Thank you, canadamom and SeriousSurveyer!
You know, that's a good point. I don't think it ever dawned on me that any of the panels I mentioned could be invitation only! All this time, when I've been logging in -- and I have not spent a lot of time on Tastemakers, Smile and Say It or on hearwatchsay -- I assumed that the panels were open to everyone. I think I got hooked in to joining all of them a couple of years ago, when they first opened, and it must have been through surveys I did for Quick Rewards. So I just figured that anyone could join at any time.
I know that on Smile and Say It, one of the reasons why I recently decided to chime in and give feedback was because the moderator there asked the members to give input as to what kinds of changes we'd like to see on the site that would increase our participation. So I suspect that if SASI does have a full panel in terms of numbers alone, there are probably a lot of members who do not participate...in which case, I wonder why they don't 'pull a Pinceone' and start purging their system so they can make room for new people. I was so inactive on SASI, Tastemakers and on hearwatchway for long chunks of time (even after winning $25 each from the latter two sites) that I'm shocked they didn't boot me! But, I just kind of breeze in every so often with some well-placed, thoughtful commentary in threads that interest me and it seems to work.
As for Tastemakers, so far I have only tested one product for them -- Planter's Peanut Butter. That was last year. Then I agreed to be one of the 20 people participating in the live chat set up to discuss that product. They picked 15 out of those 20 people to win $25 Amazon cards so I figured I had a really good chance at winning, which I did. But I've never won from doing one of the actual surveys for Tastemakers, SASI or hearwatchsay. My wins at each of those places has been a direct result in giving feedback in threads.
Tastemakers -- most of the time -- runs threads and discussions about food in general (i.e., what you eat for breakfast, do you have any great summer recipes, etc.) and not just Kraft products. Their actual surveys are infrequent, and their product tests are even less frequent. I'm still hopeful that one of these days they will say, "Test the new DiGiorno pizza, or test the new Dreyer's Ice Cream!"
(Hey, those are in the Kraft/Nestle Family!)
The SASI surveys (which are usually short and have very big lettering for anyone who hates tiny print!) come a little more often, and they almost always involve evaluating oral care products' packaging. There was a fun thread a while back about seasonal packaging and flavors for toothpaste - like Halloween-ish designs and flavors for one specific brand. I'll be very interested to see if that hits the shelves this Fall. Most people were not in favor of Halloween packaging and flavors for toothpaste, but I am a sucker for holidays so I was on board with it!
As for hearwatchsay, their actual surveys are not frequent either but they open threads to discuss certain things (i.e., which summer movies are you looking forward to, which summer TV shows are you looking forward to, etc.).
I'll ask Rachel -- the moderator at SASI -- if they have any openings for new members and if so, I will let you know, SeriousSurveyer!