Friday 25th February 2011

A week ago I put up a quick survey that asked three questions. I’ve since thought of more things I could have asked, but maybe we’ll do another sometime. Until then, here are the results based on the 400 people who completed the survey…

What was the “current” year when you started reading this site?

I was surprised how many people responding to the survey had been with the site since the first year: nearly a third! Everyone else was fairly evenly split regarding their “starting” year. A special hello to the 5% or so of you who have just started visiting this year!

Chart of years

Which age group are you in?

I suspected that visitors to the site were more mature than most websites, but I was surprised how few younger people visited. Not a bad thing, just interesting. 90% of respondents are age 40 or over, and nearly 50% are 60 or more. Two people said they were over 100, which is certainly possible…

Chart of ages

Which country do you live in now?

It’s not a surprise that most visitors come from the United States, nearly 45% of you. 24% are from the UK, 10% from Canada, 5% Australia, 3% Germany, 2.5% Netherlands, and nearly 2% from New Zealand.

Three people each (0.75%) are from Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland and Switzerland. Two people each (0.5%) from Japan, Poland and Spain.

Finally, each of the following claimed one person: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Central African Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Gabon, Honduras, Israel, Italy, New Caledonia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United States Minor Outlying Islands, and Zimbabwe.

There’s no way to verify this of course, and much of the above is well within the margin of error. The graph below shows the countries that claimed three or more respondents:

Chart of countries

So there we have it. Post below if you have any thoughts about the results, or if there’s anything else you’d like to know about your fellow diary readers, for next time!

11 Comments

Katherine   Link to this

It's good to see that people have been joining the diary at a steady pace even after the inaugural year, and we're still following. I'm sure many more than 400 people tune in to Sam's adventures.

Mary   Link to this

It might be interesting to learn how many "lurkers" the site has - provided that they could bear to pop their heads above the parapet on this occasion.

How many do not have English as their native language?

How many, if any, have a professional or academic interest in the diaries (e.g. as teachers/historians/social historians).

James Cridland   Link to this

If you use Google Analytics, it would be interesting to compare the "where people said they live" with Google's country of access information. With a sample size of 400, it should be moderately similar.

Phil Gyford   Link to this

Good idea James. The most popular countries from Google Analytics:

38.4% United States
35.2% United Kingdom
6.7% Canada
3.4% Australia
2.8% Germany
1.3% Netherlands
1.1% New Zealand

So, similar, but some differences, mainly that US and UK are closer in the Analytics stats.

Gordon Pratt   Link to this

Has any thought been given to what happens to the site when the diaries end?

Phil Gyford   Link to this

Yes. The site will remain online.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

The US/UK discrepancy between Google Analytics and your survey may represent response bias. Yanks may simply be more likely to respond to a survey than Brits. God knows we have to do it often enough, and this one was easier than most.

Pauline   Link to this

I had assumed that each year a new group would begin the diary at year one -- a surprise that it has remained one reading from inception with readers joining the ongoing reading and somehow catching up instead.

Phil Gyford   Link to this

The site is very much geared to reading the "current" day/year, so it's not that surprising that not many people start with 1660 each January. It would be possible to change the site so there's an easier way for new people to start the diary from the beginning each year, but (selfishly) I prefer this to be a one-off project that will come to an end, rather than on ongoing, rolling, never-ending thing.

Charles   Link to this

In reply to Mary and Gordon, I suppose I am a lurker, though I don't entirely like the shadiness of the term.
I signed up, I think, about 18 months ago and was very much hoping that when the diary comes to an end we might begin again at the beginning. I would guess that others who came in late would agree. But perhaps it's a bit much to ask, given the effort already required to create and maintain this wonderful site.

Lisa L   Link to this

I'm one of those who started recently. I downloaded Pepy's Diary via iBooks to read on the iPad I got for Christmas, and discovered this website (thankfully!# some time in January. If you can believe it, I started with the year 1660 and have read the entire diary #consulting the excellent annotations as needed) until I caught up with you guys about three weeks ago. Now I can take it easy and read one entry a day!

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