I asked, you answered. The 2016 survey results are here!


The first thing I have to say is, wow. I got 22 results last time I held a blog survey, and this time that quadrupled with 80 respondents total! I tried to keep the survey short and sweet but I know you have a lot on your plate every day, and I’m so glad you took some of your time to help me figure things out over here. According to Google Analytics, between 400 and 500 people read Otaku Journalist every day, so we’re looking at a full 5% of the audience. That may not sound like much, but when you consider that marketers are happy with 4% engagement, I’m thrilled.

I was never planning to keep it all to myself, so let’s take a look at the breakdown before I announce the giveaway winner.

The first question was, “How did you find Otaku Journalist?” and I’m not surprised to see that 24 respondents, more than a quarter of everyone who filled out the survey, said some form of Twitter. For better or worse, Twitter is where I spend most of my online hours, even after I tapered back my involvement after this experiment. I have 5,600 followers and Twitter says my tweets get 200,000 impressions a month, so I can see how that might lead people here.

My second question was about what people like to read on Otaku Journalist:


This was a mandatory question, so this pie chart is out of 80. The biggest chunk is “Personal fandom essays” with 37.5% of the vote. “Geek career advice” and “writing advice” weren’t far behind. Honestly, I thought one of those latter two would end up with the biggest piece of the pie, because I assume you want to read blog posts that apply to you—complete with advice that you can implement to make your life better. But there’s another reason blogs are still around, and it’s that we all are hungry to connect. I thought my personal essays—anecdotal, geeky stories about my life—might be egocentric. What I was missing was that when my audience shares my interests, these stories aren’t so self-centered after all. Advice, well, I was already planning to write more of that. But stories? Now I’m wondering which ones I can dig up for you.

Also: why did I give people the ability to pick “Other” without clarifying what they meant???

The third question asked you to “check all topics that apply,” instead of just picking your favorite topic on Otaku Journalist, and it wasn’t all that helpful because it was VERY similar to the pie chart breakdown.

Fourth, I asked you about a course.


Out of 80, this means that 57 people (71.3%) said yes. I’m impressed it was even that many, when I gave so little information about what a course might entail. Also, I totally said I was going to create a course already and never did, because my post about it got exactly one comment and I wasn’t confident anyone cared. Well, I guess people care!

By the way, here’s what you said you wanted to learn about:


Ethics and bias in fandom reporting has a really bad reputation on our post-GamerGate web, so I wonder if my wording here is why that in particular was so unpopular. But the things you wanted to learn about the most were a three-way tie. It’s time to dust off my old course outline, and make these three items some of the most prominent.

Also, I probably should have asked something about the course STRUCTURE. Like, do people want videos? Workbooks? Other? (I’m never letting people choose “other” again.)

The final question was optional: anonymous comments or critique about Otaku Journalist. Now, usually this would be terrifying. If I asked my Forbes readers how I could improve and gave them an anonymous forum, I’d probably be ripped to shreds. But of course, readers here are the absolute best and the vast majority of critique was “I like what you’re doing, so do more of it more often.”

Here’s some critique that stood out:

  • A few people asked to hear about my life as a web developer. OK! I can contrast that with being a journalist. Or tell you about how I can just reference anime to other developers and they instantly get it. And one day I want to tell you about the sexual harassment thing I dealt with at my job, but not until I’ve had a little more time to get past it.
  • More people asked me to write more often. When I started this blog, I used to write three posts a week. Then, it was two posts and a link round-up. Then, one post and a link round-up. Now I also miss weeks entirely! I can’t promise going back to three a week, but knowing people are looking out for that Monday post is motivating.
  • One person suggested I post my freelancing output, and I loved this idea. I blog about how you can make money blogging, but you don’t really get to see how I personally do that. I occasionally post this stuff in Otaku Links, but a monthly breakdown of what I did to get by as a geek entrepreneur might be pretty useful and cool.

Finally, it’s time to announce the winner of the survey drawing. Twenty-three people entered by commenting on the post. I assumed the first commenter to be “Submission 1” and the last to be “Submission 23.” With that in mind I went to Random.org and…

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 8.18.44 PM

Congrats to Jenny, commenter #18! I’ve already contacted her about claiming her prize.

Thanks to everyone for entering and participating. This was a super enlightening exercise and I feel renewed energy to work on new stuff for you, which seems to be what everyone wants anyway!

Photo by Martin Fisch.