privacy violations as they try to push the boundaries of what they collect and the collection processes.  A quick Google Search shows dozens and dozens of privacy violation lawsuits against comScore.

There is no question that online privacy is a farce, and hopefully as individuals continue to see how easily their privacy is exploited online, we learn to keep things closer to the vest.  Check out this little blog post by Robert Dempsey about comScore, a bit of an eye opener in case your head is in the sand.

Why do ad agencies LOVE Comscore?

Is it a lack of options?  Awesome marketing on comScore’s part? Dominance in the industry? Well, it’s a bit of everything to be honest.  We know that it’s nothing but educated guesswork, yet multi-million dollar deals are lost and won because of what comScore has to say, more so than REAL numbers such as the metrics provided by Google Analytics for example. comScore has positioned itself to be the leader in demographic research and through aggressive business propagation and smart marketing have made it as common and standard to digital ad planning as TVs are to a consumer’s home.  You may not realize it, but you are likely touched by comScore on a daily basis… when you surf, when you read magazines, when your boss is making decisions that affect you and your company and so much more.  It’s used daily in media kits, presentations, infographs, marketing plans and many other mediums for everything from entertainment to purchase proposals.

comScore is everywhere and has become masters of educated guesswork, ninjas of not-so-naked truth and warriors of what’s up online. There is no question that if you plan to work with ad agencies on premium ad buys for your website, you have no choice but to tag with comScore if you plan on playing with the big boys.  BUT if you’re concerned about your online privacy and how you are tracked, fact-finding on the practises of comScore, Quantcast and other demographic measuring companies is a scary eye-opener.

How do you feel about your online privacy or about comScore and their metrics?  Are you an actual comScore research panel member?  Please chime in with your comments by using the form at the bottom of the page and please share this article socially with your friends and connections.

Thanks for reading!
Dan

Please help me win the “Ugliest Bathroom in Quebec” contest – I need your votes!

Hey all… ok so this isn’t exactly a tutorial, an article, or really anything but a blantant call for roughly 2 minutes of you rinternet viewing time.  My hideos, disgusting blue bathroom from hell that I am DYING to renovate has been entered in an “Ugliest Bathroom in Quebec” contest with Bain Depot.  The winner of this contest wins a $5000 gift card from the store to buy whatever you need for your bathroom.  Look at this 1981 horror show:

Please vote for my bathroom!

Blue walls, blue floor, blue ceiling, blue floral decor, blue toilet, blue sink (that I had to change out because it was completely rusted through), blue counter and even a blue toilet dispenser!  It also had a blue towel rack that I ripped off and a DISGUSTING blue toilet seat lid.  Not only that, the bath area is surrounded with this shower liner that is loosly glued to the wall and when you pull it away from the window, you get a great look at all the mold and get a facefull of the stench that seems to be a mix of week old dead skunk and something that I am sure is on par with shoving your face up a whale’s arse.

Please vote!

PLEASE VOTE HERE!  Just click here, and scroll to the orange vote button right under the photo of my bathroom and you’re done… you don’t have to enter your email or anything.  ALSO PLEASE SHARE!  Please share this post or the contest link or whatever on Twitter, Facebook, whatever you got!  All your friends or family members that spam 5 year old jokes?  Send them this!  And please vote as often as you can… you can vote once per day per IP so please vote!  I have to keep this going until the end of January!

Need more reason to help me wipe the bathroom from the face of the planet?  Behold!  Check out the drywall rotting away and the ceramic tiles literally falling off the walls…  I dare you to put your hands in there.  Reminds me of that scene in Indaiana Jones and Temple of Doom where the girl has to shove her hand in the hole full of bugs and nastiness to save Indy and Shortround.

Please vote!

So again, please vote and share this link like your life depended on it:

http://bit.ly/UzzZSo

Thank you for humoring me!  Make sure you follow me on twitter for more pics of the famous bathroom and the fun I will have tearing it down.

Dan