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Thread: The Great AAR Project

  1. #1
    Field Marshal MrT's Avatar

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    Exclamation The Great AAR Project

    Hi all,

    In one of our recent milk & cookie sessions, your modARRator extraordinaire Lord Durham and I were discussing the possibility of conducting some surveys in the AAR forum to determine some demographics and look at some of your preferences and viewing habits. Seeing as this was deep into the umpteenth pitcher of…err…milk…yeah…milk ...it seemed like a good idea. Somehow I even managed to volunteer myself to conduct it and analyse the results.

    What you’ll soon be seeing is a series of polls (initiated by LD) and other “Surveys” (could be from either one of us) designed to gather the information needed to do this. Any and all help you can provide us will, we hope, be of benefit to all of you in the long run, so it goes without saying that your participation is both encouraged and appreciated. It might even be of some benefit to the folks at Paradox.

    In some cases I’ll even include special instructions and/or a little “here’s why we’re doing this survey if it isn’t self-evident” blurb so you know what’s being looked at. Please pay attention to the special instructions since I’ll be relying on you not to fudge my results, and we wouldn’t want that to happen, now, would we? In a worst-case scenario where you accidentally “break the rules”, please let me know by PM or e-mail so I can adjust my data accordingly. Let’s not make it a habit though.

    After each of the surveys and polls is complete, I’ll post the tabulated results for all to read in a thread titled “Results from Survey #X” that reminds you what the survey or poll was about and LD will probably link the more useful ones from the AARtiFAQs sticky. In some cases there will be multi-part or interdependent surveys so you may not see the results instantaneously.

    A quick note to “lurkers” (un-registered forum users): Guess what? Some of the surveys will even involve you since you’re important to the board as well! Neat, eh.

    If you, as a viewer or an author (or both), would like to suggest additional surveys or polls, you can post your suggestions in this thread, PM me (let’s not flood LD’s inbox) or for longer ones you can also e-mail me . All suggestions will be taken into consideration but I don’t want to inundate you with too many surveys or you’ll get tired of them and it will defeat the purpose; so if your suggestion doesn’t get used, it’s nothing personal. You can also post comments about any of the surveys here too…I’ll check it frequently.

    I hope this meets with your respective approval, and garners your ongoing support.

    Thank you, in advance, for your help in making this a successful (if somewhat daunting) project.

    Regards,

    MrT

    (Note: first surveys will probably go up tomorrow, and the first poll will likely be along on the weekend or early next week.)

    (Another note: before you ask, the answer is “yes”, I do know how to handle/analyse statistical data “properly” but I’ll be presenting the results in a simplified format that actually makes sense to someone who is less familiar with the jargon. Because of the way this is being conducted it’ll be far from definitive, but it should provide some reasonably suggestive/accurate data for your future consumption.)

    (Final note: I'd better lay in a good stock of milk for this project!)
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  2. #2
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    ...Obviously an attempt to gain valuable information on innocent visitAARs for the benefit of the unscrupulous Malaccan Merchants. Soon the visitAARs would be spammed with targeted advertisements adressing their every need, and a few other besides. But the nefarious forces of tyranny would not prevail and gain their monopoly that easily, he woved, as he unlimbered his tech 218 autocannon....

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  3. #3
    Field Marshal MrT's Avatar

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    Thread Title: AAR Forum Survey #1 – PLEASE READ ONCE ONLY!

    If you aren’t familiar with what this is about, please see this thread after you finish looking at this one.

    This is a baseline test to see how many people actually visit and view threads in the AAR forum during the course of a week. For this to provide a useful baseline it’s really important that you only read this once.

    PLEASE ONLY VIEW THIS THREAD ONCE

    It’s very important that you only view this thread once, otherwise you’ll skew the results! (and we wouldn’t want that, would we). Try to resist the urge to have another look, please.

    PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS THREAD

    For the same reason. If you have a comment, PM me or post it in the “overview” thread.

    I will be bumping this thread every once in a while during the next week (and subtracting the additional views from my tally) in order to keep it on the first page of threads. Since this will look like I’ve replied, please resist the urge to check and see whether I’ve said anything new. I won’t have and you’ll be messing up the survey.

