Today is the day. The nice folks from the Nielsen company are coming out to disconnect all their equipment. Now that our commitment is over I can tell you that we have been a Nielsen family for the last two years. This is the second time we have been a part of the Nielsel Ratings system and it’s kind of a hoot knowing that what you watch on tv influences the ratings at least somewhat. One of our technicians told us we represented 60,000 households. Wow, that’s alot of folks channel surfing.
The last time we were randomly chosen to do this, the way Nielsen monitored your tv watching was a bit different. We had to keep a manual paper log of everything we were watching. That was a real pain, especially since at that time we watched alot of tv. Every time I turned around I was marking something down in the little Nielsen book. Fortunately, our commitment didn’t last long.
This time around technology has advanced significantly and the way you log what you are watching is by way of a remote which has the appropriately marked buttons for whoever is doing the watching. We even had a button for visitors and one day I seriously considered logging in EmmaLou, the trusty canine companion, as a visitor because the show I was watching was in danger of being canceled. But that would be dishonest, and I could not do that. I thought about it, though. Even though we represented 60,000 households of viewers, Jericho was still canceled. Moonlight was still canceled. I’m not convinced my Nielsen vote helped at all there. But I watched faithfully and always made sure Devoted Spouse and I were both logged in on the remote.
Being a Nielsen household brought with it some nice perks. They actually paid us. We got a check several times a year for $50. Now, that’s not alot of money, but every little bit helps. Plus, the folks at Nielsen were just super nice. Someone would visit occasionally to check the equipment and sometimes they would bring goodies along — a cheesecake or a nice apple pie. And the two times I had trouble with the equipment, the technicians rapidly appeared at my door and were always courteous and friendly. They even played with EmmaLou (but then who wouldn’t like a big old sloppy golden retriever?)
I’m going to miss Nielsen. Maybe some other company doing some other research will randomly choose us to help collect data. They can skip the cheesecake this time; I’d like a new laptop please.