User research: get paid to try Google productsSaturday, November 04, 2006
Want to make money by giving Google your views on their products, whether existing or in development?
Well, the official Google blog Blogger Buzz has announced that Google are doing some research ("Google user experience research study", to be precise). Especially if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area (but even if you don't), if you're at least 18 and have been maintaining a blog for at least 3 months you can sign up with Google to join the queue of people willing to participate in Google user studies in various forms i.e. at Google's offices, online, via the phone, at your home etc.
It'll probably take one and a half hours, not including travelling time. The FAQ says: "Typically we pay $75 for each hour that you spend with a Google researcher, either in person or on the phone. Most studies last for one to one-and-a-half hours. We don't pay for your travel time, or travel expenses, though. For online surveys, which you complete from your own computer, the amount varies, depending on the length of the survey."
Of course, they can't take everyone who signs up, or even reply to everyone who fills in the form - it depends on who fits their profiles for what they need. And yes, they do need to know some of your personal details to see if you'll fit the desired profile. Plus, you'll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement so alas you probably won't be able to blog about the experience (depending on what that confidentiality agreement requires). But at least you'll get paid, if you're picked, and have the chance to make your views on their services known to Google.
What I'm slightly puzzled about is that the Buzz post stipulates that they want people who have been maintaining a blog for at least 3 months and that the research is to help them improve Blogger, but that requirement isn't included in their rather more generally phrased FAQ (which does however clarify, sadly for some, that their study won't involve having electrodes attached to your body! Too bad, Kirk... :D - but to those who were disappointed with that statement, may I suggest this alternative..?).
If you do decide to sign up after reading this, I'd appreciate it if you enter the URL of this post in their "Where did you hear about us?" box. Not sure if that'll do me much good with Google but you never know...