Web project survey February 2011 results
By Ed Mitchell 2nd March 2011
Thank you to everyone who took our survey – it was a generous act which took time and we appreciate it massively. 705 people replied enthusiastically and honesty; there was some loving appreciation and some tough love (and a streak of surreality); all of it is being processed, discussed and reflected on. We would love to give you all a big hug and reply to your points individually, but that’s not possible, so please have a virtual hug from us and imagine we’re making you a cup of tea and offering you a biscuit.
You can download the presentation with the results below, see the presentation online, the spreadsheets with the data and written feedback (no names, obviously).
If you are interested, you can also read our website statistics for the year, and read the community statistics starting 2011.
This is the final piece in the web project’s strategic decisions puzzle, and complements the workshops and strategy meetings to give us our direction for the remainder of 2011 and our web budget. The answers are very clear as you will see below…
- Those of you who said you were available for more project support discussions… thank you… Anna O’Brien, our Project Support Co-ordinator, is looking forward getting your input for her analysis of what transition initiatives need most in terms of support, and we’ll be polling you further re “online storytelling”. If you ever start suffering from feedback fatigue, let us know – we’ll fully understand and give you a break (permanent or temporary)
- I will be working closely with Anna the Project Support Co-ordinator to keep the project support needs high on the web development agenda
- I will put the online storytelling plan together for approval by the board to get in motion in time for the next development phase in a month or two. This will be a bit of tech and a bit of editing budget
- The Transition Technologists (our pool of developers who maintain the site) and I will explore the various suggestions (particularly the local newsletter capability) in time for the next development phase in a month or two
The results slides
This is a selection of slides (not all of them, download the full set below) drawn directly from the data from the survey un-edited. They tell us loads, so our comments are below the slides.
You’re busy having your lives and doing your Transition activities. You do not spend that much time online, and we understand that. Our focus will be to minimise the time you need to spend on the site in order to find things and people you need, by working to make our resources quicker to find, more to the point, and focused on your needs. This will give you more time for the invaluable local face to face networking you need to do!
We are not a ‘social network’ like Facebook, requiring your attention all the time with status updates and relentless ‘do this, do that’ mails. Instead we will be focusing on being a ‘knowledge network’, supporting and offering the exchange of valuable knowledge between people and initiatives and projects. Not that we don’t like Facebook – we have a Facebook page and do some work in there, but our primary focus is on the resources and projects work here on the Transition Network site.
You think the website design is fine. That’s good. So do we. It’s simple and clean and manageable. It’s clear and uncluttered and doesn’t get in the way when you make your visits to find stuff. We will keep it that way. You also said it was OK to find things, which is good. That’s important. We are aware that a minority of replies found the site hard to navigate though, and that’s why we clearly provide the ‘frontline support’ email contact option in the contact form.
We changed our homepage following your suggestions.
You like the newsletter tone. Good. We’ll keep it that way. The result for frequency was pretty much exactly the same as well. Mike the newsletter editor will be pleased. For those of you who have done newsletters, you know how much work is involved, and we’re very lucky to have Mike Grenville in this role.
You want to see stuff that is local to you, and suited to the things you need to know. You mostly want to featured projects, featured news and resources, and activity near you. In response to this we have updated our homepage to reflect this exactly. We hope you like it. You don’t want to see a large gorilla on the homepage, but for those of you that do, well, what can we say? Maybe one day…
There are interesting reflections here to the comments about the newsletter content too. You made it clear you wanted to see similar content in the newsletter to, which we’ll pass on to Mike the newsletter editor. As well as the content, you are keen on having more ‘locally’ oriented newsletters (ie. local events etc.). We’re not sure how to do that, but we’ll look into it. In the meantime, you can use the Transition Nearby function on the homepage, or, if you’re logged in, Transition Near Me, which has local news as well as the other information.
Now this is very interesting and definite. We’ve got 7-8,000 GBP left to spend by September and this is how we are going to spend it.
First priority is a focus on features to drive initiative support, Second priority is to enable Transitioners around the world to tell their stories online and the third priority is tools for evaluating our/your progress.
Wow. We’re in unknown territory here, and looking forward to finding our way through it. We will work with Anna the Project Support Co-ordinator on ‘support’, and will put a ‘Storytelling Plan’ together for the board to approve.
Your websites and the things you think are important
These didn’t change much from 2009 to be honest. You still think that local word of mouth, shop windows and face to face news is the most powerful tool you have and we’re not surprised. I just put a poster up in my shop this morning – it’s immediate, and important. For the web project, this means to keep focusing on keeping the site simple, for people coming when they need information and connections, instead of making it something that needs constant attention.
A lot more people are using Google Docs than before, and WordPress is clearly the website platform of choice for Initaitives websites. Again, no massive surprise; WordPress is awesome and Googledocs amazingly useful. This is interesting as it means we can provide advice and widgets for WordPress users – for example our widgets.
Well I like the pretty word clouds, and they say a lot. We’ve got a big WordPress and Google thing going on, Drupal is in there, then Ning, Facebook and flickr… You will see ‘Calender’ in there twice (I didn’t see this replication), which if co-joined, would make ‘Calender’ a larger word. That makes sense – initiative calenders are a crucial tools for organising events and meetings.
Well done all!