Friday, March 24, 2006

And the survey says ...

Okay, we got to 100 respondents on the first ever Grits for Breakfast site survey. With 500-550 visitors per weekday, that seems like a pretty good sample. (I was pleased, BTW, with the functionality of the Survey Monkey tool I tried out for the occasion.) Thanks to everyone who participated. Lets quickly run through the top line findings and a few comments people left.

For starters, I was thrilled to see that 38% of you visit Grits daily, with 85% visiting once per week or more. Thanks!

Just as exciting, 51% of readers have forwarded a Grits link to someone else, and 38% of you have searched in the archives. (I strongly encourage you to do both!) That tells me a lot of folks are finding what they read here useful.

The most common way people find Grits is through links from other blogs, so if you're a blogger and haven't blogrolled Grits yet, I'd sure appreciate the link - that appears to be the main way people get here, at 62%. Next most common were folks who learned of Grits from a friend - 15% of those surveyed. A few others found it off a Google search or read about Grits in the print media.

Thirty percent said they'd sign up to receive Grits posts via email if the service were available, so I'll probably be looking to add that function soon. Others pointed out that I didn't ask about readers using RSS feeds - "dump the by email idea and push RSS," one reader advised. (Here's the link to Grits' RSS feed.)

Grits readers appear to be largely folks who get their news online - 78% said they primarily get their news from websurfing and blogs. That's certainly where I get mine. Only 8 out of 100 said they get their news from the print version of a daily newspaper.

Almost half of Grits readers (48%) work in a field related to criminal justice.

A plurality of Grits readers (40%) consider themselves "Independents," with a roughly equal number identifying with one or the other major political party. That's fitting - with Friedman and Strayhorn petitioning to get on the governor's ballot, I guess this is sort of the year of the Independent.

Most of you are from here: A whopping 68% of you are Texans, with another 9% Texas expatriates. Only 23% of readers said they were from out of state.

Finally, I thought I'd print a few of the comments left in response to the question, what do you like, what do you hate, and what could Grits do better? Here's a sampling:

  • Working as a legislative policy aide for a state elected official, the blog gives me good insight into a variety of criminal justice issues in both local and state implications. Your blog has been very insightful and educational. Our office has filed and supported legislation based on information acquired from your blog........for that I thank you.
  • As a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, I find Grits is a great source of news and commentary focused on Texas justice but always with an eye on the rest of the nation. Thanks.
  • More boobs! (kidding)
  • I like the consistent coverage of the issues, ways the justice system needs improvement, etc. Basically I look at the site to steal story ideas (I'm a media guy).
  • I find the discussion of criminal justice issues at the state level most useful. I'm a lawyer and I practice exclusively in federal court, so I wouldn't otherwise be tuned in to what's going on in state courts in Texas.
  • Many of the postings are too long.
  • The keen insight and unparalelled covereage of Texas criminal justice issues. The writing tone is fun too.
  • All claims are backed up with sources and facts.
  • There is nothing I hate about your worthy offering. Your blog is a very rare find. You have views that are consdierably left-of-center. That's not rare of course. The fact that you base your opinions on facts, not emotional appeals is.
  • I like how Grits' tracks a variety of subjects from the "drug war" to sentencing to Texas law pretaining to criminal justice, etc. I can't think of anything in particular I do not like, although I'd like to see more on major cases and the impact they may have on Texas Law, both those from the SCOTUS but also from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
  • It's interesting seeing the character displays of some of our narcotics officers. I like that they are recorded publicly so that those who might not have been privy to the despicable character and behavior that some of them exhibit can see it for themselves. It's also good to know we have some decent, even noble, officers who post here.
  • News about what's going on that might be trying to slip under the radar in other media is what I like most of all.
  • It's really well written and full of interesting ideas. I hate that it shows how messed up the whole CJ system is. It's a really good way for me to see what it happening state-wide, with an occasional ear to the national scene.
I'm actually not cherrypicking quotes here - almost all the comments were really positive and I appreciated them a lot. Thanks to everyone who took the survey. It's fun for me to get to know a little more about who's reading this stuff.

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