    Just by reading this (ONCE) you’ve already done your part! That’s all I need for survey #1.

    Oh, and…

    THANKS!

    (now remember not to look at this again )
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  4. #4
    Field Marshal MrT's Avatar

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    *bump*
    If I use this colour text or this one then I'm "speaking" as a moderator. Ignore at your peril.

    Please take a moment to register your copy of EU3. "The [EU3] registration key is not a copy protection measure, tragically people will always crack your copy protection. Rather it is a paying customer support measure. Rather than have the support forum swamped by people who pirate our games, we can make sure that our paying customers get their support quicker. Similarly with bug reports, we want to improve the things our paying customers want not the pirates. Finally we put that little icon below your avatar so that we see your feedback (both good and bad) we know that these are the things that our paying customers like (or dislike) and can use this information for future projects." - King

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  5. #5
    Holstein's Envoy in Vienna Syt's Avatar
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    Yay, turn this into a surveillance state and ban everyone not participating in the polls within a given period.

    You Canadians have way too much time at hands!
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  6. #6
    Disinherited Knight Wasa's Avatar

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    Originally posted by Sytass
    Yay, turn this into a surveillance state and ban everyone not participating in the polls within a given period.

    You Canadians have way too much time at hands!
    Well, with both Habs, Ottawa and Leafs still in the playoffs, they should be somewhere else, shouldn´t they...

  7. #7
    Holstein's Envoy in Vienna Syt's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Wasa


    Well, with both Habs, Ottawa and Leafs still in the playoffs, they should be somewhere else, shouldn´t they...
    And watching the hockey world cup in Sweden in between.

    Was the best World Cup for a German national team in a very long time.
    One strikeout is a tragedy; a million strikeouts a statistic.

  8. #8
    Field Marshal MrT's Avatar

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    AAR Forum Survey #3:

    Hi again.

    This survey is a little different and more representative of the kind of questions/threads you'll see from now on.

    SURVEY #3: QUESTIONS RE FEEDBACK AND VIEWING HABITS:

    There have been comments in various threads and at various times as to the level of feedback (or lack thereof) being given to AARs - myself included. There have also been occasional requests for text-only threads (see Ariel's current dual-thread approach in his England thread, or the collaborative Denmark thread where I've been copying the posts into a second thread if you want examples). I notice that people also frequently find that it takes a while for an AAR to start gathering an audience and are dismayed at the lack of response that they may get to their first few posts - perhaps commented on more by new authors than veterans...but likely felt by all.

    This survey is simply a request for you to comment candidly on your viewing habits, and for authors to comment on how much your views and feedbacks impact on them. In the interest of helping newbies and verterans alike, the questions (and many are inter-related) are...

    1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    NOTE: for the purposes of this survey, please refrain from commenting on the actual thread style, content, or type (comedy/historical/log/detailed/MP/etc.) unless it's critical to your reply. There will be a future survey on those topics.

    Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to think about and respond to this survey. If in doubt as to whether to respond with "brutal" honesty or be political, go with "polite" honesty where possible.

    The forum is yours...and your opinion counts!

    (P.S. I'll reply with my own answers to the above questions shortly.)
    Last edited by MrT; 18-05-2002 at 07:08.
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  9. #9
    Field Marshal MrT's Avatar

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    Re: AAR Forum Survey #3:

    1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?

    Personally, I like to get replies - as many as possible/reasonable - since it has a multitude of purposes. It lets me know that people are actually reading what I'm writing rather than accidentally or casually looking in. It also can give me a sense as to whether I'm successful in getting my story across, or whether I'm omitting important information. Lastly it allows me to gauge whether the style I've chosen and my ability (or lack thereof) at writing appeals to the reader. Yes this sounds very self-depricating, but you'd have to read my raher extensive blurb on this subject in LD's Genoa thread to get the full picture.

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)

    I do look at the views more than the replies. If I post a new installment and it gets a fair number of views then I'm fairly happy. On the other hand, it's frustrating to see something like 200 views when only one or two people feel inclined to reply. It makes me feel like I'm failing somehow...

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?

