SETT has gotten to the point that I'm spending less time putting out fires and stomping bugs, and more time trying to think about how people are using it and how I can make that better.
As you've probably noticed, I'm working really hard to write two solid blog posts per week, even though my life is consumed with SETT right now. If you could give me back a few minutes of your time to answer this SETT survey, it would really mean a lot to me.
I never fill out surveys online because I sort of imagine that they get sent to the digital equivalent of a dark moldy basement somewhere and never get read. NOT THIS ONE. I will personally be reading every single reply, and will take all feedback very seriously. After all, I'm making SETT to help build communities and give some of the power back to the readers. So if I don't listen to readers... who else can I listen to?
Speaking of which, I feel like I owe a huge debt of gratitude to each of my readers. Just by reading my site and interacting with it, not to mention all the valuable bug reports you've sent me, you've had a huge hand in building SETT. If I didn't have a real live community reading my site, it would be impossible for me to test things out. There have been glitches along the way, and I appreciate everyone having patience. Thank you.
At the end of the survey I ask for your email or phone number. It's totally optional, but depending on what the survey teaches me, I may want to contact some people to get their thoughts on SETT. So feel free to leave your contact information, or don't-- totally up to you.
Again, here's the link to the survey. Whether you're a techie or neophyte, hardcore reader or first time visitor, young or old, please take the survey if you have a few minutes. The broader a base of people who answer, the more accurate the feedback trends will be.
Forgot to mention in the survey that your site at least sometimes seems to have difficulties with Opera (the browser).
Interesting concept. I wonder how many of your readers have been entirely missing SETT because they read your blog through RSS? I hadn't seen SETT in action until this post made me curious... :-)
Edit: you might want to clarify the error messages on usernames - when I tried using a single letter username, I was told to only use letters, numbers, and spaces, which was a bit misleading. Once I picked a longer username, the error box hung around, and tynan.com/sett-survey was faded out behind it even after I posted. I had to reload to get back to being able to view the blog (and comments).
Forgot to say something in the survey:I dislike the green/red colors for up/downvoting, It looks really ugly now, especially with the Vote inbetween there. Really out of place.
Agreed. Try a modern shade of gray perhaps.
Strongly disagree with both the above comments. This is the first site where the voting mechanism has been noticeable enough for me to use on a regular basis. It's in my mind a core feature of community and should be very prominent as a result.
These two changes have greatly increased voting. I'm going to start doing A/B testing to figure out optimal changes. I might start slowly fading them out for users that have voted before.
Didn't know they helped that much.
I definitely notice them better now, I just think they're really ugly and pop out too much. The "Vote" is almost the same font and font size as the main text, which makes it seem as if the text is misaligned, and makes it look unprofessional to me. The colors stand out too much and are too bright. They clash with the overall color scheme of the website by introducing even more basic colors in the website.
In my opinion they're just ugly and annoying (maybe try them in less bright shades?). However, I'm sure that they're effective. Everybody is welcome to disagree of course ;)
I guess enough sentiment on both sides to definitely stick with what works for now. Was it something different before? I might even be hypocritical, don't remember noticing the vote buttons before they were green/red.
Though I certainly don't have a problem voting on Reddit/HN, which is where the grey suggestion came from
It's about that time of the year for me to ask for your feedback to make BTYB even more better than it already is.
What's very curious to me is that my readership grows VERY slowly. Given how awesome these posts are, I would expect it to grow by 100% every hour or so.
Anyway, if you could take a couple minutes and fill out my survey, I'd really appreciate it. Please be totally honest - it's 100% anonymous and I'd much rather have good criticism than an ego boost.
A few of my friends - three friends, to be exact - mentioned to me that I write a heck of a lot on here and they're impressed. I have convinced the ultra-smart Sami Baqai to start blogging, and he just got the holy-shit-this-is-hard-I'm-overwhelmed feeling. Ah, yes, I have been there Sami. Perhaps I can share some thoughts.
First and foremost, I am a huge devotee of the Equal-Odds Rule. As far as I know, I'm the only person talking about it outside of academia. This Amazon review covers it pretty well:
The equal-odds rule says that the average publication of any particular scientist does not have any statistically different chance of having more of an impact than any other scientist's average publication. In other words, those scientists who create publications with the most impact, also create publications with the least impact, and when great publications that make a huge impact are created, it is just a result of "trying" enough times. This is an indication that chance plays a larger role in scientific creativity than previously theorized.
So I read that, and I'm like - whoa. You know Neo in the Matrix? Whoa.
If you want to make excellent stuff, you need to make a lot of stuff.