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RiotACT Survey Results

By Jazz - 6 June 2009 31

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.

Thanks
Jazz

What’s Your opinion?


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RiotACT Survey Results
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Being moderated isn’t the problem, it’s the consistency with which it’s applied.

Still, I’m sure the guys will refine their criteria over time.

Davo111 5:44 pm 07 Jun 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

I like RiotACT, but I’d suggest some more consistent moderation would be good. That said, it’s still good fun!

as per above, but i thing moderation is still pretty good here. I get moderated quite a bit, and at the end of the day i reckon JB is 99% spot-on when he does.

el 4:08 pm 07 Jun 09

I recall that Margo herself was extremely abusive to anyone who didn’t agree with her line of thinking.

That’s my recollection too. There was no ‘hounding out’, rather her storming off in a huff.

Thumper 3:15 pm 07 Jun 09

I recall that Margo herself was extremely abusive to anyone who didn’t agree with her line of thinking.

Granny 3:01 pm 07 Jun 09

ant said :

But that’s the thing, isn’t it? those of you saying you can “take it” are posting here. What about all those who see what goes on and decide they don’t want to cop that? They are the ones who are voting with their fingers.

A site doesn’t have to be bland… people can argue a point pretty robustly, and do. You don’t have to call your opponent an idiot to annhilate their argument.

Yes, I totally agree with you, ant.

Fiona 2:19 pm 07 Jun 09

While we have the stars rating system, I wonder if having a +1 type of thing would be used? I’ve been seeing a few comments lately that are just something along the lines of “+1 Granny” without much else in the way of a comment. There used to be “Kudos” hacks , sure there’d be some sort of WP plugin for it… But the stars pretty much do the same thing. I guess it’s like the ‘like’ on Facebook.

I-filed 12:29 pm 07 Jun 09

Margo Kingston posted for a while a year or two back, and seemed to be hounded out. The standard of debate here is actually very poor. But that’s fine! It’s a gossip, ruckus site, where the ACT Government can fish around for our lowest common denominator and get scared!

ant 11:13 am 07 Jun 09

But that’s the thing, isn’t it? those of you saying you can “take it” are posting here. What about all those who see what goes on and decide they don’t want to cop that? They are the ones who are voting with their fingers.

A site doesn’t have to be bland… people can argue a point pretty robustly, and do. You don’t have to call your opponent an idiot to annhilate their argument.

Feathergirl 10:33 am 07 Jun 09

I don’t want the site to be boring, but I think that personal attacks do cross the line

I have to agree Granny, I find I often write a comment for an article and then feel it isn’t “smarty” enough to please Riotreaders or that my opinion will attract a brow-beating and then end up not posting at all. Then again I don’t want too much moderating though as I do like the biffo… I still miss ‘nutter of the month’.

I don’t take anything anyone says to me too personally. I know I can’t spell too goodly, am too old to be super-kewl and I’m *gasp* a mum (super-un-kewl!) AND I live in Kambah and love it so you know BRING IT ON.

Bundybear 10:20 am 07 Jun 09

Ant @ 19 “……and normal population of Canberra.” C’mon, how many normal people are on RA. Even the nicest amongst us would surely shudder at the epithet “normal”. Also, I’m a grandparent, and I think I could probably handle being called an idiot without too much trouble. That said, some do “play the man” when struggling for a cogent argument, and we don’t really need that.

Anna Key 8:29 am 07 Jun 09

Granny said :

Recently I’ve had cause to be grateful for some of the poundings I’ve had on RiotACT. In some ways it’s been useful training which I could have used when I was being picked on at school.

However, personal insults do affect me and there are times when I don’t feel it’s worth posting my opinion because I know what’s coming.

I don’t want the site to be boring, but I think that personal attacks do cross the line. It’s something that I’m consciously trying not to do any more.

As a fairly recent contributor to this site, none of whe personal stuff bothers me much and wouldn’t stop me from posting. I think those that make the personal attacks are the ones with the issues. But like the recent Richardson shrine discussion, some issues are going to generate an emotional response. And there are some that are just going to stir. The last thing I would want to see is RA turn into some Daily Telegraph style thing where we only the Piers Ackerman acolytes are allowed to comment.

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