We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, December 3. 2012
— There were 400 responses, our PollDaddy limit
The envelope, please!
Or, maybe not.
2: Which computer operating system are you using?
Windows 7 = 38%
— In an undefinable way, it's somewhat 'telling' how many people are using a 12-year-old Windows operating system (XP), rather than one of the three upgrades that have come out in the 12 years since. On the other hand, I might still be using it myself if it weren't for a few specific things, like the way one of my favorite programs, Google Earth, makes video tours about 20% faster in Win7 than XP. But still.
— And compare that to our Mac users, zero percent of whom haven't upgraded to the latest OS. That deserves a hat tip, gang.
— On the down side, that 26% appears to either be a case of (1) Mac users are more vociferous in things like surveys, demanding their voices to be heard, or (2) some Mac user figured out how to game the system and voted 50 times. The official Google Analytics site stat say 15%. Still, I'd call the fairly large percentage of Mac users here the first official surprise.
— To those of you using Windows 8, I'd like to hear your feedback in the comments. If anyone would like to write a thorough review, I'll post it. I did my own review a while back, but it was the beta version so it doesn't count.
Desktop = 54%
— I'd say the popularity of hand-held devices has been highly overrated by the media. Like that's a surprise. Because Apple is a 'green' company, naturally the press has done all it can to hype its iPhone, iPod, iPad, iEverything sales.
— Ditto the annual "Is this the death of the mouse/keyboard?" articles the media loves to spit out. You can bet that 54% up above just loves its mouse or trackball, and the very thought of having to type on a laptop induces cringes of fear in the heartiest of standard keyboard users.*
*based on a true story
Firefox = 39%
— Speaking of media bullshit, did you read a while back how Google's Chrome (15%) is now the most popular browser? This is what happens when a company like Google is (1) popular with the media because they're a liberal company as evidenced by the way they don't change their logo on Memorial Day (they change it in honor of the birthday of some 17th century painter no one's ever heard of*, but not to honor our fallen soldiers), and (2) you're worth a billion dollars and can pretty much buy off whoever you please.
*based on a true story
5. Assuming it's not blatantly sexist, may we ever-so-delicately ask your gender?
Male = 82%
— I guessed 80/20 in the comments the other day. That's my overall feel judging from the comments over the past six years. It takes a while, because a certain commenter with a non-genderistic name might comment for years before noting by way of context that she's actually a she, but eventually it all adds up.
Even then, I'd only give them 15% if judging solely by the comments, but females are much less apt to spit out a quick criticism than males, so I upped it another 5% for my official guess.
6. Your age in earth years?
60s = 43%
— First off, to those of you in your 80s, well done.
— This site has only had one survey before, just before the 2008 election, and it was about nothing but computers and politics. As such, we've never had any kind of feedback in regards to things like age and gender, just guesswork from the comments.
As such, I thought I'd note that, like the way I nailed the gender question, Bird Dog totally nailed this one. He guessed "predominantly 50s to 60s" in an email the other day, which is three-fourths of the group. I would have guessed a lot more 30s & 40s.
To you old-timers, that's why I post so many goofy parodies and silly videos.
I'm going for the youth market.
7. Now that the election's over, how much overall political coverage would you like to see on Maggie's?
Some, assuming it's interesting or unique = 42%
— Bird Dog has publicly stated, "We try to stay 30% political or less". So, fellow bloggers, please take note: the site is currently way, way above the 30% mark and over 80% of the readership would prefer you tone it down to somewhere between 'some' and 'half'.
The problem, as I see it, is one of bookmarks. Because of the election, we're used to going to political sites every day, and if those are the only bookmarks you've got lying around, then you're going to continue going to political sites and keep that as a main focal point, whereas most normal folks have moved on to other things. The election is over. Let the stalwart souls over at Hot Air and PJ Media constantly spew out their "Look at the terrible thing Obama is doing now!!" posts for the next three years — like that's going to change anything. They've got a living to make, after all, and keeping their readers fired up and angry is the name of the game.
8. Same question regarding the morning links:
Some, assuming it's interesting or unique = 38%
— There's that same big majority wanting 'some' to 'half' again. Appropriate parties, please take note.
— And it might be pointed out that over a third of the readership focused on the two words, "interesting" and "unique", which were obviously put there for that purpose.
Early morning = 35%
— I'd call this the second surprise of the survey. I would have guessed around 40-30-30; morning, afternoon, evening. That almost three-fourths of the hungry mob gets here before noon shouldn't come as a surprise, though. After all, you can only do so much at work before it's time to actually do something interesting.
— All of which raises an interesting issue. Your feedback in the comments is welcome.
