Volunteering for the random sample team can be a great playa experience. You see the city from a different angle, go beyond the gates with your team, and you are the first person that incoming citizens meet when they enter. This year, the Black Rock City Census team had a great time on the playa! We continued our operations from the Census Lab, initiating some new projects and engaging dozens of fantastic new volunteers.
The 2013 Black Rock City Census consisted of two main components:
- We randomly sampled burners at the gate before, during, and after the event. Randomly sampled burners completed a short, 8-question version of our census survey. In total, we sampled 1,562 individuals in 674 vehicles, which was a great improvement over the 1,050 individuals in 470 vehicles randomly sampled in 2012. As a trial, we also conducted an exodus random sample for the first time in census history!
- This year, we did not distribute an on-playa census survey. Instead, burners who participated completed the long version of our census survey online after the event. At first, we were worried that burners might forget to fill out the census after the burn. However, more than 11,919 Burning Man participants completed our census online this year (1 in 5.5 citizens)!
We used the data collected during the random sample to statistically weight the data collected from the voluntarily online (convenience) sample. The implementation of this online census saved months of data entry and yielded a similar amount of reliable data. These methods, together, ensured that our findings would avoid potential biases, accurately representing the Burning Man population.
In the next few weeks, we’ll publish a series of blog posts presenting the most important results of the 2013 census. In each post, a member of the Census Lab will present and comment on the results from one section of the survey, so stay tuned for results! Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments, or if you are interested in being involved with our census team.
One of our teams of random samplers
Autumn Albers and Steven Crane aka Indiana (in collaboration with Dominic Beaulieu-Prévost aka Hunter)
Tabitha Palmer aka Tabicat