The Waving Flag: The Blog Survey Results

Friday 17 October 2014

The Blog Survey Results

To begin I'd like to thank every reader who took the time to complete the survey I ran to mark my 300th post. Without you this article would not have been possible.

When I checked, I was surprised to see that I've been running this blog for seven years. As far as the Internet is concerned this is a long time. It's more than enough time for disruptive changes in technology and resultant changes in reader habits. Most notably the time has seen the rise of Twitter and the rise and fall of RSS feeds as ways of staying in touch. So in addition to general feedback I asked a few questions about the techniques people use to follow the blog.

Since the survey closed it's been a bit difficult to find the time to analyse the results and I apologise for the short delay. Thankfully, I have finally found time to go through the survey responses. Before the details a bit of context:
  • Since 2007, the blog has averaged 50 page views and 34 unique visitors a day.
  • The best ever daily page views was 636 in mid 2008 whilst subsequent peaks have been around 300 and increasingly the result of an "advert" placed on the likes of TMP or other hobby forums.
  • The blog currently has 74 readers using the RSS feed and my Twitter account has 39 followers.
The survey yielded 8 replies which, based on the above, I estimate to be 10-20% of my regular readership. This is an overview of what they said:

Content rating 4.88 out of 6
Layout rating 4.75 out of 6
Twitter user 1 of 8
RSS user 1 of 8
Following blog for 7 of 8 for two years or more

This is an interesting set of numbers. The content and layout scores are pleasing given that 6 equated to "excellent" and all the replies came from long time readers.

The use of Twitter and RSS is disappointing as I'd hoped to see more use of these technologies to keep people updated. Perhaps my own reliance had coloured my expectations. Anyway as a result of this feedback I have added a "follow by email" option to the blog.

I asked readers for their favourite type of article. The results are very interesting especially the last two:

Painting & modelling tips 7
Photos of painted figures 5
Rules articles 4
Magazine articles 2
"On Tour" reports 1
DBMM for the Befuddled 1

I'm both flattered and encouraged that the "Tips" topic came out a strong favourite as I enjoy passing on the tips and techniques I discover.

Clearly no one can match the madaxeman's battle reports so I'm not surprised that my "On Tour" reports aren't top of the list but I was surprised to see DBMM on the list as I haven't written a DBMM based article since late 2010.

The surprises continued with the list of what readers would like to see more of:

Step by step painting photos 1
Sale items 1

It was pleasing to receive continued recognition for my "DBMM for the Befuddled" series four years after it ended. The requests for more DBMM articles, however tongue in cheek, suggests there's a set of DBMM players still looking for some help. However, it's unlikely that I will go back to DBMM: not never just unlikely.

Sadly, I hate photographing my figures so "step by step" photos are some way off. I will have to put a lot of work into lighting and standardising the way I take photos or the photos will look rubbish: you've got to remember the figures are 15 not 28 mm and I use a black undercoat.

I will finish as I started with thanks to all who completed the survey.


Doug said...

But as you well know, DBMM is a much more challenging and interesting game. ;-)

Vexillia said...

I do but as we also both know part of the reason it's challenging is because of the obtuse writing style (if it's raining in Prague, on a Tuesday with an "r" in the month) and the additional chrome added over the years.

Doug said...

it's not so bad as all that. What does annoy me is when I am playing and I think, oh yes, there's something about that under the flees section, or you are trying to find something you are convinced is in there, but just can't quite locate. Every so often I put in a desultory effort to revise my edited copy, but it will probably never get finished.

Vexillia said...

To be fair this applies to many rules. I first thought Field of Glory was very well structured but after two years playing FOG R I've found there are still things that are hard to find because they are not in an obvious place.

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