    As long as it doesn't get out of hand, I don't mind. If it's entirely OT and there are no other comments offered by the same person, it's annoying. For example, if you say "nice job...and, BTW, I hope your Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup" then I'll love you. If all you say is "I hope your Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup" then I'll be disappointed (but you're still scoring points ) Something truely inane (like an emoticon-only post) pisses me off.

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?

    No. Though I won't post just for the sake of posting. I suppose that comes as no big surprise to the AAR forum regulars. (see also my comment in #13)

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?

    No. I can "speed read" through them if I'm not in the mood but I generally don't as I'm equally as interested in reading how others are responding to a thread as it is can also provide insights into the AAR or as to how to improve my own.

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?

    Yes, but it's maybe more of a case of attracting my attention sooner rather than later. I make an effort to read every thread that is posted here at some point.

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?

    Same answer as 6...though perhaps a large number of replies would place it even higher on my "must read" list.

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)

    Stupid question. I've already answered it in 6 + 7. Now why did I include this? Oh...well I suppose if the views and replies are both high then it would go right to the top of my must read list.

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?

    Considerable. There are certain authors whose work I particularly enjoy, and if I have a limited amount of time to read then I will bias the order that I read material by who the authors are. Of course this also means that a new author will be a little lower on my "read-order" list if I'm feeling time pressure...

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?

    Minimal at best. The title, if really remarkable, might make me go to it sooner...but this is probably the lowest of all criteria on my list.

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?

    Some. I'll get around to it, but maybe not quite as quickly...

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?

    More. If it's a country that I am less interested in then I'll probably leave it until later to look at when compared to a thread about a country that interests me more.

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    No, but I do have a comment. On an ongoing basis as a reader, I tend not to post a reply after every post (or series of posts) unless I have something pertinent to say. On the other hand I do try to post a little something every now and then to let an author know I am reading their material if it's been a while since I last did. Maybe it's more of a "platitude" than a "pertinent" post, but I think it's important for authors to know that they're not wasting their time and energy.

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    If I could have thought of any, I'd have asked them.

    On the other hand, I am curious as to whether anyone thinks that "surveys" of this nature are likely to provide any lasting value to the forum or whether I should cease and desist...?
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  10. #10
    Historian in Training Lord Joseph's Avatar

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    Re: Re: AAR Forum Survey #3:

    1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?

    It depends, as I will get to later. It is always nice for me to get replies, but I am not real fond of those who post "I will follow this" in every thread, but never seem to go back I like constructive criticism or opinions, and everyone loves to here speculation about what you're going to do next.

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)

    At first it was replies, until MrT explained that you have to wait a while to gather an audiance. I haven't posted in my AAR in over a week, but I am well over a 1,000 views. What I really look at is my post to other people's views... if that makes sense.

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?

    It depends how far off topic. If it is just a couple comments for a few posts, it doesn't really bother me. It gives me a chance to see who is reading the AAR. If it seems there is more off topic than on topic, I might get annoyed. That hasn't happened to me yet though.

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?

    Not really. I know that I like to get responces, and unless the authors explicitly asks for no responces in thread, I assume they do too.

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?

    It doesn't really matter. If the responces are off topic, I'll just skip over them. IT doesn't bother me either way.

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?

    Yes and no. On one hand, it's popular... but... well see the next question...

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?

    If the story is really far in I probably won't pick up reading it unless I am bored, because I don't want to read part way through and stop.

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)

    Not really. I guess I do for the initial decision to read it or not, but after that I have formed my own opinion. Much like MrT I have read most of the AAR's on this forum.

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?

    It probably shouldn't have a huge impact, but it does. It isn't so much from a talent standpoint as it is from a style. There are some authors who tend to do very drawn out narratives, which I like. There are other's who might go towards "entry" style with a date and what happened, which I don't tend to follow as much. It is all a matter of personal preference.

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?

    Well, it is more to do with the country and author than the title. But a catchy title never hurts

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?

    Oops... that would be my AAR, wouldn't it

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?

    I tend to be more interested in European AAR's, I don't know why. So from that standpoint I guess it makes a little difference, but again I read most AARs at least once, or at least part of it

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    Why isn't my pizza here yet... OH! on topic... err... I guess what I am really curious about is how other writers feel about "that a boy" replies, with nothing else attached to them. I don't find them that great, but that's just me.

