Why Subscribe to Blogs? Survey Results

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:




Informative 21% 1
Well-written 19% 2
Consistent quality 14% 3
Easy to subscribe to 10% 4
Updated regularly 9% 5
Provocative 9% 5
Other 8% 7
Humorous 5% 8
Newsworthy 3% 9


Why subscribe to a blog?

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.

8 Reasons to Look at the Books Page

Some time ago I set up a book page on this website, because I thought it would be handy to have all the books I've reviewed in the same place. It would also make it easy for readers to purchase books too.

What I have now done, to give the page additional value, is put a brief extract from each review alongside each book. If you like what you read, you can click on a link to be taken to the complete review; otherwise, you can just skip it and go on to the next one.

I think in due course I will probably have to create more such pages because that page is already starting to look rather long -- the number of books has been set to 25, but I may start a new page before then. I suppose I'll also have to figure out how to put them into alphabetical order, although it may be easier to create an index, or even just to leave it altogether: I have tested the website's search engine for finding books, and it works very efficiently.

I'd be interested in your views on such matters. I've devised a survey that will take about 2 minutes to complete and is anonymous. I hope you will be kind enough to use it to have your say.

Oh, and the 8 reasons referred to in the title of this post? Eight of the books have been reviewed and published on the page so far; there are several more to come.

Who Ya Gonna Call? Results of My 'Experts' Poll

A while ago I conducted a survey to find out who or where people turn to for expert help. Here is a quick snapshot of the results:

Who you turn to for answersIn a forthcoming issue of Computers in Classrooms I'll be adding more detail, such as what people suggested in the 'Other' category. Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey.