Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Blessed are the cheesemakers

It may not come as a surprise to you that I’m highly opinionated. On most things really.
Anyways I’ve actually been using my powers for good, not evil. Well good for me at least, because they are earning me money!

Two main ways at the moment.

The first is earning me trivial amounts and probably costing me a part of my soul in the process but whatever!

I’m signed up for Google Survey, it sends me random surveys at random times and I click a few buttons and earn a few cents on my Google Play account. I have over 10 bucks now.  Deep in my heart I know I’m just a sell out and am feeding the evil Google overlord with more and more marketable data mined fodder but apparently I really am that easy to buy.

Seriously what Google already knows about me is quite frightening and probably going to be the subject of another blog post.

The other, more lucrative way, is by taking part in paid focus groups.

Somehow, I’ve ended up on the participant list of a company who provides fodder for whatever company is trying out its latest product/ad or whatever and when I fit the demographic they are trying to fill. I get a call.

I’ve done three of these now. They can be fun and they pay a reasonable amount, anywhere between $50 to $75 an hour.

The general spiel is that you are thrown with a bunch of not-quite-random strangers (the fun bit is trying to figure out what you all have in common), you sit in a room. Whatever you say / do is videoed and / or audio recorded and there is usually a suspicious looking mirror somewhere as well.
The moderator leads discussions on various ideas, you may be given printed material to look at, your opinions are sought, your reactions to various things analysed. It is generally pretty painless.

I’m hoping to get a few more phone calls now that I think I’ve built up a bit of a relationship with the recruiters, that I’ve proved myself reliable and willing to exercise some degree of flexibility in my answers to the screening questions for each survey*

I’ve given feedback on before it went live (I still stand by my original comments, they haven’t been acted on), I’ve told a bank just how crap Aeroplan reward points are and yesterday I got to comment on cheese.

More specifically a cheese companies marketing campaign direction thingy (I honestly don’t know what you’d call it, they weren’t adverts per se…)

This was probably the most fun one I’ve done to date. Helped massively by the fact that we were quite a fun group, laughing and joking with each other before we’d even introduced ourselves. We may have been spurring each other on to pull faces at the nameless minions behind the mirror and so forth.

So now I find myself with $120 in cash and I’m wondering what to spend it on. It could pretty much pay for the half hour or so of circuit bashing I need in order to iron out my landing issues or I could buy the new kneeboard I’ve been eyeing up.

I need a new one because I have “gone over to the darkside” and invested in an Ipad and a Foreflight subscription to go with it.

Also more about that in another post.

Oh yes and they gave us cheese yesterday too, I’m betting that I’m not in the minority when I tell you that after spending two hours drooling over pictures of cheese last night, the first thing I did when I came home was to go hunting for some crackers in order to liberate the rather ripe brie I had waiting for me in the fridge.

*recruiters are usually looking for a very specifically defined demographic for each group. You can sometimes assist them by tailoring your answers to the rigidly defined questions they have to ask. They key is having a good memory because you get asked a variation on these questions about three times during the process, you need to remember what you’ve said. They will eliminate you from the group if they think you don’t meet the requirements.

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