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    Err... I'm confused.
    Long time, no post.

  11. #11
    Man Of Constant Sorrow Carligula's Avatar
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    Re: AAR Forum Survey #3:

    The surveys are a good idea, but perhaps shorter ones. I'm afraid of running out of bluebooks .

    1,2.3. As a writer...
    With one abbreviated AAR to my name I can't say much to these, so I will consolidate the answers. Replies are fantastic; I was thrilled with the amount I got. I don't know about views, I rarely look at that column. And OT posts probably would've been okay had I drawn any.

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?
    Depends somewhat on the other replies. If I didn't read it from the start and have to catch up, there's usually a lot of in-depth replies, cross-referencing stuff from eight pages ago, etc. that I don't want to impinge upon. If it's a new one I'll post if I am enjoying it, even if only to say that.

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?
    See #4. For the long, more-replied-to AARs, if I haven't been following all the way most of the feedback goes over my head and detracts a bit.

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?
    I care not for views (page views, that is...) as an indicator.

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?
    Yes; mainly because that means the AAR is still alive.

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)
    Answered above.

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?
    Very much. I try, with varying success, to read everything but if I enjoyed a writer's previous AAR I'll definitely check out a new one.

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?
    Er... not much, except insofar as it identifies the country.

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?
    Probably more willing, just to see what they're on about.

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?
    Lots. I'm much more willing to read an AAR for a country that hasn't been "done" before than the 18th (making sure no one's doing one now...) Muscovian AAR.

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?
    Can I go now?

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?
    I'm thirsty and my pencils are all broken. So, can I go now?
    Last edited by Carligula; 18-05-2002 at 08:16.
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  12. #12
    Holstein's Envoy in Vienna Syt's Avatar
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    Re: AAR Forum Survey #3:

    1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?

    - It's nice when many people respond to what you write, but it's not a prerequisite for me.

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)

    - I prefer to get some feedback of what people think.

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?

    - Not at all.

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?

    - Not at all.

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?

    - Depends on how far and long the thread foes astray from the original story. If it's too much, I just skip to the next AAR segment.

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?

    - No.

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?

    - Sometimes.

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)

    - Occasionally.

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?

    - If it's from someone I have read from before and liked, I am more likely to visit. The same goes for unfamiliar names.

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?

    - Only so much as to see if the country in question interests me. That's why I try to keep my AAR titles informative.

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?

    - I usually skip it.

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?

    - If it's a country I've played once, or that I find interesting in terms of gameplay, I am more likely to have a look.

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    - Nope.

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    - Yes. You're superstitious, MrT? I pity the foo' who believes in black cats and broken mirrors!
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  13. #13
    Hokay, I've deliberately not read the earlier responses so I can remain 'uninfluenced' and give a gut-reaction reply to these. I'll check up on the other posts later to see if I agree with anyone . Here goes...

    1 & 2. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work? As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read?

    I like replies, replies are reassuring. They let you know that your work isn't falling on stony ground. The only reason I split my England AAR into two threads was because my first England AAR became truly massive - towards the end, people were saying how it had taken them three weeks just to plough throught it. I'd rather there was a version that was pure story that people could read through in one go if they felt the urge.

    A lot of views could mean that people are clicking on your thread, reasding a few word then leaving again. Replies show that people are reading, enjoying and respodning to your writing, which is all a writer, of AARs or anything else, really wants...

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?

    OT doesn't bother me, I like banter and humour and it's nice to see people picking up one your comments and running with them. However, to echo my repsonse to (1), I'd rather someone who wanted to could read the story uninterrupted - hence my two thread approach. We do, after all, have a whole OT forum for those that want to use it to discuss the World Cup, hockey, the price of beer etc...

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?

    No. I realise that most writers appreciate comments, even if it's just a quick "good work, keep going", so if I've read something and enjoyed it then I try to post a comment at the end. But I do try to keep within the spirit of the AAR in question (i.e. serious or jokey) whenever I can.

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?

    Sometime yes, sometimes no. A lot of OT comment sometimes detracts, but then it's usually easy enough to skip through to the actual AAR posts and gloss over the rest.

