Saturday, August 25, 2012

Preliator 2012 Survey: Results and analysis

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Earlier today, I closed the polls on the month-long Preliator 2012 Survey, the third iteration of my yearly reader census. Here are the results, including replies to personal comments and suggestions. I received a total of 19 responses, not enough to form an ideal decent sample pool, but still more than I’ve gotten in previous years, so I’m definitely not complaining. :)

As before, I’d like to reiterate that all the responses I received were completely anonymous, with the only information I could see being the respondents’ individual timestamps and the answers they chose. So you can sleep soundly tonight, free from any worry of waking up to find subscriptions to Brony Magazine in your inbox. (Unless you’d like that.)

(Note: Some of the “Other” answer choices are marked as such because they were left blank.)

1) Readers’ age

Results for “1) What is your age?”
14 or under 0 0%
15-19 1 5%
20-24 0 0%
25-29 4 21%
30-34 2 11%
35-39 2 11%
40-44 2 11%
45-49 2 11%
50-54 3 16%
55-59 0 0%
60-64 2 11%
65 or over 1 5%
Other 0 0%

Even odder than the fact that apparently no-one in my age range reads this blog is how the vast majority of my readership is literally a decade or more older than I am, except for that one 15-19-er (hi!). I’ve always been told that I look and sound a few years older than I actually am, but it’s rather odd to see it carry across my readership like this. I’m not sure whether I should be flattered or intimidated …

2) Readers’ sex/gender

Results for “2) What is your sex and/or gender?”
Male 11 58%
Female 6 32%
Male-to-Female Transgender 0 0%
Female-to-Male Transgender 1 5%
Intersex 0 0%
Other 1 5%

Other: “ponylicious”

Not much to note here, though I’ll admit that I’m a little disappointed to see that my readership isn’t quite egalitarian in itself. Still, I like to think it’s nonetheless better than many places. (Also, brony alert!)

3) Readers’ sexual orientation

Results for “3) What is your sexual orientation?”
Exclusively heterosexual 7 37%
Mostly heterosexual / rarely homosexual 3 16%
Mostly heterosexual / occasionally homosexual 3 16%
Bisexual 2 11%
Mostly homosexual / occasionally heterosexual 0 0%
Mostly homosexual / rarely heterosexual 1 5%
Exclusively homosexual 1 5%
Pansexual / Omnisexual 2 11%
Asexual 0 0%
Other 0 0%

Consarn it, still not my much-desired Gay Utopia. Must try harder!

4) Religious readers’ beliefs

Results for “4) BELIEVERS: What are your present religious and/or spiritual beliefs?”
Christianity 0 0%
Islam 0 0%
Judaism 0 0%
Buddhism 0 0%
Mormonism 0 0%
Paganism 1 5%
Deism 0 0%
Other 18 95%

I think this may be part of why why some atheists get upset when their blogs or books get sorted into the “religion” section …

5) Nonreligious readers’ preferred labels

Results for “5) NONBELIEVERS: Which label(s) do you prefer?”
Atheist / non-theist 13 68%
Anti-religious / anti-theist 3 16%
Agnostic 5 26%
Secularist 7 37%
Skeptic 7 37%
Rationalist 7 37%
Relativist 0 0%
Naturalist 2 11%
Materialist 3 16%
Freethinker 7 37%
Humanist 10 53%
Bright 1 5%
Other 1 5%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

Other: “Intelligent”

It’s pretty clear which labels most nonreligious readers here prefer, though it seems there are still some who shy away from calling themselves “atheists” outright, perhaps out of the stigma the term still carries in certain parts. (For a breakdown of various labels and their distinct meanings, check out my post on the matter, though your definitions may vary from mine.)

And of course, it’s only fitting that the whole Atheism+ thing came up just as this survey was nearing its end. Oh well; maybe next year. (I’m definitely an Atheist+, myself, though I still think that label sounds a bit odd. Maybe with time.)

6) Nonreligious readers’ deconversion

Results for “6) NONBELIEVERS: What religion, if any, did you deconvert from?”
Christianity 13 68%
Islam 0 0%
Judaism 0 0%
Buddhism 0 0%
Mormonism 0 0%
Paganism 1 5%
Deism 1 5%
Other 4 21%

Nothing much to add here, either, though it is somewhat interesting how many of those who are now proudly godless were already on the right path before taking that final step.

7) Readers’ socio-political stances

Results for “07) What is/are your general socio-political belief(s) or ideology(s)?”
Progressive 11 58%
Liberal (staunch) 8 42%
Liberal (moderate) 7 37%
Centrist 2 11%
Conservative (moderate) 0 0%
Conservative (staunch) 0 0%
Libertarian 0 0%
Civil libertarian 4 21%
Socialist 6 32%
Communist 0 0%
Anarchist 0 0%
Other 0 0%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

Huh. I guess the Right-wing talking heads were correct all along; atheists really are a bunch of liberal socialists!

Oh, wait, I forgot – that’s actually a good thing. Carry on.

8) Readers’ origins

Results for “8) How did you first find Preliator”
Google / other search engine 3 16%
Mojoey’s Atheist Blogroll ( 0 0%
Twitter 1 5%
Facebook / Reddit / StumbleUpon / other social networking site 1 5%
Referral from another blog / website 7 37%
Referral from a friend 1 5%
“Please Don’t Label Me” campaign ( 0 0%
Other 6 32%

Other: “Totally followed your comments from Blag Hag.” | “dont remember” | “I can't remember!” | “Don't remember”

First of all, I definitely need to include a “Don’t remember” answer choice in next year’s survey. Secondly, I need to comment on other blogs more often. Thirdly, hooray for Mike at Crooks and Liars, who has linked to at least two of my posts in the last couple of years, with frighteningly huge traffic surges each time. Another tip of the fedora goes to Infidel753, who’s also sent more than one internaut my way. Merci!

