Black Rock City Census 2013 – Moving Online!

census_logoThis comes from our intrepid Black Rock City Census team.

The only thing constant is change …

Over time, the data gathering methods of the Census have progressed from an exclusively paper survey that was distributed on playa and required manual input of responses to the combination of a paper survey, a random sampling of Burners and online surveys. In 2013, the Census team will be gathering data via a random sampling at the Gate during ingress and exodus and a post-event online survey.

The Census is online …

The Census will be available online on Tuesday after the Burn (September 3, 2013) at We would love to receive your responses and welcome your input. The online Census fosters the immediacy principle of Burning Man and enables BRC citizens to access the Census independently of their preferences in terms of Burning Man experiences. It also allows the Census to be more eco-conscious by reducing the need for printed forms. Further, eliminating the paper form means removing the need for data entry and drastically reducing the data errors due to manual entry.

The random sampling during ingress and exodus …

Because the data from the online Census is biased toward those people that independently choose to complete the online survey, the random sampling of Burners at the Gate yields data that drastically improve the representativeness, validity and trustworthiness of all the results produced by the Census. The randomness of the cars selected to participate in a paper form of the Census is predetermined. Professional statisticians advise as to the days, times and selection interval for the random sampling.

The end result …

We want to hear from you! Census aims to provide the most accurate and thorough data possible. By employing the online Census and random sampling during ingress and exodus, relatively unbiased results about the BRC population can be presented.

Please visit us at Census Lab located in Center Camp near Media Mecca. You can view all the data collected last year and the Census Burners hope to answer your questions and provide information about the service we provide. There will also be information about the Census in the Greeter packet. We hope you are inclined to participate in the online Census or at the Gate should your car be randomly selected.

Hope you have a great Burn!

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase

Will Chase is Burning Man's former Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He was the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Burning Man Journal, and content manager for Burning Man’s web properties. He also oversaw the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social media presence. Will first attended Burning Man in 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004 until he transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009.

6 Comments on “Black Rock City Census 2013 – Moving Online!

  • bonny says:

    just want to welcome everyone back to northern nevada(for those who don’t live here) have a great time on the playa pack out what you bring in.peace and love.

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  • Angie Corbett says:

    Help someone! I just tried to email the and was replied to saying no on would be getting back to me quickly. we have 2 tickets waiting for us at will call and just found out that will call will close an hour before we arrive. How do we get our tickets tomorrow???
    Please Help!

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  • Jack says:

    I really think this online census is a mistake. Now anyone, even non-burners/internet pranksters, can fill out a census form. Many burners will fail to visit the online census. I don’t even know if I’ll take the time to do it in future years. It just doesn’t feel the same as doing it on the playa. I think all of this will contribute to less accurate results. It feels like if I don’t get random sampled at the gate that I don’t get to participate for real.

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  • rocks says:

    The census does not work on the 2 mobile devices i tried it on:
    – iPhone 5 (OS: ios 6.X)
    – Samsung Galaxy S (OS: unknown)

    Many radio buttons cannot be selected, rendering those questions unanswerable
    None of the drag-n-drop ranking pages are functional on mobile devices.

    I realize this forum may not be the best place to post these issues, as the census bothans may not monitor this. Yet i figured i’d try: you can take the geek of QA…

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  • Lorna Dueck says:

    Hi Guys — I attended this year with press credentials and volunteered in Media Mecca — may I get access to the census data for the documentary I am working on ? I’ll need it asap — with thanks — Lorna Dueck

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  • Hopper says:

    Where are the results?

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