    6 & 9. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread? 9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?[/

    I'm more likely to read a thread if it's written by someone I 'know' or whose threads I've enjoyed in the past, or who contribute regularly to my own threads. The number of views is secondary.

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?

    Regrettably, no, but only due to time constraints. I would dearly love to read and get involved with the likes of the magnificent Free Company threads, but I just don't have six weeks to spare to catch up, and my own AAR writing would suffer into the bargain...

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)

    See above...

    10 & 11 & 12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have? As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?

    I'll generally take a look at anything with a title that I find intriguing, but the author of the thread is more important. Having the country in the title is helpful, but often a well-worded title will suggest the country anyway, so isn't always necessary.

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    Can we have a shorter survey next time please? My brain hurts...
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  14. #14
    1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?
    -Since I have yet to begin writing AAR's (eagerly awaiting the Venice thing to begin) I can't really be sure but I think I would like lots of replies, just to be sure that people actually read the story instead of just clicking on it by accident

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)
    -I think the replies would be every important to me as mentioned above

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?
    -I don't think I would be that annoyed as long as my thread didn't get hijacked

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?
    -No, not at all and I hope not that the writers are annoyed at me posting in their threads

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?
    -no, Allthough the story is obviously the most important, I don't mind the readers' replies

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?
    -no, But i'm more inclined to read a thread that has a high number of posts
    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?
    -Yes, It usually means the story has been going for awhile, therefore I can read more before having to wait for the next chapter

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)
    -yes- but The title of the AAR is also very important as it has to be a country that interests me

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?
    -Not much

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?
    -An awfull lot, since Its not all countries I'm interested in reading an AAR about

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?
    -I actually don't know

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?
    -It helps a lot

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?
    -No

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?
    -no...wait...yes. What will all these surveys end up doing?
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  15. #15
    Field Marshal MrT's Avatar

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    Reading through the replies to date has jogged a few things in my mind...

    Ariel made a point about being more likely to read a thread by someone who has also taken the time to read and comment in his own. I echo that sentiment...I do get around to reading pretty much everything, but I definitely start with the people who have shown a greater interest in the things I'm doing.

    One of kurtbrian's comments also reminded me of another one of my reading habits, which is that with some threads I prefer to wait until several installments have gone up before I sit down to read through them because it's easier to get into the flow of the story than to read them one installment at a time.

    LJ asked what other writers think about "that a boy" replies. It doesn't bother me particularly, unless that's all they ever say. A few "atta boy's" and then a question/comment/observation every once in a while is fine by me. (Oh...and your pizza was delivered to me by accident, and it was delicious)

    Sorry about the length of this one. I'll try to keep future ones a little shorter, but these questions seemed to go together.

    Kurtbrian also asked what the "purpose" of these surveys was in general. The goal in the end is to compile some useful info for both fledgling and experienced authors that might shed some light on what sort of things people like/don't like, what makes them read/not read an AAR, what sort of response you're likely/not likely to get and how much of it, how many and what sort of screenies people like to see, what style of AAR they like/don't like, what type of AAR they like/don't like, etc...obviously I'll be posting future surveys to answer some of the above questions that haven't been addressed yet.

    Poll #1 and #2 were just to give me some data about views over a particular period of time and you will see some of the conclusions that I have drawn from that and coupled with other data I've been collection from making notes about views/replies in a cross-section of threads. That part of the project is ongoing so I can't give you my conclusions yet.

    This poll will run for about a week. At the end I'll post a summary of what I think the concensus in the forum seems to be, with commentary. That will end up in its own thread (which I'll probably call something like "AAR Forum Survey Results" so I can keep all of the results together in one spot. The "results thread" will also like the srvey thread to each result so people can go and read individual comments and draw their own conclusions if they like. In the end, if the "results" thread" seems to provide some information that might be useful to people, LD will sticky it.

    Quite frankly I suspect that the results from this project will be generally more useful to new authors/members, though veterans may find some surprising results in there too. I guess we'll find out. On the other hand, I suspect that many of you will be reading the responses as this goes along too, and maybe some surveys will spark a debate/discussion about something.

    Since, above pretty much all the other forums here, the AAR Forum is all about communication (of ideas, storyline, games) it might be beneficial to open up dialogues on some of these topics and discuss people's preferences. It can't hurt to know what's going through the minds of other authors and other readers...or at least that's my opinion on the matter.