There are basically two approaches to posting. One says to space the posts out over the course of the day, which encourages people to drop back by. The other says to concentrate on the voracious morning crowd.
On one extreme is Town Hall and PJ Media, who post once early in the morning and then not again. So the morning crowd is sated, but won't be back until tomorrow. The flip side is Hot Air, which posts both links and articles throughout the day. Maggie's is like Hot Air but without the constant stream of fresh links.
But, given that almost three-fourths of the readership gets here in the AM, that would argue that the ravenous crowd should be thrown their raw meat in the morning whenever possible. That is, if an article's ready at 10:07 AM, it should go up, not wait to act as 'filler' for the 11% afternoon crowd.
So, raw meat eaters, what say ye about the two approaches? Got a preference?
10. Are there some general topics you'd like to see more of on Maggie's? (multiple selections okay)
Science = 15%
— That 'Science' took top honors was, I thought, the biggest surprise of the survey. I would have put it fifth or sixth on the list.
In the comments of the survey post, a number of people basically said, "It's perfect the way it is, don't change a thing, why do we need a survey?" I explained that it was merely to enhance the reading experience, not outright change anything. That 'Science' leads the list is a perfect example of what I was talking about. As the resident computer geek, and with science being a 'sister field', I'll now start posting a few more science articles. The point is, I never even would have considered it without the survey. I usually give the so-called 'science' sites a wide berth, lest I find out that the 3 days I've been given until global warming turns me into a charred cinder has been reduced to 20 minutes.
— If this site is 'eclectic', then you might presume the readership would be, as well. I'd say that "Art & Music" garnering the same percentage as the diametrically-opposed "Computer Mumbo-Jumbo" is adequate proof of this.
Our thanks again to those who participated. Any further observations are welcome.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Good spelling, however, remains to be seen. :)
So we are an "Adult site." That ought to be good for generating traffic.
The lopsided old geezer demographic is as I suspected.
Once upon a time, retired old geezers sat on park benches in small towns, solved the world's problems and reminisced about the old days while chewing tobacco and whittling sticks. These conclaves became known as spit & whittle clubs.
Maggie's seems to perform the same function while saving us the effort of having to walk to the park bench.
I thought the whole thing was vastly interesting. Much thanks, Doc. I'm glad to see there's so many of us goils!
Happy to be representing for the 18% of women visitors! Wish there were more of us. Lots of good info here.
A superb job of question selection and I loved the commentary. I agreed with all three of your "surprises". When you leave one of your scathing, horribly degrading comments about the Mac user(s) in a post, I would have expected a lot more repercussions, if not outright legal action. "This man must be stopped before it's too late!" would be my argument to the judge.
Or District Attorney, whichever comes first.
And good luck on the (cough) "science" sites. I wouldn't wish such a dark fate on anyone. BTW, in case you hadn't heard, "science" recently proved that Big Foot exists. All the news sites covered it - in their "Science & Tech" sections, of course.
Again, great survey, lotsa fun.
I totally agree with you. When I leave one of my scathing, horribly degrading comments about the Mac user(s) (see last Friday's post and my likening them to road kill), I feel kind of empty and alone and left out if they don't vociferously respond in the comments. All my hard efforts, in vain!
And I remember seeing the Big Foot headlines, but didn't read any. DNA, wasn't it? Well, that's certainly conclusive. I guess that's why they had it in their 'Science' section.
As in his love of surveys/focus groups and pug-ugly PCs, the Doc is utterly wrong headed in assuming his survey should give any direction to this site. There's simply no basis for believing that the findings of the survey have any meaning at all outside of their own internals.
As these things go, "Not giving a shit what the readers want" isn't usually considered one of the more admirable of blogger traits.
Did I say to not give a shite? Nay. I said to give exactly one half of one shite and then ignore it.
Which is what will..... after all is said and done ..... happen.
To quote Sherlock Holmes, "Depend upon it."
No shite Sherlock!
A self-selected poll tells one only who selected to take it, and nothing about those who didn't.
And, when we bloggers get paid, then -- maybe for some but not me -- we'll toe someone's preference or -- more likely -- shoot the nudge.
And, if we only have 15% female readers, then can we go back to more cheesecake? Many women enjoy the female form, as do we cavemen.
More cheesecake always means more readers.
Depend upon it!
A couple of thoughts, the Operating System, computer and browser questions suffer from being single choice. e.g. I use most of them, and Windows 2000 as well, on a daily basis.
The time of day question is also fraught with danger. When, in the UK, I answer 'early afternoon', that is because that's when todays posts are first visible UTC time. It should probably be interpreted as 'early morning Eastern time'?
