The Blog Survey Summary

Just under 300 of you lovely readers took the time to submit the survey that’s been lurking at the top of the right margin for the last several weeks. I appreciate your willingness to tell me who you are and what you think, and I have indeed learned a few things!

Demographic

Which of the following best describes you?
(Total over 100% because multiple descriptions were allowed.)

  • 40% – Aspiring singer
  • 30% – Professional singer
  • 15% – Other opera professional
  • 12% – Opera patron
  • 9% – Family member or friend of someone in the opera business
  • 9% – Other (descriptions included pianists, instrumentalists, avocational singers, music lovers, and volunteers)

Do you live in the Washington, DC area?

  • 81% – No
  • 19% – Yes

Are you a Wolf Trap Opera Company patron?

  • 87% – No
  • 13% -Yes

Interpretation

Not too many surprises here. Although the blog is read by folks who aren’t in the business (or in the process of breaking into it), they are in the minority. 70% of you described yourselves as current or aspiring professional singers. This does change the way in which I think about my posts.

And the geographical stats show exactly what I expected. This kind of blog is not primarily a marketing tool. That in no way diminishes its importance for a company like ours. It just demonstrates that it’s justifiable for the mission to be much broader than selling tickets.


Type of Posts

What type of posts interest you the most? (Check one)

  • 49% – Auditioning
  • 26% – The opera business
  • 18% – Opera production
  • 6% – Arts administration
  • 1% – Other (seasonal artist and rep selection, master classes)

What other types of posts interest you?
(Total over 100% because multiple choices were allowed.)

  • 84% – Auditioning
  • 84% – The opera business
  • 69% – Opera production
  • 57% – Arts administration
  • 4% – Other (season selection, aria lists, recitals, recordings, young artist development, improv, career path, any candid stories)

Interpretation

No wonder the readership stats spike so much every autumn. Why is this audition stuff so mysterious/intriguing? And I guess my glamorous job as an arts administrator isn’t as fascinating as I thought :)

Visibility

How did you find this blog?

  • 30% – Linked from Wolf Trap website
  • 30% – Referral/word of mouth
  • 29% – Linked from another blog
  • 11% – Found it while surfing or through a search engine

Interpretation

A pretty clean division across what I expected to be the 3 primary means of discovery. Not so bad, though that a tenth of the traffic found themselves here through search or surfing. Gotta love the internet.

Frequency

How often do you check this blog for updates?

  • 35% – Less frequently
  • 28% – Weekly
  • 22% – Several times a week
  • 17% – Daily

Interpretation

I cannot tell you how relieved I am to see these numbers lined up in reverse frequency. Perhaps it’s chicken and egg… If I’m not posting daily, I’ve probably driven away those readers who expect fresh daily content. But the fact that majority of those of you who cared enough to take the survey are coming here on an average of once a week is a huge relief. Yes, a blog doesn’t deserve the name if the content isn’t kept fresh. But if I can stick (relatively guilt-free) to the regimen that has emerged (almost daily during auditions and in season; once or twice a week the rest of the year), I may have some longevity!


Delivery

Do you use a feed reader to check and view blogs?

  • 81% – No
  • 19% – Yes

Interpretation

This was primarily curiosity-driven. Google Reader has been a godsend. I can keep up with my 103 blogs in about 20 minutes a day. (Go to google.com, click on “More” and then “Reader”) Some people also swear by Bloglines (www.bloglines.com). Basically, you go to one web page to see if your favorite blogs have been updated. They only show up when there’s new content, so you don’t have to keep checking.

StatCounter

In case you’re curious about the extent of this blog’s readership, there’s a distinct annual cycle breaking down into 3 trends:

  • During the mid-October through early December audition season, the readership is higher than the rest of the year, averaging about 1,500 – 1,800 unique readers (around 2,500 page loads) a week. I’m guessing that the singer readership eclipses almost all other groups during this time.
  • During the summer opera season (roughly early June to late August), the average is just around 1,000 unique readers a week (around 1,200 – 1,500 page loads). Anecdotally, I’ve learned that this is when a lot of family and friends of singers are checking in, keeping their finger on the pulse of whatever mischief their loved ones are getting into at Wild Times Opera Camp.
  • And during the rest of the year, the loyal core of 500-600 readers a week are checking in. I’m particularly indebted to those folks during this January-March period when we’re working feverishly on this summers operas but aren’t allowed to say anything about them!


Back to the Feedback!

This morning I began churning out singer feedback in earnest. It always takes me a while to hit my stride, and I hope to get caught up with existing requests over the next week. (I do have to create a little more momentum than I did today when I managed to put together 4 feedback emails in 2 hours…) If you’ve already asked, please be patient. If you haven’t submitted a request, you have until February 15 to do so.

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