    Case in point: heagarty posted a thread asking people to comment on AAR Protocol which I'd encourage everyone to read. Other than a brief digression in to OT, there were some very illuminating comments there on what sort of language and subject matter people deem appropriate here and was, actually, one of the questions on my list of things to ask during the course of these surveys. Now I don't have to. I will definitely include a link to it and a summary of the general responses when I create the "survey results" thread later.

    When you consider the millions of dollars that business spends on hiring market research companies to conduct surveys on their products and "target markets" and the reasons that they do so... Anyway, this is a less formal (and rigorous) version of those in the hopes that authors may gain a better understanding of their "market". Some of the surveys may also give Lord Durham ideas of things he (or other mods) can do to make the forum even better. If I start seeing people commenting on how pointless they think the exercise is, of if people just stop responding, then I'll know that there's no interest and I'll discontinue the project.

    In this, and any future survey, you don't have to answer all of the questions (actually, you don't have to answer any of them) and you can post a general comment about the survey topic if you prefer. My only request is that you limit discussion to whatever specific topic the survey addresses, rather than jumping into a rant or remark on something entirely different.

    So there you go...
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  16. #16
    What? The_Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Re: AAR Forum Survey #3:

    Like Carligula, I'm not a prolific contributor 'round here, and so probably am poorly qualified to answer these questions. But since lack of qualifications has never stopped me before...

    [B]1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?

    Definitely replies. Lots. Even the usual 'good stuff, keep it up' posts are encouraging. Especially when you have a tough bit of writing to get through. Of course, I like questions even more, since I've discovered that, as an AAR writer, there are details I consider minor and leave out that other people tend to think important (or at least interesting).

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)

    I don't think views are of any relevance. For instance, if I was a particularly self-abusive sort, I could conceivably write an entire AAR and post it all at once; no one would ever have to view the thread more than once, but the AAR could still be very popular. (Although it would inevitably be lacking in suspense. On a less extreme level, authors simply have variable posting rates, and readers variable reading rates. An author might post one update a day, or he might post five; I might view all five individually, or I might view the thread once and be caught up. So are views important? I don't think so.

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?

    I've never seen it go far enough afield in this forum to bother me as a reader, so I suppose at least some is ok.

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?

    No, not really. On the other hand, if my post would be totally redundant or repetitive, I'd probably think twice about it.

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?

    It can. This has only happened once or twice (in the Fellowship of the Kings, for one, as well as in the Timurid Scientists). It generally takes a high number of posts relative to actual content to be worthy of remark (and, of course, my patience may vary daily regarding such things).

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?

    No. As mentioned above, I don't think views are particularly important.

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?

    Not necessarily. Alot of replies might mean the thread is popular and well-read, but very few might mean you're catching it at the beginning, which is usually more fun that finding it halfway through.

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)

    No.

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?

    Some, though I think this reflects my reading style more than anything else. (I tend to visit the CP numerous times a day, but actually visit the forum proper rarely -- so I'm more likely to pick up a thread through a link in someone's sig than spontaneously stumbling on it, and if I randomly decide to read a new thread, it'll probably be from one of the sigs I see in the threads I'm already reading. Which just goes to show, it pays to keep your sigs up to date. )

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?

    Some. I would describe it as a solely positive criteria -- it can only increase my chances of viewing a thread, rather than reducing them.

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?

    None, or very little. After all, some of the best stuff around here involves no country at all. (I'm thinking of the Free Company threads specifically.

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?

    This can have some effect, if it's a country that's been done often, or one I don't think is particularly viable, and will probably include alot of lengthy periods of inactivity, waiting for BB to come down.

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    I'd also like to make a comment. I'm assuming to give this any statistical value, you'll be ranking the various questions by response (none, some, lots? or some other system.) But I think there are other factors besides those listed above which play into the willingness to read/unwillingness to read. One you alluded to is the AAR form (for example, I gravitate towards collaborative AARs). There are also intangibles, I think... for example, though I like collaborative AARs, I haven't touched the Genoa one. Why not? I really can't tell you. Frankly, it doesn't make alot of sense. Maybe I should go read it.

