What kind of data do you want to get from your audience in a reader survey?
I’m thinking about putting together a rather large UGC news site’s first reader survey, and am trying to think of what sorts of questions to ask.
So far, I’m planning on:
- Most favorite/least favorite vendors
- What other news sources they read
- What kinds of content they find most helpful and least helpful
- Which features they actively use
- Whether they know certain features even exist
We’re not a local news source, but I figured others are doing these kinds of surveys and might have some tips from experience, or could learn something from our mistakes.
How about content not provided that they'd like to see? (or types of content) make it open-ended and see what comes up.
By UGC, I'm assuming that's User Generated Content. I hope so, if not, read no further. If so, I'd think first on what you'd like to find out from the survey. In the past, I've worked on a couple surveys for User Generated sites and we were always obsessed with figuring out how to get more people to submit content. So, our surveys focused on eliciting the reasons why people did or didn't submit, i.e. how they felt about the "professional" media, were deficiencies in the UI holding back submissions, what they hoped to accomplish through submissions, etc., all boiled down into your friend and mine, the Likert scale.
Or maybe you want just basic demographic info about your readers and submitters, that's useful stuff too, but would obviously require different survey questions.
Also, I've learned the hard way how hard it is to get people to fill out a survey, which I guess would really only be an issue if you wanted a survey that was valid for an academic paper or something. Still, the more people you get to take it the better, and sometimes that can require an incentive, like a prize. Also, (again learned the hard way), try and keep it as short as possible, otherwise people, with attention spans like gnats, will bail 3/4's of the way through.
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