Saturday, June 30, 2007

Blog Readers Survey

I've just signed up for Survey Monkey and am compiling a survey for my blog readers to fill in - demographics, political views, what you like/dislike about this blog, what you'd like to see more of/less of.

If you have questions you think I should include in the survey, feel free to suggest them in the comments.

81 comments:

Chris Paul said...

Should Iain apologise or at least clarify every time he is wrong?

verity said...

Actually, Iain, it's such a successful blog that I'm not sure you need any direction.

Chris Paul said...

Verity is right of course. It is a very popular blog. Like The Sun is a top paper. Beyond reproach Iain. Scrap the survey and stick to your guns. Never apologise or correct. Leave that to the MSM.

chris paul's personal trainer said...

Iain - thought you'd gone to bed!

Here's my two or three pennyworth:

1. Is Chris Paul a figment of his own imagination?

2. Instead of just the usual male/female option should there be a third category "verity" to cover those of your readers who aren't sure?

3. Readers must indicate if they are willing and able to be part of Gordon Brown's glittering array of all the talents.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to this so what the heck is MSM?

Mike Rouse said...

anonymous @ 1:39AM... MSM = Mainstream Media

chris paul's official spokesperson said...

Anonymous (1.39AM) - MSM stands for Mainstream Media. Hope that helps.

chris paul's official spokesperson said...

Whoops, Mike (technoman) Rouse beat me to it. Cheers Mike. Keep working on those 18DS (that's 18 Doughty Street or "Iain Dale TV, for the uninitiated) glitches and hang-ups that make it so frustrating to watch at times. But Chris never watches it so perhaps it doesn't matter?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up guys. I think I'll just ring the Samaritans now. Goodbye.

achilles said...

whatever happened to the agony uncle column? that was quite an amusing idea.....

DJM said...

I did think of one question that would perhaps cause a lot of consternation among readers, but I feel it could be necessary;

"Should this blog allow anonymous comments, and should those without blogs of their own be required to supply their email addresses (not for publication) for comment verification purposes?"

Just a thought. I know a lot of anonymous posters make a good contribution here, but it gets annoying figuring out which one's which. If they all had a username, or at least were numbered (anonymous405, anon392 etc.) then it might make things easier.

Other than that, great blog, keep up the good work!

Alan Douglas said...

My question for the survey : Should Iain take steps to eliminate the persistently negative or knocking commenters who contribute nothing positive to the discussions?

As an example of what I mean, I have yet to see anything of value from Chris Paul, he seems to function as a downer with every post, an Iain Dale-stalker, although I know he posts elsewhere, but always the same negative and carping criticism.

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

Portaloo thinks dave should "fight to the death".He should-and soon!

judith said...

i agree about giving the email address and a name, even if a pseudonym.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I like your blog a lot.

I agree that many of the anonymous posters are sometimes really not adding anything to the debate and I do not like the foul language. I am not sure how many female readers you have but the explicit sexual nature of many comments I am sure puts them off and that is a shame.

As a private citizen, I feel uncomfortable about revealing my identity on a public forum (as I am sure many others would) but I wonder if you could require posters to use a pseudonym but without having to put in an email address or register. Timesonline seem to have the right approach.

tapestry said...

Other blogs use pictures, graphice to headline their stories more frequently and to more effect. In fact the graphic often is the story in some. No names!

Iain Dale is more a wordsmith which is why it's a good blog. Maybe deputise the graphical ideas to a.n.other. who has time and skill.

You use many names of politicians. You know what they look like and sound like. It's as if the rest of us need a cast of characters guide to follow you sometimes.

Obviously anyone could quickly research themselves from party websites etc. but maybe names should be linked automatically. You would be too busy to do that clearly.

An Indian back-up office costing a few quid could do all the links and uploads for you! Go global.

bof2bs said...

Commit to keep going irresepective of your other (coughs) achievements!

Verity & Tapestry comments seconded.

Possibly re politician names & useage have on site bibliography with search facility.

Personally I just Google or WIKI.

Graphics point is interesting in that until its pointed out I wouldn't have noticed it.

Keep using other bloggers ideas when good eg rolling blog on (important) developments eg Labour reshuffle.