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    No. Though as a follow-on to my other comment, I should like to point out that I foresee a danger in identifying a 'most-popular' kind of AAR, or certain set of characteristics which draw readers toward AARs -- that everyone will begin writing with those styles and characteristics in mind, and thus quell innovation. (I know, I know, but what are we going to do with colonists and missionaries on an AAR board?
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  17. #17
    the Conqueror Peter Ebbesen's Avatar
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    Re: AAR Forum Survey #3:

    1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?
    Lots of relevant replies. Occasional irrelevant replies. No emoticon-only replies.

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)
    Replies are nicer than views generally. A high number of views could be caused by some dysfunctional obsessive-compulsive mousebutton-clicker. (Actually, so could replies. The "whoa" master comes to mind )

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?
    Somewhat, but I tend to be consoled by either verbally spanking the guilty parties, or letting them suffer in a cameo appearance. Which is quite fun, for a specific value of fun.

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?
    Mostly yes. If I have nothing to say I try to keep quiet - unless it seems the writer really needs to reassured that somebody is paying attention. Then I will find some nit, and pick it, so to speak.

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?
    Not unless it is completely OT.

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?
    No.

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?
    Yes.

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)
    (Q6 || Q7) == TRUE given that yes evaluates to TRUE and no to FALSE. Silly question

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?
    A lot. If I know an author and like his style I will likely attempt to follow it - even if I know that it will turn into yet another 10 page plus blockbuster when finished. This means that reading an AAR by a new author is something I do seldom, because of RL scheduling conflicts.

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?
    Some. A catchy title (be it funny, intelligent or just plain weird) deserves at least one closer look, if nothing else then to determine the sanity of the poster.

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?
    A thread should clearly indicate the country in question within the first post or two, unless it is part of the plot that the action is taken by the mystery nation, and I can't recall seing such an AAR, yet.

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?
    Is this a trick question? While I am influenced by the choice of country, this influence is completely overshadowed by the style and quality of writing.

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?
    Yes.

    Does everybody like it when readers take on roles in your AARs and actively participate? I sure do.

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    Yes.

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  18. #18
    A Footnote Prufrock451's Avatar
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    1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?
    Definitely lots of replies. I'm an attention hog.

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)
    If I get 5000 views and one guy says "Good AAR!" then I think I'm doing something wrong. My goal is to write something so awesome that no one could possibly lurk without saying something.

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?
    A couple of posts would be fine. But hey! My thread, my topic.

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?
    Sometimes. If fifty people have already chimed in saying "Excellent AAR!" and that's all I want to say, I'll probably hold off.

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?
    Only when the same question gets asked over and over. I see this more in the general discussion forums than in AAR.

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?
    Not really.

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?
    Yep.

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)
    See above.

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?
    Not much. There are some authors I really enjoy and I'll check out their stuff first, but there's no one I intentionally _do not_ read.

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?
    Some. I'm more likely to read "Iroquois, Youroquis: A Self-Help Guide to Conquering the Americas" than "My Iroquois AAR."

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?
    Well, it doesn't help.

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?
    Some but not much.

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?
    Not at the moment.

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?
    Yes. Did you realize that question #7 spilled some salt, question #4 broke a mirror and that question #14 walked under a ladder?
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  19. #19
    ChancellAAR Bismarck's Avatar
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    1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?

    Well, the more the better... however, I know that is unrealistic because of style.... I'd rather have QUALITY(longer more specific) of replies than QUANTITY(I love this... keep up the good work).

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)

    Views are important to me... I admit it. Higher reply rates mean higher exposure for the most part, as you have seen T.

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?

    A little bit is ok... but I'd be annoyed if someone hijacked my AAR thread.

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?

    Not so much cluttering up a thread, but sometimes if a thread has been going along for a long time.... I'd feel odd breaking the flow as it seems that the core audience is doing a good job commenting on its own.

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?

    Feedback is good. I am going to do what I want to do... but as I wrote my AAR, I was always wondering exactly what kinds of things others wanted to see in the fictionalized parts.

    6+7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread? As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?

