Above: See the details of the survey results, due to heavy data, it’s best when put into ‘full screen’ mode, the fourth icon on bottom.
To me, this blog belongs as much to the community in which I serve as it does to me, as such, it’s important to find out who the readers are and what they want, to learn about previous efforts, see 2008′s results. The goals of this survey are simple 1) Find out who the readers are, 2) Find out if they are they influenced by this blog, and how, 3) How this blog can improve year-over year. With a sample size of nearly 200 respondents, some of the key findings from this survey were:
- Overall, Readers Were Satisfied: Overall, respondents were pleased with the blog, and 47% rated it a “10/10″ in recommending it to others when asked “would you recommend this blog to a friend or colleague”, and 54% read more than half the posts, and over one-third shares it monthly with others (slides 3, 4, 5)
- Many are Buyers at Corporate: 59% of respondents said they are buyers, 28% of respondents have budgets $100k-$1 million (although one-fifth do not hold budget), and over a quarter work at enterprise class companies with over half of respondents in the United States (slides 10, 14, 18, 19).
- Some are Influenced By Blog: Over one-third of respondents said this blog strongly informs their actions at work, but it was nearly split between influence in their buying process, with 40% agreeing, and 39% disagreeing. (slide 6). Read more from Edelman’s Analyst Relations specialist, Jonny Bentwood on his take of this data.
- Sophistication of Social and Mobile at Work Varies: 39% of respondents said their company was intermediate when it came to social strategy, and 43% said their novice when it comes to mobile strategy. (slide 20, 21)
- Identified Many Areas for This Blog to Improve: There was a large request for adding more case studies, and interviews with thought leaders in the space, and a variety of comments in the open-ended section that I’m all taking to heart. (slide 8, and qualitative answers)
You can read the qualitative answers on a separate page, in case you want to understand why they read this blog, and what they want to see improved.
A few notes on this survey. I’m not sure this is truly representative of all readers, it’s likely those that are more engaged, and are willing to spend time filling out the survey. While some research firms take data samples from smaller numbers, this is only 195 of respondents, although there are far more readers than that.
If you want to influence the readers of this blog, it’s simple. Be part of the ongoing conversation (not be pitchy) by leaving comments and demonstrating your knowledge and expertise. Also, you can schedule a briefing with me, but I’ll have to admit up front, it’s been hard getting on my cal as we just launched this new company. I’m figuring out ways to make briefings easier, such as blocking out Friday mornings, using web based forms to collect more information up front.
Thanks to the folks who took the time to answer the 20 question survey, I read every response, and am constantly trying to improve this blog. Here’s to making this blog even better in 2010!
Jeremiah: The Web Strategy Blog isn’t just about me, but the overall community. One of the key members of the team is Mitch Canter, my web designer, and the guy who keeps my blog and all the features up and running. I aim to implement many of the social technologies that I cover. It helps me to learn, stay current, and understand the limitations and benefits of the tools, which I pass on to you and my clients. The following is a guest post from Mitch of StudioNashVegas, about a few updates (based on your feedback) we’ve made this past week:
Mitch: Hey everyone, it’s your friendly neighborhood WordPress guy Mitch Canter again! I’ve been doing some work to Jeremiah’s site in the last few days, so if you’ve seen any strange goings-on, that’s what it was. Just to give you a quick update:
- I’ve updated Jeremiah’s commenting system to DISQUS. There were a number of different options I could have chosen from, but I use DISQUS on my own personal site, and have had zero problems with it. The goal is to make commenting more interactive and more conversation-like (which is what Jeremiah’s blog is all about, anyway). Now, you can reply to specific comments and see the progression. This will also separate comments, trackbacks, and social media reactions for easy viewing.
- The “People on the Move” graphic is getting got an overhaul. Something that goes a little more with the site, and yet sticks out for quick scanning in long content blocks.
- The static pages have been updated – Jeremiah’s doing a lot of new stuff, so we have to find a nice home for it on his blog. The pages Speaking and Media have been added in the navigation at the top of the page. Check them out – he’s got lots of great stuff to share!
- Other smaller CSS / design fixes have been implemented to tighten up the design and make it look as nice as it can (the biggest one being the increased font size).
So, at any rate, I hope you like the changes and the new commenting system (leave your comments on it below and revel in the irony!). As always any feedback is appreciated. You can send it directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I will hopefully get back to you as soon as I can!
Update: Edelman’s Jonny Bentwood comments on the survey results, which I provided to him.
