Archives For Reader Survey Results

Last week we ran an Urtak poll of Dish readers regarding the thread and the questions it raises. Below are the results from the roughly 1,000 readers who responded (blue means yes, orange means no):

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 5.42.39 PM

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 5.47.49 PM

But that support dropped a little when it came to graphic images of kids:

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 5.46.25 PM

And although readers overwhelmingly support the idea of posting graphic images, they seemed to be sensitive to the impact those images have on the small minority of readers who oppose it:

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 5.43.50 PM

Understandably the aversion to seeing graphic images of kids was higher among readers who have children (22% aversion) compared to those who do not (14% aversion). Review all of the poll results here. Another reader continues the thread:

I am a little surprised that most of your readers either object or insist on war photography by listing similar reasons – confronting the reality of a war that we take part in but don’t generally have to look at. It’s surprising to me that no one is really questioning the idea that the photography is in some way allowing us to access this reality. It’s not. It’s a picture. One of the common complaints in theories about photography is that looking at these images actually desensitize the viewer by making them complicit with the act of photography, which is by its nature an act of non-intervention.

It makes the documenting of the event seem to be more important in some contexts than the event itself. Think of photographs of starving children, where the photographer presumably could feed the child but takes a picture instead, arguing that if the world sees the starving child that more children could be saved than the one day of extra life this photographer could provide by feeding. But it also turns the act of witnessing the photography into a feeling that you have done something important by confronting something horrible – when in fact the viewer hasn’t done anything at all, hasn’t even confronted something horrible, has just looked at a picture.

And then there is the argument that says basically the shock of seeing carnage like this wears off, and any sadness or horror the viewer feels on being confronted with the image takes the place of any action or more critical thought that might be engendered by another way of presenting the facts of war. I can’t for the life of me remember where I read it, but I think it’s true that the magazines that first published starving children photos in the ’80s sparked a lot of donations – but not really many after that. The photograph insists on the grinding reality of what it portrays, which suggests that these horrors always exist in the world with or without our participation while also only asking of its viewers that they look at them. All you have to do is view them and you have done your part about recognizing the horrors of war. Now, pat yourself on the back and be sure you look at tomorrow’s pictures from some other bloody conflict.

I don’t really have an opinion about whether or not you post pictures. They make me sad but they don’t give me nightmares. And reading about the conflicts also make me sad. But this isn’t a simple question of whether or not your readers have a moral obligation to see this stuff. It’s a lot more complicated than that, and being aware of those complications can help your viewers steer clear of those traps.

Back in December 2011, we posted the Urtak survey seen above as a quick and easy way to get a better sense of you, the typical Dish reader. We first brainstormed questions we’d like most to know about you, and then we allowed you to brainstorm and add your own questions – and answer them. The reaction to the reader-driven survey was overwhelming – responses nearly eclipsed the 1.5 million mark. If you didn’t respond to the questions at the time, or think you may have missed some added by readers, go ahead and click through the quick and easy Yes/No questions above. Analyze the results of the survey here. Some cross-tabs from the Urtak blog: [Andrew Sullivan’s] readers under the age of 35 are less likely to have cried in response to a Dish post. Cold-hearted youth! His married readers would be less interested in attending an annual conference of Dish readers. His Jewish readers are almost three times more likely than their gentile counterparts to have attended Ivy League colleges. His Republican-voting readers are more likely to have emailed him. And his gun-owning readers are more likely to make more than $100,000/year. Readers also sifted through the data: I was shocked to find out that FIFTY percent of your readers who took your poll were atheists like me. I’ve always respected your Catholicism and read every word of your debate with Sam Harris years ago, but I think that this is living proof that there are a lot of nameless, faceless, intelligent skeptics out there – many of whom are aligned with you on most other important issues. I think it just goes to show how independent and anomalous you are. Well, that’s a nice way to put it. Another writes:

Continue Reading...
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsVcUzP_O_8%5D

Thanks for the all words of support from female readers in the in-tray. Unfiltered feedback on our Facebook page. A reader writes:

I am a stay-at-home mom and a political junkie, two things that don't always go together.  You are one of my main sources of political and international news (and not "just the political stuff", as your love of the Pet Shop Boys is one of my favorite things about you). I don't know why your site skews more male than female.  Many women my age (mid-40s) seem so overwhelmed with kids, jobs, carpools, care of elderly parents, that they just don't seem to take the time to delve deeper than listening to NPR on the way to the next soccer practice, or watching a snippet of the Today show while making the kids' sack lunches.