Lastly ---- aim to attract/get more female bloggers -- no solution - simply ask the question I guess.

=)if thats a smily face!!

Man in a shed said...

Time to get a focus group ?

Hughes Views said...

"How is it that you have time to read and/or comment on this blog and fill in this survey? Have you no work, hobbies or friends?"

(Inspired by Humphrey Lyttelton's closing remark on ISIHAC this week. Something like: 'if you want more information or to leave a message please go to www.dontyouhaveanyfriendsatall.com'. And he seemed like such a nice old man...)

Anonymous said...

bof2bs said...
Possibly re politician names & useage have on site bibliography with search facility.

Personally I just Google or WIKI.

Yes I often have to do that as well. For example, I have been checking the backgrounds of the new Cabinet. Perhaps a profile or at least links to profiles elsewhere of the people you mention might be useful. I especially think this would be useful where, for example, ministers are talking about schools - knowing that thay went to Grammar school, Independent school, or top London state schools might be a useful background to the debate.

Sorry I am Anonymous again.

city trader said...

On a more serious note:

Brown's honeymoon with the electorate will not last long as the cracks in our over-indebted hollowed-out economy become increasingly clearer.

Jeff Randall sums it up perfectly in the Telegraph:

".....As (Alistair Darling) ploughs through the nation's balance sheet, he will quickly work out that the "golden legacy", which Brown inherited from Ken Clarke, has been largely squandered. Behind a diaphanous veil of economic success is an ugly accumulation of private and public debt, the pain from which is only just starting to be felt.

If we were about to embark on a fresh start, in which honesty and clarity prevailed over cynical manipulation, Darling would come clean on the scale of his predecessor's profligacy.

He would explain why, after a decade of unbroken economic expansion, more than five million Britons are claiming benefits. He would admit that, despite hundreds of billions being tipped into health and education, there is chaos in the NHS and criminally low levels of literacy at many state schools. He would put back at least some of the money pilfered by Brown from pensioners and offer more help to those who are bereft.

None of this, however, will be part of the new Chancellor's brief. Instead, as bankruptcies rise, homes are repossessed and Britain's economic performance sags under the burden of rising taxes and sluggish productivity, Darling's task will be to sweep up the piles of dung left behind by Brown, all the while tugging his forelock and thanking Gordon for the job."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/06/29/do2902.xml

sockpuppet said...

personally, I have always liked the fact that here and In Another Place* anonymous comments are accepted. The occasional swear-fest or ream of trolling is, in my view, a small price to pay to exorcise the air of paranoid tinfoil helmet control-freakery that one finds at (to pick a name out of the air) anything to do with Mr Ireland.

*see what I did there? I thought that was pretty good for a saturday morning hangover...

anonymous405.392 said...

Errmm, sockpuppet have you looked in at Another Place this morning? a wall of censorship is now in place, anyone know why?

Try a raw egg mixed with tomato juice, V. good for hangovers I'm told.

dont throw your rattle out the pram said...

I'm getting sick of all this whinging from the idiot who calls himself chris paul. Give it a rest you muppet FFS!

Anonymous said...

Iain you have a great blog ,we all have to work to your rules it's your blog ,leave us anonymongs alone ,being nice to Iain bit done :-), can you please get on with it.

Praguetory said...

Yes. Can we have a feature whereby commenters can be rated? Interesting commenters would gain a level of prestige so that I can focus on their commenters. Even better would be an option to filter out anonymous and low-rated commenters so that Chris Paul can talk to himself privately.

Nicholas Ball said...

Is it my imagination or are some of the more aggressive, foul mouthed rants being put up by Gov't Spin Merchants to cloud issues, fog debate and discourage solid citisens from participating?

If you agree with me you could identify the worst offenders and keep them off the site by employing some sort of 'rant filter'.

Not so much censorship as creating a more pleasant environment for the rest of us.

Sisyphus said...

And the point of the exercise is... better demographics, so you will be able to charge more to advertisers?

Not that I'm an old cynic.



Incidentally, what's really sad about how my trust has evaporated in the last few years was hearing about the London car bombs, and finding that my first reaction was thinking what fortunate timing for Brown... Watch for new anti-terror (anti-liberty) measures rsn.

anglo celt said...

sisyphus, being an old cynic (realist?) myself, my first thought was cui bono? Brown can now play the tough statesman.