9) How readers read this blog

Results for “9) How do you read Preliator?”
Internet browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, etc.) 11 58%
RSS reader (Google Reader, RSSOwl, etc.) 6 32%
Other 2 11%

Other: With my eyes?

A big question for me was how many of my readers visit this blog through a regular browser, as opposed to how many follow via RSS feed (which doesn’t get included in my blog traffic statistics). I guess this is my answer.

10) Readers’ appreciation of blogging topics

Results for “10) How do you like the topics discussed on Preliator? - Atheism/religion” Results for “10) How do you like the topics discussed on Preliator? - Social/political commentary” Results for “10) How do you like the topics discussed on Preliator? - Rants (about anything)” Results for “10) How do you like the topics discussed on Preliator? - Fisking/debunking stupidity” Results for “10) How do you like the topics discussed on Preliator? - Science & technology” Results for “10) How do you like the topics discussed on Preliator? - Random funny / interesting junk” Results for “10) How do you like the topics discussed on Preliator? - Pretty pictures” Results for “10) How do you like the topics discussed on Preliator? - Cute animals”

Well then, I guess I’ll just stick to my strengths … which appears to be nothing that makes life pretty or interesting. *sobs*

Or, well, not. ☺

11) Readers’ overall appreciation

Results for “11) What is your overall appreciation of Preliator?”
1 - Kill it with fire! 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
5 0 0%
6 1 5%
7 2 11%
8 7 37%
9 7 37%
10 - Excellent! 2 11%

12) Reading and commenting ease

Another thing I’ve been wondering about is whether there might be some layout or functional problems that made it difficult for some readers to view the blog or leave comments, so I thought I’d ask. Most of you didn’t have much to say, but I did receive a few notes:

Very easy to read and leave comments.

Quite glad to hear it!

Although I mostly read Preliator on my iPhone, I prefer to use the desktop version rather than the mobile version. It would be really good if you could put the link to view the desktop version at the top of the page so I don't have to scroll right to the bottom every time. Thank you if you're able to do this :-)

As a result of this request, I spent a full day last week learning about manually coding Blogger templates in the hopes that I could manually adapt the main layout for mobile readers. Unfortunately, the whole thing proved absolutely overwhelming and I couldn’t figure out how to make it work. What’s more, Blogger’s built-in mobile templates (such as the one I’ve currently chosen for this blog) aren’t editable, so I can’t just add a link as I’d like. So I’m sorry to say, but you’ll have to keep scrolling for the time being, dear reader. I do wish I could change that.


No comment.

13) Blog amelioration

I’m always happy to receive suggestions about either the blog’s visual style or what and how I write, and two were kind enough to leave some advice:

Maybe layoff the "doggycide" rants? I know it's important to you but it's a little "samey" from this perspective. [link added]

I understand the sentiment, but I’m afraid I must disagree. It’s important, yes, but not just to me; everyone needs to be as aware as possible of the current goings-on in the world of law enforcement, particularly when so many, many, many innocent household pets are slaughtered each and every year at the hands of gun-happy police officers, and very rarely for good reason (such as when an animal poses an actual threat). Not to tout my own nonexistent influence, but the more people speak out about these horrors (and other abuses like it), the better. It’s the only way to keep Those who Watch even minimally accountable.

Another suggestion:

More of your original music

Believe me, I want more of it, too. It’s just rather difficult to compose anything new when your muse doesn’t feel like cooperating, and I’ve learned long ago never to force yourself to create anything when you’re just not “feeling it” (the result is invariably garbage, at least for me), so … yeah. But worry not, more material is on the way, including a few new songs for the Taiga Soundtrack!

And finally:

14) Random feedback

Respondents were asked to leave any further suggestions or comments they may have to offer:

Many thanks for putting in the time. Prelaitor is one of my daily reads!


Why, you flatter me.

Thanks to you, I've discovered several interesting blogs that I might not have otherwise read (Pharyngula, Joe. My. God.). And I keep reading you because I like the fact that you are so much younger than me. It's nice to get viewpoints from different demographics. And you're from a different country; again, different viewpoints!

Also, I really enjoy your little roundups. It's like you did the work for me. :)

Quite pleased to hear folks do enjoy my little Daily Blend link dumps. And trust me, I’m not that young – I feel like I’m at least 25 inside. But thanks all the same!

Though, wait – someone found PZ Myers’s place through me? That’s just weird. (But oddly cool.)

Keep going.

I plan to!

It takes way too long to leave your site when going to the links on the right (such as Joe.My.God), and sometimes even crashes my browser.

I’m afraid that is beyond my control as a lowly blogger. Perhaps take it up with Google support?

It's the only blog I read regularly and I love how you link to so many other places which I wouldn't have time to go trawling. I also need to thank you many times over for introducing me to web page now visited frequently!

Keep on posting - I'd really miss it if you didn't.

Gosh, what is it with you folks and trying to make me blush? I’ll have you know I’ve got hereditarily pale cheeks that simply refuse to glow, so there, all your attempts are futile. Futile, I say!

(You’re quite welcome.)

And the final comment received:


Dammit, Gene.

I seriously love you all. I’ve occasionally questioned whether any of this was worth it; I do blog primarily for myself, to keep an online record of my thoughts through time, but it’s nonetheless highly gratifying to see that other people may actually be interested in what I’ve got to say, even if it’s only a few. And nothing is more reassuring than seeing replies and comments like these. Once again – thanks to each and every one of you for following this little digital scrapbook through the years, and doubly so to the 19 of you who took the time to fill out my little exercise in ego-patting I call a survey.

Until next year, then!