As part of the OmniFocus giveaway I asked that entrants write in with ideas about what they want to see more of on the site. More than a few people expressed concerns that I should not bend to the will of readers and I should do my “own thing”.
Reader Bas Hintemann wrote in to say:
I don’t think the writer / curator of a weblog needs to ask his audience what to do more, or what to do less: the author is what makes the weblog great. He posts what he has on his mind, what is bothering him, what is making him tick.
I agree with this completely and my goal with the survey was never to change anything on the site. The goal was to see how my readers interests align with my own interests.
I think we line up pretty well from what I can gather, here is the full break down of the results:
This graph is pretty meaningless without the key, but what it tells me is that there are three types of posts that people really like (in order of most votes):
There are some other little surprises that I learned:
- Most people like it when I rant on about a particular topic.
- People want all sorts of interviews to be done.
- There is a need for better archives.
What I can say is that I am right there with all of you on everything but the interviews. I am not big on interviewing and quite honestly it is very time consuming to get them lined up and then to actually perform them. There are many other great sites that already have some good interview series happening so I will defer to them on that one.
There are a couple of neat interview type things I am working on outside of the iPad Life stuff, but that is a still a ways off in the future and not as involved as some of the suggestions that were emailed in.
More reviews and specifically more software reviews was the most requested thing. I am not surprised by this given how many reads each review gets. I am always working on more reviews, but I want to point out a few things to help put in perspective why reviews are not a frequently featured thing:
- A good review takes a lot of time learning the product your are reviewing. You can’t download an app use it for an hour and then write a good substantive review. I often don’t feel good about writing a review unless I have used something for at least a week.
- Reviews are a major drain on my productivity if they are of a tool that I don’t currently use and have no plans on integrating into my workflow. I use OmniFocus, but if I wanted to review Wunderlist I would have to stop using OmniFocus for a week or more and switch to Wunderlist. Which means that I would spend days getting used to it and having the new program slow me down — even after the adjustment period I may not ever be as fast as I am with my normal tools. I do plan on working on more reviews, but only on stuff that I try in hopes of regularly using it. I just don’t have the time right now in my life to write, read, and work while trying new tools that slow me down. Please bear with me on this one.
- I am going to be doing some reviews on some software that is older and trying to intermix that with some of the software that is hitting the market in the future. My goal is to review the stuff I use and the stuff I have tried or am trying to use.
- A few wanted me to do more hardware reviews, specifically cellphone reviews. To be honest as much as I would love to do this, don’t hold your breath. Switching to a new cellphone is a disaster for anyones productivity and again I don’t have the extra time to take such a productivity hit right now. That said if there is a phone that I find compelling enough I may got get a review unit to check out.
Perspectives are what I love writing the most — sharing my ideas and getting feedback from all of you is amazing. Expect to see a steady stream of those.
I really didn’t know so many of you wanted to know about my workflow and sharing my workflow actually helps to improve my workflow. Expect to see more of these, but I am going to take some time to carefully craft these so that they are interesting and informative.
This will also be a part of reviews that I am writing on some of the older software I use. Think of it more like a hybrid review-workflow type post. Thanks for the great suggestions!
Best Contest Entry Award
Before I end this I want to share with you the best contest entry email I received and award this reader a platinum level reader account.1
Reader Dev Benegal writes:
Perspectives for our minds.
Reviews, perhaps the best.
Occasionally, rants which needn’t be kind.
Thanks for that awesome email.
Which is a title only award. ↩