In my article Why subscribe to blogs? 8 Things to consider, I outlined the characteristics of a blog which would induce me to subscribe to it - or not. I invited readers to take part in a small survey asking the question "Why do you subscribe to blogs?".
I've analysed the results and placed them in rank order. Here they are:
|Easy to subscribe to||10%||4|
I have to say that to some extent these results surprised me. Of course, most of us suffer from the delusion that everyone thinks like ourselves, but I should have thought 'Updated regularly' would have attracted a greater percentage of the 'vote', whilst whether a blog is easy to subscribe to seems not to worry too many people.
What really is strange though is the low ranking of 'Newsworthy', because several people said that they subscribe to blogs which they believe will help them keep up-to-date in technology and education. Perhaps the word 'Newsworthy' was ill-chosen when I framed the survey. Perhaps the word 'Informative' is sufficient in this context.
I was pleased to see that 'Well-written' and 'Consistent quality' came in at positions 2 and 3 respectively. However, I was disappointed to discover that 'humorous' ranks almost bottom.
Other reasons for subscribing to a blog, or for not unsubscribing, included supporting people who are friends or who are within one's personal learning network. One person said that the content of a blog should not be too personal or embarrassing.
Unfortunately, because I forgot to include a note on the blog stating that respondents may be quoted unless they requested otherwise, I don't feel able to credit individual people for their comments, but should like to thank everyone who took part.
This was hardly a scientific survey, but hopefully it has provided food for thought and a starting point for discussion. Perhaps a similar kind of survey could be undertaken by a school in relation to what its parents look for in a school website. It strikes me that we make all sorts of assumptions about what people like or dislike, and one way (not the only way) to find out if such assumptions are justified is to ask our target readership.
If you have any thoughts about this, or if you have run a similar survey yourself, please leave a comment about it below.