    I think that in a way my interest in reading a thread is inversely proportional to the number of replies it has... if I've never read it that is. If I got into it early, then length has no bearing on my decision making process... but as time goes on, there are AAR's that if I hadn't made the early investment, I am unlikely to read them. High views/Low Replies are likely to get me to read though. Some authors have been so kind as to provide versions that will get a new reader acclimatized quickly, and that is much appreciated.

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)

    Yes.

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?

    Author does play a role, as I know some authors will have something entertaining or enlightening to say and will do it regularly. If I know that the author will see something through to the end would also make me a loyal reader.

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?

    If the author is unknown, the title is very important. If it is an established author, it is less important, but sometimes a title can be damaging to my willingness to read a certain AAR.

    11+12 As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about? As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?

    It is information I want to know. But other factors about a title, such as the implication that the thread will be experimental will also make me want to read the thread.

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    How willing are you to read the work of unknown writers? Do you have any trepidations about doing so?

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    No further questions.

    M
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  20. #20
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    Re: AAR Forum Survey #3:

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by MrT
    [B]
    SURVEY #3: QUESTIONS RE FEEDBACK AND VIEWING HABITS:

    1. As a writer, do you want lots of replies, occasional replies, or no replies to your work?

    I'd love to have plenty of replies. I was (and am) pretty much devastated by the lack of response to mine own AAR. though its mine own fault for not posting often I suppose.

    2. As a writer, how important are the replies, or is a reasonable number of views sufficient to let you know that you're being read? (Maybe that's just paraphrasing question #1)

    I never, ever look at views, unless someone mentions them (like someone saying 'wow, we've reached the 10,000 view mark) its not that I don't consider them important, I just never look that way.

    3. As a writer, how annoyed are you if some of the feedback slips into the realms of OT - however briefly (as it often does...)?

    For that, I'd need replies,

    4. As a reader, do you feel reluctant to post to the thread for fear of "cluttering" it up?

    No. I'm awfully cliquish in my reading habits. And in the few threads that I've read, I feel comfortable enough to post anyway.

    5. As a reader, do you find that a lot of feedback or other commentary detracts from your enjoyment of the thread?

    Never. FOr some ridiculous reason, I sometimes look forward to feedback, because I can read it faster. Weird, I know.

    6. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of views logged for the thread?

    Nope, because I don't look at views. Ever.

    7. As a reader, are you more likely to go and read a thread that you haven't been following if there are a lot of replies logged for the thread?

    No, if I'm going to read a thread, I'll read it no matter if it has 10 replies or 1000. But it takes a lot of effort to bring myself to reading a new thread.

    8. As a reader, do you bother to pay attention to the views or replies to a thread? (This is really Q6 & Q7 rolled together)

    I often glance at the replies (but I rarely form any opinions on it) but never at the views.

    9. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the name of the author have?

    Utter impact. I'm the first to admit, I'm totally cliquish on my reading habits. There's only about 6 people that I'll read AARs from. If they start an AAR, I'll ready it. and I'll stick with it. Most new comers I've not read any work from, though I'm sure I'm the one who has suffered accordingly. I just don't have the time to read everything.

    10. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it does the title have?

    Not much. The author (as said above) is more of a determining facotr. Though I broke down and read both of Peter Ebbersons AARs because of the titles.

    11. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when a thread doesn't clearly identify the country that it's about?

    Nothing whatsoever. If I'm willing to read it, I'll read it.

    12. As a reader, what impact on your initial willingness to have a look at it is there when you do see the country it's about?

    Nothing whatsoever . Don't care what country it is. It honestly doesn't bother my in the slightest.

    13. Do you have any other questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    Nothing mate. I'm cool.

    14. Since it's unlucky to end on question #13, do you have any additional questions relating to this topic that you'd like to ask?

    Hmmm, not so much a question, as notes:

    I've been a little cheeky recently. I've not been keeping up with my reading. Cockney is one person in particualr who's suffered from my neglect (I've been constantly meaning to read his AAR) and the COllaborative thread was another that suffered (though I've caught up with that now).

    Basically, when I come onto the forum, I click on User CP and from there, I read the threads I've subscribed too. Only if I have any free time do I go on to read other stuff (like various surveys ) which is why I'm always late to pick up on stuff.

    Like I said before, I'm cliquish when it comes to reading habits. A bad habit, I know.
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