Monday, December 21, 2009

Survey Results - An Early Christmas Present!

Just completed graphing the results of our first ever Oil-Electric Reader Blog Survey. Thank you to those who took the time to complete the survey! I am taking it as an "early Christmas present!" The Survey ran for 30 days, during which we were logging more than 100 readers per day. And the results got my attention:

The first piece of attention grabbing information was, that people shy away from Surveys. Only 18 readers responded. This over a period when almost 3,000 readers logged on.

While 50% expressed an interest in railroading and other transportation modes, only 21% were actively involved in railroad photography. From my perspective, when you have only a handful of Class 1 Roads running in the US, the diversity has been greatly diminished. Wonder how many guys have shot each others recent photo op as the locomotive crosses the country!

Fifty-six percent of responders, when asked about Internet participation, said they were just lucky to be able to turn computer on. Never mind write a blog or fiddle around with a web site!

More than 25% of our readers found the inclusion of hyperlinks of little or no use. We include hyperlinks (the red underscored words) to link to expanded detailed information on our topic. The function serves another practical purpose. I can share a page or photo with you without the hassle of contacting the site owner for permission to use materials.

We were gratified to see the “Railroad Stuff” proves to be of interest to more than 80% of our respondents. Sometimes it can take days of painstaking work to track the lineage of a locomotive. And like me, I feel you are interested in learning where the unit ended up.

75% or more of readers were complementary in rating my blog content as “excellent.” I appreciate that feedback. While I have strayed off course to take shots at Sarah Palin, or Seattle’s Toonerville Trolley, my only rationalization is “I could not help myself!”

Ease of reading was rated only fair by 6% of readers. But when I look at the ratings for “font size,” “font readability” and “page layout” it may be that I should pay more attention to sentence structure or complexity.

Almost one-quarter of readers expressed concern about photo sizes. I must confess certain wariness about being “ripped off.” Although one wag said, “if you don’t want to loose it, keep it off the Internet!” Twice I’ve found my photos on someone else’s site, with my identification erased. In one case, the individual came close to loosing his blog. Google responded quickly, once I produced evidence of ownership.

At this point, I know a lot more of the mechanics behind "Blogger by Google." I now know how to adjust elements of the blog page. Making the reader column wider won’t make past photos bigger. They were scanned for a column width of 500 pixels. Moreover, a column width of 500 pixels is an ideal "reading width."

You can read the complete results of our First Ever Oil-Electric Blog survey by clicking on the portable document file logo below. Included are the “written” comments of survey respondents not discussed here.

So when all was said and done, an overwhelming 94% of respondents rate “Oil-Electric” as an “excellent blog” that they have bookmarked and have recommended to others.

And that’s a great Christmas present. Thank You!

Robert in Port Townsend.

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