What happens on the Internet, stays on the Internet


After I publish a post, I entertain myself by checking to see how many views my blog is getting. Usually, I am disappointed by the number while striving to remain philosophical that I write mostly to please myself.

A nice feature of WordPress, the platform I began using in 2009, is the statistics I see and the surprises they offer.

For one thing, I am continually surprised by two sets of numbers: One is how individuals from the all over the world seem to find my blog and the second is how old are some of the posts they discover.

Nearly two years after having moved to Cambodia from Manhattan and retired from selling and writing about real estate originally in the Washington, D.C. area and then New York, I am amazed Continue reading

Reported research results rarely tell a true story

Way back in the dark ages, when I was in graduate school getting a master’s in communication, the subject of opinion research so interested me that I developed and conducted a survey for my master’s project.

The result of that intense effort has been my enduring interest and unmitigated skepticism about polls and other studies that are disseminated by the news media.

Although the news media have grown more sophisticated, especially about political polls, I find myself to be continually astonished by how much evidently shoddy research finds validation on the Internet, in newspapers and magazines, and on radio and television.

Regular readers no doubt recall my recurring rants about research on the nation’s housing market, none of which is entirely — or, for that matter — even mostly accurate. Case-Shiller is my favorite target, a great example being in Sunday’s New York Times, when Shiller cited his research based on 407 and 296 respondents in different years as if they represented a national sample of home buyers.  Impossible!

For that matter, how could 407 and 296 responses each reflect national sentiment?  If 296 is sufficient, why poll 407?  Conversely– you get the idea.

If only Shiller were alone.  But none of the others — not Trulia, not Zillow, not RealtyTrac, not CoreLogic, not Radar logic, not the federal government, not one — reveals the true story.

Findings may be out of date, Continue reading