A couple of weeks ago those of us normally accustomed to keeping our heads down in the RiotACT bunker braved the outside world with the intent of getting your feedback on what we’re doing here.
Asking for feedback at any time can be a scary experience, particularly as its often not what you want to hear. Equally often however that feedback is surprisingly positive and inspires us to put in another day’s effort so we’d like to extend a very big thank you to those readers who took the time to complete the survey.
The response has been fantastic and we really appreciate your feedback.
Now as we know at least some of you are curious we’ll share a few of the details.
80% of respondents think that the amount of content we’re running is about right, with only 7% thinking its too much. 13% are gluttons for punishment and want more.
Overwhelmingly you all want to see more news and more community stories (with less sport and podcasts). This however is easily fixable when you hit the big blue post an item button at the top of the page 😉
43% of you stumbled accross RiotACT while searching google, 31% were told about it by a friend & generally you thought RiotACT was great, informative, amusing, relevant, local, full of whinging public servants, rough, cliquey, opinionated and a bit like canberra. And most readers are on the site every day, with a select few having nothing better to do than read RA several times an hour.
However to dismiss the perception that every reader is a public servant, only 35% indicated that is their primary occupation. That doesnt however mean you’re not employed in some other capacity by government, or working for someone who has lots of government contracts, but hey, Government is the biggest industry in canberra after all.
If you’re amongst the 48% not commenting its because you have nothing to say (which we dont beleive) however following that up is concern about negative feedback, which means those of you who are commenting regularly need to be a bit more civil and supportive of new members. (moderation is apparently a necessary evil – you dont trust your fellow rioters to behave).
Generally where you’d like to see us improve revolve around four areas:
1. Finding older content once it scrolls off the front page;
2. Improvements to the visual impact of the site & design (which we acknowledge hasnt been a huge focus); and,
3. Further reigning in both off topic and unruly behavior.
4. Improvements to the features offered under the RA premium membership option
So, what are we doing about all this?
Well to start with, WordPress (which is the platform that RiotACT is based on) has made leaps and bounds since we first started using it so Kramer has been beavering away in the Bunker working on upgrading to 2.7.1. The upgrade has allowed us to introduce a few changes to our functionality as well.
Those readers who have been a little frustrated with the limitations of our search function will be please that its now able to search comments and usernames as well as post titles and text. However to make sure that content is easier to find we’re also introducing a tag cloud and a section for best riots (a list of the most active posts in the last week).
We’ll be reigning in off topic comments and unruly behavior a little more. Registered readers will soon notice an ability to report a comment to a moderator . However we’ll ask you to give sound reasons as to why the offender/offending comment should be moderated (noting that just because you think something is out of line, doesn’t mean that the mod team will). You’ll also note the introduction of commenting guidelines which give an explanation of the behavior we expect your comments to adhere to.
Premium memberships get a swag of new goodies too. Editing comments will get a guernsey (although will be time limited to ensure continuity of discussion). Gravatars will also make an appearance as will being able to see recent comments made by you, and by others in My RiotACT.
About the only thing not getting some tweaking is the layout & design, but then like all development projects we had to set some boundaries or it would never get released. Keep an eye out in a couple of weeks time while we do some final testing.
In the interim, we’re keeping the survey open and invite any who haven’t shared their views to give it a go. It’ll take about 10-15 minutes and we’re checking it regularly in case someone suggest some real gems.