TSL Content Survey Results

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TSL Content Survey Results


TechSideline.com’s recent content survey gave us a pretty good idea of the things you like, the things you don’t
like, and what you think about TSL’s offerings. What did the readers think? Do you agree with what people said? Check
out the responses and see if your thoughts are in line with everyone else’s, or if you’re out in left field by yourself.

In this article, we’ll give you the questions, the responses, and a few of our thoughts. Please note that questions
5, 6, 18, and 20 were all essay questions, so those responses are not shared here, though I did want to include one
particularly interesting response that one of those questions got.

Let’s get started.

1. What is your favorite free feature on the
TechSideline.com (TSL) web site?

Message Boards

 38.6%

Hokie News

 27.8%

News and Notes

 15.0%

Hotline Notes

 6.0%

Links Page

 5.7%

Football Page (schedule, roster, etc.)

 4.0%

TSLMail

 1.6%

Men’s BB Page (schedule, roster, etc.)

 0.2%

Women’s BB Page (schedule, roster, etc.)

 0.2%

Other

 0.8%

These results prove, once again, that message boards are the heart of TechSideline.com. Every day, people flock to
the boards to talk about Hokie sports, commiserate on the Lounge, or wheel and deal tickets on the Ticket Exchange
Board.

Hokie News, updated every day, is a major draw and one of our favorite resources. News and Notes is an area in which
we have fallen off in recent years, as the site has grown and time has become short, but we are pledged to doing more
free News and Notes updates from this point on (you have no doubt noticed an increase in N&N since we did the survey
and started finding out the results).

On the other end of the spectrum, the women’s basketball page finishing last among favorite free features is a common
thread for women’s hoops, as you will see.

2. What’s your least favorite free feature on the
web site?

Women’s BB home page (schedule, roster, etc.)

 35.3%

TSLMail

 16.1%

Message Boards

 10.0%

Links Page

 9.9%

News and Notes

 2.3%

Hotline Notes

 1.8%

Hokie News

 1.2%

Men’s BB home page (schedule, roster, etc.)

 1.1%

Football Home page (schedule, roster, etc.)

 0.5%

Other

 21.7%

Women’s basketball gets no love here, nor does TSLMail (which is too bad, because I think TSLMail is some good stuff.
TSLMail has some hidden gems in it and is a valuable tool for us to promote sponsors and TechLocker.com items).

Are you surprised that the message boards come in third in least favorite free feature on the web site? I’m
not. There’s a certain percentage of people out there, not all of them named Jim Weaver, who dislike message boards –
the bashing of players and coaches, the "silly" comments, and the rumor-mongering. That 10% also represents,
to some degree, disdain for the free boards by those of you who subscribe and prefer the subscriber boards.

3. Rate how important the following free features
are to you,
on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being very important (something you
read all the time and really enjoy),
and 1 being not very important
(something that you don’t even bother to read or didn’t know existed).

Feature

Rating

Hokie News 

8.3

Football Game Recaps 

8.2

Hotline Notes 

8.1

Football Game Previews by Jeff Ouellet 

8.0

Football Message Board 

8.0

News and Notes 

7.8

Football Home Page (schedule, roster, etc.) 

7.5

Men’s Basketball Game Recaps 

7.1

Men’s Basketball Message Board 

6.8

Men’s Basketball Game Previews 

6.8

Men’s basketball home page (schedule, roster, etc.) 

6.3

Football Roster Cards 

6.2

Lane Stadium Expansion Page 

5.9

Links Page 

5.8

Ticket Exchange Board 

5.7

TSLMail 

5.3

Women’s basketball home page (schedule, roster, etc.) 

4.5

Lounge Message Board 

4.3

Olympic Sports Message Board 

4.3

Women’s Basketball Message Board 

4.2

Very interesting, indeed. As much as the message boards are treasured, the Football message board still finishes
behind Hokie News, football game previews and recaps, and Hotline notes (admittedly, by a small margin).

From a sports coverage standpoint, you can see the football – men’s basketball – women’s basketball breakdown as
you scan from top to bottom, ending in the women’s basketball message board (new this year) being rated dead last.

