waI heard on NPR that the doomsday book (a unique inventory of England from 11 Century) now has an online manifestation (I'm linking even though the site appears to be unresponsive). The report was followed by the quip '2% of Brits think the Doomsday Book is a novel by Dan Brown [author of the Da Vinci Code].' That got me thinking - how did they come by that? The answer is, of course, that there was some quiz which looked like this:
What is the Doomsday Book? Is it
- A census of England from the 11 Century?
- A rule book for a board based role playing game?
- A novel by Dan Brown Author of 'The Da Vinci Code'?
- A deth metal band?
When you here such an assertion, you really need to hear 'of the self-selecting respondents to an online multiple-choice question which had no 'other' category, N%...'
Update: My guess isn't so bad, according to the Free New Mexican:
The book is one of Britain's best-known documents, but a poll commissioned by the National Archives suggests not everyone is sure what it is. While 80 percent of respondents had heard of the Domesday Book, 13 percent thought it was a chapter in the Bible _ and 2 percent thought it was a book by Dan Brown, author of the hugely popular "The Da Vinci Code."
One of the cool things about analysing online social media is that one isn't trapped by such silliness - we can just read what people say.