Thanks to everybody who filled out our recent online survey. Here's what we learned about RacinePost readers (or at least the ones who will out online surveys):
Over four days, 328 people answered the survey.
Nearly all of the respondents (94.8 percent) were 30 years old or older, with just under half (49.1 percent) between 41 and 60 years old. Just one person under 20 years old responded to the survey, while seven people between 81 and 90 years old responded.
We have some dedicated readers. Just over a third of the respondents said they visit RacinePost several times per day, while another third said they visit once per day and nearly everyone else said they visit a few times per week. Our hope is to create a dynamic website with a regular supply of fresh content, so we're very happy with this response.
What people like to read
Here's the Top 5 topics respondents said they like to read about:
1. Local government
2. Local business
3. Investigative news
4. Good news
5. Local people
And the bottom five topics:
5. Health care
4. Federal government
Findings here are largely reflective of the areas we've focused on the past 2-1/2 years. We'd really like to do more with the local arts and entertainment scene, but we've made a name for ourselves focusing on local government and business.
What people would like to see
We asked people would they would like to read more of on RacinePost. Here's the top 5:
1. Investigative news
2. Local business
3. Local residents
4. Good news
And the bottom five:
2. Federal government
No surprise on the investigative news - that should be any news organization's top priority. In the last few months we're hearing a lot of people talk about a local need for more stories about local businesses, so that's something we're really going to take a look at.
We received 190 written comments from respondents. A large majority of the comments were positive, and for those, truly, thank you. Negative comments can be clumped into three areas:
1. Several respondents said they are turned off by the negative comments/blogs at the end of our stories. Many people would also like us to eliminate anonymous comments.
2. Editorial bias. Always a touchy issue with any news source, but some respondents said they would like us to more clearly delineate between news and opinion, with more of a focus toward unbiased local news stories.
3. People would like to see a less "cluttered" design with fewer old stories on the front page.
Happily, I can report we are working on all three of the areas with a new site design that will bring greater accountability to the comments, clearly organize stories and opinions into separate categories and reduce the clutter on our home page. (I know we've talked about this new site for awhile, but we're close to ironing out the last few bugs, mostly related to how long it takes the page to load. Hopefully (fingers crossed) this will be worked out soon, because the new site has some great new features we're excited to offer.)
For our first survey, we're very happy with the response and thank everyone for taking the time to answer our questions. We're planning on a few more to try and get a clearer picture of who we're writing for and what you'd like to see on the Post. Reader feedback is incredibly important to us, and these surveys seem like a quick, unintrusive way to reach people. Again, thanks so much!