4. Rate our message board monitoring by selecting
the choice which you think best describes how tightly
we control board content.

Way too lenient; needs to be more tightly controlled

 1.7%

Too lenient

 9.2%

Just right

 84.1%

Too strict

 4.5%

Way too strict; give posters more freedom

 0.5%

To me, this is one of the most interesting results from the entire survey. It’s extremely hard to get 84% of people
to agree on anything, and the fact that roughly five out of every six respondents think we monitor the boards
"just right" is a surprising result. Gratifying, but surprising.

Remember how 10% of people said the message boards were their least favorite free feature on the site? We find that
10.9% of respondents think that board monitoring is either too lenient or way too lenient. The correlation is no
mistake.

Questions 5 and 6 were essay questions and are not included here.

7. What time of the day do you first check Hokie
News for
the news links of the day? (Pick the closest time.)

Before 7 am

 5.3%

7:00 – 8:00 am

 18.7%

8:00 – 9:00 am

 30.2%

9:00 – 10:00 am

 14.2%

10:00 – 11:00 am

 4.5%

11:00 am – noon

 2.5%

Noon – 1:00 pm

 5.6%

After 1:00 pm

 12.8%

I don’t check Hokie News/don’t know what it is

 6.2%

The purpose of this question was to help us decide what our deadline for updating Hokie News should be. During the
week, we typically have it wrapped up between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m., and that will satisfy most of those who check it
daily.

8. Are you a TSL Pass subscriber?

Yes

 65.9%

No

 33.9%

I’m not sure/I don’t know what that is

 0.3%

What to make of this result? One would expect that those who care enough to fill out the survey are also those that
care enough to subscribe, so a 2:1 ratio of subscribers to non-subscribers answering this question makes sense.

It also tells us that there are a lot of people out there who care enough to fill out the survey but are not
subscribers. Why not? Funny you should ask … next question, please.

9. If you’re not a TSL Pass subscriber, what’s your
biggest
reason for not subscribing?

It’s too expensive/I can’t afford it

 37.4%

I just don’t feel I need to/not interested

 25.1%

I get the information I need elsewhere

 12.9%

I don’t use credit cards over the Internet

 4.9%

Don’t know what TSL Pass is/didn’t know about pay content

 0.4%

I wasn’t able to/I couldn’t figure out how to subscribe

0.0%

Other

 19.2%

With TSL’s price running at $50 per year now, I would expect that result, and the #2 answer, which is basically
"I just don’t care enough," is also no surprise. I’m pleased that no one answered "I wasn’t able
to/couldn’t figure out how." And among those 19.2% answering "Other," I’m betting that one of the
significant reasons, based on email I’ve received in the past, is "My wife won’t let me." (I’m only
half-joking.)

10. If you are a TSL Pass subscriber, what’s the
biggest
reason you decided to subscribe?

The pay content looked interesting/is very good

 44.3%

I wanted the football recruiting coverage

 23.1%

To support the site

 18.3%

To get on the pay message boards

 7.0%

Recommendation/word of mouth

 2.9%

To get the 10% TechLocker.com discount

 0.1%

Other

 4.5%

The biggest surprise here is that nearly one-fifth of you subscribe "to support the site." For those of you
who go way back, that was the original reason to subscribe: to support the site. But over the years, as
HC/TSL has grown, the decision to subscribe has turned into more of a consumer decision: if I’m going to spend my money
on this, will it be worth it? But to know that 18.3% of you still subscribe "to support the site" is good to
hear, because it represents loyalty to what we’re doing. And it’s a good reason! Subscription revenue is still a huge
part of us being able to continue doing what we do. despite the presence of TechLocker.com and our growing list of
sponsors/advertisers.

Thanks for the responses, everyone, and we will use all of this data and your comments to improve the web site. While
the data here is illuminating, the essay answers, of which we received a couple thousand (amongst the four questions
offered), are just as educational.

Subscribers, you can proceed on to the questions and answers to subscriber content by clicking the link below:

TSL Content Survey Results: Subscriber
Questions


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