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BSD Reader Survey Results, Part One

As I mentioned yesterday, we were able to review 300 responses to yesterday's survey (and again, thanks for taking the time to help us out). We're going to put together a large review of your subjective responses to questions regarding what you like best and least about BSD, and what we could do to enhance our football coverage next season.

In the meantime, here's a snapshot of who you are, how you use BSD, and what sports you'd like to see discussed more often.

1. Are you male or female?

Male: 279/300 (93%)

Female: 21/300 (7%)

So this isn't quite the swordfight that Eleven Warriors appears to be, but it's close. Good news for BSDivas, you have the pick of the litter here. Bad news, have you seen these guys?

2. Which category below includes your age?

17 or younger 3/300 (1%)
18-22 24/300 (8%)
23-29 93/300 (31%)
30-39 85/300 (28%)
40-49 33/300 (11%)
50-59 35/300 (12%)
60 or older 27/300 (9%)

This is a pretty remarkable spread. 21% of our audience is 50 years or older and 40% is 29 or younger.

3. Are you a current or former student at Penn State?

Current PSU student 19/300 (6%)
Current non-PSU student 19/300 (6%)
Former PSU student 205/300 (68%)
Former non-PSU student 47/300 (16%)
Future PSU student 7/300 (2%)
Future non-PSU student 3/300 (1%)

Probably a wasted question, but I was interested to see how many of our readers were directly connected to the University, especially in light of the administrative nightmare we've collectively been through lately.

4. Do you have a SB Nation account, and do you comment on other SB Nation blogs?

No, I do not have a SB Nation account 138/300 (46%)
Yes, I have a SB Nation account but only comment at Black Shoe Diaries 100/300 (33%)
Yes, I have a SB Nation account and comment on 1-3 other SB Nation blogs 57/300 (19%)
Yes, I have a SB Nation account and comment on many other SB Nation blogs 5/300 (2%)

YOU GUYS. There's a whole SBNation world out there! NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MMA, MLS, International Soccer. We even launched a running blog (Stride Nation) and a water polo blog recently. Create an account and jump in, even if it's just to comment here. The link to create an account is in the upper right corner of the page. Do it!

5. This whole social media thing. Do you use it for BSD purposes? (You may select more than one answer)

I follow @BSDTweet 82/300 (27%)
I follow the individual Twitter accounts of BSD writers 69/300 (23%)
I follow @SBNation and other SBNation Twitter feeds 23/300 (8%)
I've "liked" Black Shoe Diaries on Facebook 93/300 (31%)

I do not use Twitter or Facebook for BSD purposes 147/300 (49%)

Well, this seems respectable, although we'd always like for all of you who use Twitter and Facebook to be notified when we have a new post up. And to go all corporate shill on you, I can say that the SBNation feeds are very low on the spammy nonsense, so give them a shot. Oh, and:

Be sure to become a fan of BSD on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!

There. Pettigano will be happy that I worked that into the post. That's his baby.

6. What sports would you like to see BSD cover more frequently?

Women's Basketball (23%)
Men's Volleyball (19%)
Women's Volleyball (33%)
Baseball (21%)
Softball (5%)
Hockey (34%)
Running / Track & Field (9%)
Soccer (19%)
Gymnastics (9%)

We had an "Other" category here as well, which drew multiple suggestions of the following: swimming, fencing, foxy boxing, and "your mom gardening in a thong". However, the most common miscellaneous response was basically "if they're having a good season, I want to know about it." BANDWAGONERS. Many of you suggested that we use the Success With Hyperlinking posts for all-sports coverage. I think it's highly likely that we'll end up doing that.

Based on your comments, you'd like us to at least acknowledge the other sports more often and let you know how they're doing. One problem with the non-revenue sports: they're almost never televised, and highlights are nearly impossible to come by. So we'd basically be trying to provide information and analysis on sports that we can't actually watch for ourselves, which essentially leads to rehashing box scores and information from either GoPSUSports or the Collegian (on this point, OMG Fugi was correct -- the local newspapers have the blogs beat).

On another note, if you're a diehard fan of a certain sport, take it upon yourself to start writing Fanposts about it. I can't stress this enough -- that's what the Fanposts are there for. Let's face it, we're not going to be able to give you hardcore analysis of the backstroke, balance beam, or javelin. But if you're a former athlete or a huge fan of these non-revenue sports, the numbers above indicate that you'll have a fair degree of support if you start writing your favorite sports on a regular basis. I think the fear of writing about certain topics is that there won't be any feedback. Chances are, you'll get some responses and make new BSD friends over common interests.


7. How often do you comment on BSD posts?

Frequently throughout each day (8%)
Once or twice per day (7%)
A few times per week (13%)
Rarely (32%)
Never (40%)

This actually isn't surprising, and may even reflect a high amount of audience participation. A few people expressed that there's a cliquish nature of the commentariat here, which is unwelcoming to new commenters. I understand that to a degree, and I definitely think it's a problem for new commenters who disagree with the majority. It's intimidating to jump into an argument or conversation, and immediately be labeled as a troll or something similar.

At the same time, posts like this make me think otherwise, and perhaps we need a monthly BSD Virgins Club fanpost to draw new people into the conversation. We don't expect all of our readers to comment, but we'd certainly like to encourage as much interaction and conversation as possible. Some respondents suggested that they were having problems getting their accounts approved. We currently have a 24-hour waiting period from the time you create your BSD account until you can comment -- this is meant as a speed bump for trolls, of course. If you're having issues with commenting beyond that 24-hour period, I urge you to contact for help, or email me personally (link at the bottom of the page)

Part Two of the survey results will be along in a day or two. There's a lot of information, suggestions, condemnations, and other such things to filter through, and we want to do it right. Thanks again for your responses.