However, watching Brown pale faced and nervous on TV yesterday gave me the impression that this has caught him unawares and has terrified him.

So he's either: 1) a ruthless manipulator, or
2) completely out of his depth and cr@pping himself.

Neither option is good for Britain.

bebopper said...

The above comments confirm that your excellent blog is, along with Guido's, being ruined by negative trolls. I think it's the work of two or three people, possibly being paid by the Labour Party. I think it's a compliment to you and Guido that they see you as dangerous to Labour and must be sabotaged.
What to do? Well, I'd be happy if you had us sign up, but you don't reveal our e-mail address. Further I'd ban the Anonymous tag and get people to give us a knickname to reply to.
Otherwise, delete obvious trolls.

Are you watching Guido? You need to act too.

Anyway keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

TORIES IN MELTDOWN!!!!!

Two polls out today - one gives Labour a 70 seat majority and the other gives Labour a 90 seat majority.

How strange that Iain hasn't found time to comment.

It's all over for Cameron's NuCon experiment. Did you really think you could win just because your leader owns a pair of bicycle clips and parts his hair on the correct side????

Satiated Fan said...

The success is obviously based on your own likeability and as such you should just carry on as you have been.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Would really plug your RSS feed more.

currency trader said...

anon 11.52

It will be the "ECONOMY IN MELTDOWN" headlines we will be seeing within 12 months that will finish your boss, Brown, forever.

With the turmoil in the CDO/Credit Derivatives sector, even some here in the City are only just waking up to the carnage to come and most of the blame can and will be laid firmly at Brown's door.

"It's the economy stupid" and, with an almighty credit crunch on the way, it's the economy that will sink Brown and New Labour for many years to come.

Get out of sterling and UK based assets would be my advice, and hold on to your hats. It's going to be a rough ride, particularly for those over-leveraged with debt like the UK Government and several million British consumers.

Anonymous said...

Alan Douglas said...

My question for the survey : Should Iain take steps to eliminate the persistently negative or knocking commenters who contribute nothing positive to the discussions?

Like you.

Anonymous said...

verity said...

Actually, Iain, it's such a successful blog that I'm not sure you need any direction.

Let's be honest this is the only blog that would tolerate you.

Anonymous said...

bebopper said...

The above comments confirm that your excellent blog is, along with Guido's, being ruined by negative trolls.

Guidos', you have got to be joking.It is inhabited by a bunch of foul mouthed yobs.If you are unable to tell the difference between this blog and Guidos' you are very,very stupid.

Anonymous said...

judith said...

i agree about giving the email address and a name, even if a pseudonym.

Or even a phony email address to go with the pseudonym.

Anonymous said...

Satiated Fan said...

The success is obviously based on your own likeability and as such you should just carry on as you have been.

Your just too embarrassing for words.

old pensioner said...

Nicholas Ball said...

Is it my imagination or are some of the more aggressive, foul mouthed rants being put up by Gov't Spin Merchants to cloud issues, fog debate and discourage solid citisens from participating?

Yep it's your imagination Nicholas,you should seek help.

Anonymous said...

TORIES IN MELTDOWN!!!!!

Two polls - one on the Guardian website and the other on the Daily Telegraph website.

Feed the figures into Electoral Calculus website. One gives Labour a majority of 70 and the other a majority of 90.

Sainted George said...

Iain

I am surprised you have not blogged on this disgrace

http://scottishrajwatch.blogspot.com/2007/06/todays-disgrace-english-patient.html

This is an opportunity for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to stop the Brown Raj in its tracks.

Mike Rouse said...

It seems a comment thread goes on for so long before being swamped by the usual morons. There be little chance of escaping that methinks. Some very interested suggestions in there though.

corpulent said...

Put Renaissance man 'disloyal, discourteous and wrong' Tom Watson's anonymous brain drool in 'context' .

plausible? said...

“I dropped a present for the new baby. I saw Gordon, but it was a purely social visit and just stayed for a cup of coffee. I did not discuss any letter and it would have been inappropriate to do so."
Tom Watson

here come the drums said...