Another writes:

Keeping with stereotypes, your blog is perfect for people at office jobs to take breaks during their monotonous day. Maybe a majority these types of workers are men?  I am a student now, but I was the most well-read on current events when I worked in investment banking and consulting (ugh – talk about monotony).

Another dispenses some tough love:

Screen shot 2012-03-19 at 7.57.39 PMI am a woman, and I have been following you for many years – chasing you, more like – from the New Republic, to your original blog, to Time, to the Atlantic, and now to the Daily Beast. I love you, and I do not say that lightly. Your impact on my short-term thinking and long-term world view is more influential than that of my parents, my women's college BFFs, and my husband.  I would love to meet you someday, but I know it would be sort of like meeting Barack Obama – I probably just start to weep and embarrass myself, so let's don't, I guess.

All of that said, if you truly have no awareness of why most women are not as taken with you as I am, then I believe you lack some critical self-awareness.

Continue Reading...

brightcove.createExperiences();

Question? askandrew@thedailybeast.com Video archive here. Results from the Urtak poll here.

Dish Readers: Who Are You? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 21 2011 @ 2:55pm

Dish Readers: Who Are You?

Look above to see the new questions available in our reader survey (such as "Did you support the Iraq War in 2003?" and "Do you have a beard, or prefer men who do?"). The Urtak blog digs into the cross-tabs:

[Andrew Sullivan's] readers under the age of 35 are less likely to have cried in response to a Dish post. Cold-hearted youth!

His married readers would be less interested in attending an annual conference of Dish readers.

His Jewish readers are almost three times more likely than their gentile counterparts to have attended Ivy League colleges.

His Republican-voting readers are more likely to have emailed him.

And his gun-owning readers are more likely to make more than $100,000/year.

Readers are also sifting through the data:

I was shocked to find out that FIFTY percent of your readers who took your poll were atheists like me.

Continue Reading...

Dish Readers: Who Are You? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 20 2011 @ 1:55pm

Dish Readers: Who Are You?

The reaction to our reader-driven survey has been overwhelming – responses are steadily approaching the one million mark. Even if you've already participated, there are likely new questions from readers waiting for you above, so check it out. For those of you seeing the survey for the first time, we explain it here. A reader writes:

I think the reason you're getting so many responses is that your software (Urtak?) is the best I've ever seen. I get one or two surveys per week from companies I do business with and ignore nearly all of them, because I'm tired of being asked ridiculously complicated questions about what is important to me (always with way more dynamic range than is necessary, like from 1 to 10 when probably "not at all", "a little", or "a lot" would be enough). The yes/no format is refreshing.

Urtak's engaging and easy-to-use interface is why we are allowing the number of questions to reach 50 and beyond. Such a large number of questions on a typical survey would be overwhelming to answer all at once, especially multiple choice. More on Urtak's approach to polling here. There are more reasons it works for us:

Comment boards are a terrible place. Anonymous users tear apart authors and each other. … Urtak, one of the 12 summer TechStars NYC startups, thinks it has a solution. Instead of comments, Urtak wants users to leave and answer questions. Founder Marc Lizoain says he's seen user engagement with comment boards increase 70% when publishers use Urtak. … "Rather than having 10 or 20 comments on an article, we're seeing hundreds of people answer questions," says Lizoain.  "Questions help direct online discussions."

More from Lizoain here. I've been absorbing the data and was surprised in a few ways. More later. But three quarters of a million individual responses to questions? It's the best Christmas present a blogger could ask for. And we'll be thinking of using Urtak some more in the future.

Dish Readers: Who Are You? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 19 2011 @ 10:18pm

[Re-posted from earlier today]

A quick update on the results of our fun little survey: More than 150,000 500,000 responses within the first two ten hours alone – and rapidly rising. A big thanks to the hundreds of readers who have been submitting questions, but for now we are freezing the number of selected ones at 42 49, in order to give readers a chance to catch up with new ones. So even if you already answered the survey, there are new questions waiting for you. Such as:

Do you own a gun?

Do you have a parent who regularly watches Fox News?

Are you either studying at or employed by a college/university?

Have you ever used an illegal drug other than pot?

Answer those questions and many more here. Explore and compare the results here.