As the year winds down, I want to take a moment to breathe, recollect, and refocus on 2010.
In an effort to continually improve, I’m launching a survey to find out more about you, what you find useful, and what can be improved for the web strategy blog. Frequently, I’ve taken the community’s feedback to factor into blog designs, and have taken in feedback from a survey we conducted about this blog in May 2008 (read part 1, and 2, ).
Although we’ll keep your name, email and other personal information private, I plan on sharing the high level findings (just as I did before), so we can collectively learn about the Web Strategy blog and the surrounding community. I’ll also be sharing the anonymous data with some of the well known Analyst Relations bloggers, to get their take on it. This survey is 20 questions, and should take hopefully less than 10 minutes to complete. I really value your feedback, thanks.
Action Requested: Please Take The Web Strategy Feedback Survey. (Update: Thank you, this survey is now closed, with nearly 200 respondents, will publish data soon)
I stayed at the Hilton hotel in San Diego this weekend, and overall a great experience. However there was a 10 dollar charge for internet for 24 hours usage at the property, and since I wasn’t on business, I wouldn’t be able to expense it.
Charging guests for internet access is like charging for water or the lights, and hotels that charge are missing a few business opportunities. Like what? Here’s a few suggestions, and then I’ll open it up to commenters to share their ideas:
- Providing free WiFi (like coffee shops have figured out) means I’m more likely to stay on property and spend more time and money on your hotel. It means I’m more likely to have business meetings in your restaurant or lounge and invite others to come and do business. We have expense reports and are likely to buy food and drink. We’ll access our web enabled devices at the pool, in the lounge, keeping our kids busy, and keeping us connected.
- Savvy hotels will create or foster location based social networks, that will encourage guests to rate and rank which restaurants, attractions, and self-support each other. As we rate and rank nearby attractions in the context of being a guest at your hotel, that centralizes our experiences with your brand –we’ll tell our network about the great we had our experience in and around as guests at your property.
- Develop a virtual concierge that will be a helpful guide to your guests, consider using twitter like the four seasons does, they even do this for their Palo Alto hotel, near my house. You can provide us a better experience if we’re connected to each other –and to you.
- Maybe we’ll spend more times learning from your leadership teams, like Bill Marriot’s blog. Hotels put a lot of marketing and service products in our hotel rooms like menus, spa treatments and concierge treatments, allow us to see these things online, not just in paper, giving us more opportunity to buy more.
I’m not picking on Hilton alone, as I’m told it varies on property per property basis, and there are many other hotels that charge for internet, but as a general rule of thumb, provide a better experience to guests so you can connect with other –and you. When I travel on personal trips, I’m going to consider free internet access as a major factor to my decision on where to stay.
Update: Here’s a handy guide of which hotels charge who have internet access and how much they charge. About 22 of the 44 hotel chains charge for internet, and some don’t even offer it (motel 6). Many of you expressed agreement with my post (and a ton more in Twitter) so I hope this helps in your decision making.
This is the hardest post to write, but perhaps the most important.
I enjoy meeting people in real life, and if they tell me they enjoy reading my blog or tweets, I thank them, and then ask them “What should I improve on?” I realize I don’t do this enough online, where I’m located most of the time, and would love to hear from you.
Yesterday, a contemporary I respect gave me some feedback on an area I should improve on, and while it stung for a second, I know deep down he’s right. He reminded me that successful professional and companies know how to listen, take in feedback, and then improve. I’m not an expert on this, and make my fair share of mistakes, but I should certainly practice what I preach, so here goes:
I’ll leave the topic very open, love to hear what you think, so how can I improve?
Feel free to leave a comment, but If you don’t feel comfortable saying it in public, feel free to email me at jeremiah_owyang @yahoo dot com, or if you want to submit to uservoice (an embracing technology), that’s fine too, as it helps with prioritization. It really doesn’t matter which method you choose, I look forward to hearing from you.
I’m having good success working with StudioNashVegas, and based on your feedback from a while ago, we’ve slowly made the changes you’ve suggested. Being a community guy, I’m working with you all to decide on what’s best for the upcoming redesign –of course, I factor in the feedback, but I make the executive call, or we’ll be doing death by committee.
While I’m 90% confident the comp is where I want it to be as far as user interface and information architecture, part of my work as a social analyst is to experiment with the different tools out there, so I’m going to use CROWDspring to outsource creation of my header. The designers will keep the logo, and will be given the dimensions to use for the header, more news on that soon (Update: here’s the details). This is a controversial topic, as I’ve written about why it’s here to stay, and I’ll be in one of the main stages at SXSW to debate it.