That's about as plausible as Harriets Iraq war u-turn. Keep holding Labour to account Iain. They're obviously discomforted by you which makes it all worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Leigh vs Portaloo (radio4)
Leigh won it hands down.Gove was also present!

Mori said...

Do you think the Useless Tories are:

a) Wonderful
b) Fantastic
c) Perfect

Anonymous said...

a,b&c just about cover it.Thanks for asking!

skip said...

I would be interested to know your readerships views on the following:

Demographics
Where they are reading this blog.
Their political affiliation.
What %age of your readers also watch Doughty street.

Constitution
Do they think the UK will still exist in 25 years?
Should there be an English Parliament?
Where your readership stands on European union membership.
Joining the Euro

Blog Habits
Do you read the blog mostly for news, insider gossip or debate, etc?
Do you think bloggers talk too much about other blogs, lol?!?
Is there a demand for more attention to wales/scotland?
(eg. interesting coalition politics and local government there).

Matt said...

* Jeremy's point about RSS is a good one. RSS readers are usually repeat readers. Imho put it above the fold.

If you don't get the stats ask how many RSS readers you have - even better, how people read your blog.

"Do you have a blog". What is the address.

Ask about advert types - are they too prominent, do people like animation etc.

Ask for the top 3 things people would like to see on the blog.

Ask whether people would mind you writing sponsored (and disclosed) reviews or articles.

Ask about offering a daily email digest option.

Ask people to opt-in to receive follow up emails after the survey (if you need them).

You could also ask some questions more of interest to the general political blogosphere - since your readers are likely to be a decent sample. e.g., how can I help others break out of the political blogging ghetto.

I've got ideas about content - but your question was about survey suggestion - I'll save those for another time.

Anonymous said...

Could we have an option to filter out very boring people like praguetory?

Anonymous said...

"Let's be honest this is the only blog that would tolerate [Verity]."

so true

verity said...

I don't believe in messing with success. This is the most successful political blog in Britain, and its success is due in large part to Iain's likability as a person, his ability to post subjects of interest to a wide number of people and his tolerance. If this were my blog, my back yard would be full of bodies by now.

I think he should continue to follow his own instincts, which have served him very well both here and in the media.

I don't agree with giving email addresses and whoever said The Times had it right is wrong. The Times wants your country and town. It's none of their business where you're commenting from. Why on earth do they want to know? The Telegraph doesn't ask for any geographical information.

That said, I did like that little counter with flags that showed how many people were online from different countries at any time. It was rather fun to realise that while you were blogging, there was someone online from China and a couple of Americans and a froggie online. It would be fun to bring it back, if it's still available.

If Iain just continues to delete offensive comments, the fleas will finally jump elsewhere.

And Chris Paul, for the first time in his life, above, wrote something funny. He described 18 Doughty Street as Iain Dale TV. I don't know why, but it just struck my funnybone.

chris pauls doctor said...

My client needs a lie down under a large fat woman in a darkened room.
Is there a dawn french in the audience?

The Hitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chris pauls doctor said...

Verity
what Chris paul actually said was
"Iain Dale is a TV"
No doubt libelous

Anonymous said...

verity said...

... and whoever said The Times had it right is wrong. The Times wants your country and town. It's none of their business where you're commenting from.

I agree but maybe you are going to a different part of timesonline Verity? The part I go to is here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/blogs/

I only seem to need to put a pseudonym in the Name box and then post a comment. The email address and URL boxes seem optional.

If everyone can identify each poster then we can follow the track of the posts and Iain can then decide whether he wants to block their IP address from posting comments.

It is Iain's blog after all and he alone should decide who gets to post and who not. As long as we all know what the rules are.

Iain Dale said...

I would dearly love to ban people by their IP addresses. Unfortunately this is not possible with Blogger.

Some useful comments so far.

verity said...

I think Iain as a sure instinct regarding this blog and he shouldn't be influenced by our comments.

I would like to see the little counter showing visitors from different countries online though. That was quite fun. I wonder why he took it off.

Iain Dale said...

Verity, I took the flag thing off because the code made the site crash. Pity, as I liked it too.

verity said...

Thanks, Iain. Well, we've been living without and it was only when you asked for suggestions that I remembered it, so it wasn't that important a feature.

Labour Voters know best said...