I humbly withdraw my objection to this survey. Retroactively. Can I even do that?
As for Bigfoot being confirmed, you betcha. When you begin with an agenda, reward 'eyewitness reports' with Twinkies and publicity and ask the 'scientists' with the agenda what their conclusions are, they will always confirm whatever pays them more. Rats in a maze are equally predictable.
So, more 'science' articles might be fun. Have you guys heard the one about the "God" particle? Oh my, tons of grist.
Speaking of serious science, it suddenly occurred to me a bit ago that perhaps it's time to repost this gem.
I mean, with time running out and everything.
When you say it is "telling" that so many of us use the 12-year old XP instead of the more recent releases are you refering to:
A. the newer releases aren't as good.
B. Obamanation has made it hard for some of us to upgrade anything (i.e., cars, homes, jobs). So, if a PC is working, I'll run it until the day it dies. Same thing with my 18 year-old Toyota.
On a more serious note - a very well-thought out survey and, yes, the results are, indeed, interesting. Thanks for doing it and for sharing the results.
Neither. It's because many programs actually don't run as fast on XP, like my Google Earth, so it's not an even-up debate.
Another point is that if you're using XP, then your rig is probably old and single-core, whereas even the cheapest piece of shit these days is double-core, so there's a doubling of processing power right there.
Another point is how cheap they are these days. I have a near-top-end Lenovo that I picked up at Office Depot for 400 clams. That's about six bags of groceries and two fill-ups. Amortized over 12 years, that's $33 clams a year you're saving, or less than a bag of groceries.
Go on a diet and quit driving needlessly to the store for a month and you're there. :)
More nekkid wimmin! (Where's Gwynnie?)
Bigfoot Confirmed! Yup, he's Catholic.
I check in in the morning, and noonish, and evening.
They will pry XP Pro from my cold dead computer when it dies. I have no desire to change op systems - it's stable, it works just fine thank you very much.
It does not surprise me that newer technologies aren't easily adopted by older folks. Older folks tend to go with what works rather than investigate new tech - I see that all the time. Personally, I use my smartphone and tablet all the time - I'm using my tablet now in fact. I'd be willing to argue that the younger crowd uses newer technology rather than established tech.
The morning posts don't surprise me either. Although I do visit in the afternoon or eveniing if there is something interesting I've put off to later. Personally, I'd like to do some more posting now that I'm feeling much better than I was - 20 mg of Prednizone/day will make you feel MUCH better. I need to tallk to BD about a couple of ideas I have for afternoon and evening posts - stuff I'm interested in and I think everybody else would be too.
I liked the survey - thanks for doing it.
Definitely talk to BD. It's been a while since you posted here, but your pieces were always enjoyable.
What time was the survey posted and at what time did it hit the submission cap? If the answer to both is "in the morning" than the heavy "read in the morning" responses would be expected. Ditto on older readers; No kiddies to get dressed for school, and maybe no job to rush off to.
I think I started it at 10 the first day, then shut it down when I got the "all full" message at 7 the next morning. The second time it went for about five days, so I'd say it got a fair shake. Good point on your part, though.
I'm a minority all the way down, not that I know what it means or care if it means something. Or other.
Interesting survey results, Doc.
I'm trying to reduce my quantity of political news; I know beforehand that it's going to bad, worse and worst. But, I can't even drink adult beverages commensurate with the level of bad news - as I might once have done - due to chronic migraine, so the less bad political news, the less will be my urge to drown my fears.
Whatever happened to the scantily clad photos? I'd be reading Maggie's in the evening on my iPad in front of the TV and my husband would glance over, notice the photo and ask me what in the world I was reading.
So, toss in a scantily clad male every dozen or so photos, for us 18%.
I see Mr Van der Leun commented on this thread. I thank Maggie's for linking to American Digest - both of which sites I save for my relax time every evening.
So "science" is what folks want more of [aside from naked ladies, naturally].
Then link to the 3-time winner of the internet's "Best Science" site: WattsUpWithThat.com [just click on my name to go there]. Learn what a crock the "global warming" scam is. From real, legitimate, peer-reviewed scientists.
And I am another vanderleun aficionado. Gerard V, and Bird Dog's crew. The best!
If I want cheesecake, I go to Vanderleun's. Only, the cheesecake's a lie.
Sorry I missed the survey. I run Tiger on an old G5 for my work machine. I work from home and remote into my work computer (which still runs XP). The old Mac does everything I need and is fairly fast.
So they are out there, just didn't make the survey. (And my other computer runs Ubuntu--boyfriend runs XP)