I’d like to get your feedback on this second iteration of the comp, I take your feedback seriously. Even if you see someone who’s said something similar to you, please chime in the comments, as I put weight on frequency of mentions.
Remember, it’s not just me that has to use this site, it’s as much a community resource, so I do value your feedback.
Click to see larger version
Oh yeah, I’ll work with my buddy Brian Solis who will take a new profile pictures, just haven’t had the time. Update: If you’re interesting in designing my banner, see the rules here on CROWDspring.
Leave your feedback below, myself and Mitch from StudioNashVegas are listening.
I’m practicing what I preach to clients, and am adopting one of the five objectives we call “Embracing” which is when brands use social technologies to collaborate with their customers to create new products. In this case, the product is my blog, and the customers are you, my community.
I’m undergoing a blog redesign, and after deciding on designers (read the process) I’m working with Mitch from studionashvegas. We’ve done several comps on my redesigned logo, which is now finalized, but am looking for feedback from YOU, my readers on the blog redesign.
I study community, and this blog needs to serve your needs as well as mine. I know who my audience is from real research (see stats), it’s primarily interactive marketers at agencies, corporate, and consultants. Since I’ve outgrown this current design, see the overflowed right nav, it’s time to clean up the layout, make it easier to find information and highlight what I think is important.
Although we’ve taken a few comps to get to this point, here’s the latest version we’re willing to share. Since you’re going to be looking at this design as a community member, I want your feedback, and am watching for patterns in suggestions, or what you like.
Click image to see large version
We’re also having the same discussion on Friendfeed. Here’s to making a great blog to suit our needs as a community, love to hear your opinion, please leave a comment below.
I’ve had this blog redesign for a few years now, and it may start to show its cracks. For some, they like the simple layout and design, easy to scroll, for others, they may want a more updated look and feel.
I’ve noticed quite a few blogs have been changing their designs lately, they are more media centric, have more of a front page newspaper look, esp for high volume blogs. Who’s done it? Techcrunch, Scoble, Teresa Valdez Klein, Shel Israel, I think I first noticed this a few months ago from Ars Technica. In fact last night I was evaluating quite a few premium wordpress themes that are available for purchase.
Curt Monash of Network World reviewed a few blogs, and gave me some feedback when I asked how I can improve, (read comments) then extended it to his own personal blog with practical recommendations. He gives me and other bloggers some food for thought on effective blog design for 2008.
I believe in full feedback loop (part of the reason I ask so many questions), and in fact have done surveys’ before to find out what folks want (I now know the majority of my readers are interactive marketers). I keep in mind that I write for a business audience, often a corporate, that’s making decisions about how to use web tools.
Perhaps one of the most important thing about user experience is to remember the users, so I’d like to turn it over to you:
Do you think I need a redesign?
If so, what should change?
Any examples of blogs that you like?
I’m here in SF at the F8 developer conference sponsored by Facebook. While the primary thrust of F8 Facebook announcements was for developers, I mentally translate what this means for web strategists at brands at Fortune 5000s.
One key announcement is Facebook Connect which allows for authentication on 3rd party websites. Then users can visit third party sites, login with their Facebook ID, connect with their friends and update their Facebook newspage –all without visiting Facebook.com
[Facebook Connect will allow corporate websites to allow users to authenticate, interact, and share with their Facebook network --all without leaving the corporate website]
Essentially, the Facebook experience extends further into the web –beyond their walled garden.
Facebook Connect allows users to authenticate using their Facebook ID
Similair to OpenId (which coincidently was adopted by competitor MySpace) third party developers can allow website visitors to login to their website using their Facebook ID. This “Passport” system (much like what Microsoft tried to do) will let members leave comments on third party sites –as well as identify their friends on these sites.
Facebook Connect Will Allow third party sites to update Facebook Newspage
Facebook Connect allows applications, devices, websites to allow third party sites to embed a small piece of code on your site. Then, as users come to your site, (assuming they are Facebook users) could login to Facebook from your site and choose to share activities that would be shared on their newsfeed on Facebook.
Example via Techcrunch: “Mike Philips from Citysearch is taking the stage. He says they are launching a new site, where sharing information is a big piece. They are integrating with Facebook Connect. When a user looks for a hotel, restaurant, etc., Citysearch already has lots of reviews and data, but not a way to link up reviews from friends.”