Mike Rouse said...

It seems a comment thread goes on for so long before being swamped by the usual morons.

Your just posting for the sake of posting.Make a positive contribution or move away you bore.It's the Labour posters who make this blog interesting.Without them it would be just Verity and you.

Anonymous said...

Anyone any thoughts on the next ideal posting for Maude.

blogging for Labour said...

Matt said...

* Jeremy's point about RSS is a good one.

You don't seem to understand the point of this survey Matt.It is not really interested in your silly ideas, it is only interested in you telling Iain what a really wonderful person he is.Just have a peek at the comments made by Verity.

it's me again said...

Iain Dale said...

I would dearly love to ban people by their IP addresses. Unfortunately this is not possible with Blogger.

Especially any who did agree with you,good move.Ban the interesting folk and watch your blog collapse.

Harry said...

Pseudonym + (hidden) e-mail address would suit me for adding comments. It helps build up a sense of what you can expect from whom. Apart from that, IDD is fine and will inevitably evolve organically.

Anonymous said...

skip said...

I would be interested to know your readerships views on the following:

Don't be nosy,rude fellow.

Ed said...

Dizzy has a good post on why you can't stop nutters from posting on blogs.

Iain I don't think you should worry too much about "appealing" to your audience in order to generate "sales". Stick to posting about the stuff which you are interested in. Your blog is very readable and the debates in the comments get very interesting.

Keep up the good work!

Ed said...

By the way, "pseudonym + valid email address" is all you need to set up a blogger account. If some commenters can't really be bothered to set up a blogger account perhaps they shouldn't be bothering to post at all!?!?

I am not a nutter said...

Ed said...

Dizzy has a good post on why you can't stop nutters from posting on blogs.

Just because someone has a different view, does not make them a "nutter".Guidos', after an influx of the "nutters" yesterday now has moderation enabled.Todays posts amounted to 13.It could be some of those "nutters" are quite amusing.I find you a bore but accept your right to blog.

I like to blog said...

Harry said...

Pseudonym + (hidden) e-mail address would suit me for adding comments. It helps build up a sense of what you can expect from whom. Apart from that, IDD is fine and will inevitably evolve organically.

"It helps build up a sense of what you can expect from whom" followed by "Apart from that, IDD is fine and will inevitably evolve organically"
This has got to be a joke posting,I am right aren't I ? If so it's very funny,if it's not you are a pretentious litte twerp.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Anyone any thoughts on the next ideal posting for Maude.

Nope.

Harry said...

I like to blog said: Cruel of you to blow my cover.

Anonymous said...

verity "Iain's likability " -

Don't you mean 'likeability'..

Or perhaps you really are referring to his 'lickability'.. ;-]

true blue said...

Has anyone noticed since ,moi used the word "pseudonym "to describe an alias, that they`re all at it ? I now Suggest Non de plume !
Iain will you please obliterate Christine Paul from your site he`s driving us all barmy

Pensioners rule o.k. said...

Just come back from Guidos',he has Comment moderation enabled.The result, Saturday evening and only 14 posts have been made all day.It proves that without the passing trade you are done for.A quick breakdown of the 14 posts shows the bigot "Little Black Sambo" in full voice.The Hitch with his usual batch of obscenities (Iain would have deleted his post). Shotgun posted a short but obscene entry (Iain would have deleted his post).Julian was just being Julian and would have been deleted on the grounds of the most boring of bloggers.Three other posts would have been deleted by Iain because of obscene language.This is Guidos' idea of moderation,the man's a joke.Those who saw him on Newsnight will know what I mean.

verity said...

Guido lost me the first time he wrote 'co-conspirator', misunderstanding the word 'conspirator'. If he reads this, I admire you for making a lot of money and staring a blog, but the clue is in the prefix 'con'.

Ed said...

Just because someone has a different view, does not make them a "nutter".

no, but there are nutters out there and dizzy has a good article on why one could never stop them posting on blogs. comprends?

ten more years said...

Ed said...July 01, 2007 4:51 AM

Nope your a bore.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if it's been covered in the long list above, but would be interested to know this usual newspaper taken by this blog's audience. Think that question's always interesting, heard once that the favourite newspaper of lib dem members is weirdly the Daily Mail.