[Boring, static corporate websites can now become social]
Recommendations for Brands
Interestingly, I talked to some Facebook employees, and they weren’t even looking as far as I was, (which means I’m doing my job well) so this prediction is something to still watch.
Brands should watch how this impacts the few launch partners first, let them sort out the bugs, and put this on the roadmap. Brands that have websites that have social actions (such as buying a product, rating, ranking, or leaving comments) should keep this in mind, as they can now extend the actions to Facebook streams.
Brands that are already trying to reach the Facebook audience (white collar workers and college students) should plan on experimenting with Facebook Connect as it can bring additional social functionality to corporate websites. First, start with use behavior: Use this interactive chart, the behavior is a cross between “Joining” (a social network) and “critic” (commenting, voting, rating) content. In this case, joining is a prerequisite for being a critic, so the actual participation level will be less.
Your logins could become less relevant if Facebook adoption continues to take off in particular markets, for example, brands that are already trying to reach this segment should be ready to adopt Facebook Connect. I ran this Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO Living Social, who agreed this is a big change.
Update: After talking to others, like Dave McClure, it quickly was realized that this is just one more in a trend: OpenID now on MySpace, Google Friend Connect, LinkedIn’s ties with Businessweek and NYT are all examples of our social graphs (relationships) leaving the social network and spreading to third party sites.
Also, White label social network vendors (community platforms) should be thinking about how to integrate all of the above.
Damn, I may have put my foot in my mouth again…
Wow, I should have saw this coming, in a recent comment by Margie (BTW, I read every comment, regardless of what post it’s put on) is offended, well downright mad at my post on the impacts of Gen Y and Boomers.
Here’s Margy’s comment in its entirety, she raises some valid points, and they deserved to be brought up, here’s the comment she just left:
“Your blog entry is days old, so you probably won’t see my post here, but it’s taken me days to calm down from your post to sputter anything back. (Jerimiah, you made me mad!) I’m a Boomer but in no way ready (or financially able) to exit any stage. When did Boomer (hate that term, btw) become a pseudonym for old fogey anyway? Here’s how Boomers described ourselves to each other in an iconic (for the time) book-cum-manifesto, “The Apartment Book,” dated 1979. Sounds a little bit like the optimistic twenty-something rhetoric of 2008. “Through most of the seventies [we] struggled to invent and interpret a way of life that did not follow the old patterns. For the first time, because of the radical changes of the sixties, young people were not automatically following their parents’ paths to marriage, children and a house in the suburbs. Rather, they were searching, alone or in paris or in groups for a place to live that would express their own values. The community of young people who were, by God, going to live their own brand of life — even if they weren’t so sure what it was yet. Because we come from various persuasions and backgrounds, we approach our subject matter with new eyes. The only discipline is a shared commitment to making real ideas happen, without …hype or the tyranny of status names.”
I still believe that. And I bet if you went back further and checked on contemporaneous advertising and magazines targeting young college graduates of the early 1950’s post-war generation just entering the workplace, you’d again find that same open-eyed wonder at the opportunities before them.
The ready-for-anything attitude you describe can’t be pigeonholed into tired marketing classifications like Gen X or Gen Y. It doesn’t come and go like actors on a stage or styles in fashion. It’s something that, if we’re lucky, attacks us early and stays with us throughout our lives.”
First of all, I’m sorry for offending you, I sincerely mean that, that was never my intent.
Secondly, the post is based off data, and my duties in my day job, as it’s an accurate observation of what is, and what will happen. In fact, I’m working on a Forrester report looking at how boomers use social media (coming in the next few weeks) so this is top of mind.
As an analyst, it’s my job to categorize, segment, and describe trends, and for what it’s worth we didn’t create the “boomers” classification.
Regardless, Forrester classifies the Boomer generations in two segments, Younger Boomers (42-51) Older Boomers (52-62). My previous post was obviously referring to the older boomers, and I’ll suspect that you Margy are of the younger group.
These aren’t pigeon holes, and nor are they intended to de-personalize the individual. They are useful for those who make decisions to see the big picture, make sense of it, and do the right thing.
The fact of the matter is that some older boomers have already started to retire (congrats!) I’ve former colleagues who retired as early as 60.
So to clear up any misconceptions, in my original post, I should have indicated I was mainly focusing on older boomers, those that are getting nearer to retirement within just a few years.
This post is intended to be an explanation and an apology, I’m concerned it could potentially infuriate others further. I’ll forgo that risk and make a public apology.
Humbly, Margie, (and anyone else) I seek your forgiveness and understanding as I continue to explore these generational issues as it ties to web strategy.