By BILL SHUMWAY
We’re currently conducting a NorthCountryNow.com viewer survey and we’d sure appreciate your help.
The survey only takes a few minutes and will help us continue to improve our website. To take the survey, just visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/RS9WZWK
The survey results will provide us with information that will be helpful as we consider adding new features or making changes.
The results also allow us to describe NorthCountryNow.com viewership to potential advertisers, who make it possible for our staff to put in hundreds of hours each week producing content and updating the website.
Nearly 500 viewers had already taken the survey in the first 24 hours since it went online Thursday afternoon, but we’d appreciate a far greater number.
In a typical month, 155,000 different people visit NorthCountryNow.com, according to Google Analytics.
When the survey is completed in a few weeks, we’ll share some of the results with you in this space.
But in the meantime, it appears that the geographic make-up the people who visit and re-visit NorthCountryNow.com on a regular basis has not changed much since our last survey nearly four years ago in May 2009.
Based on preliminary results from the first 460 survey participants in this year’s survey, it appears about 32 percent of viewers live in or near Potsdam, 21 percent in or near Massena, 15 percent in or near Canton, 11 percent in or near Ogdensburg and 7 percent in or near Gouverneur.
Only 11 percent say they live outside of St. Lawrence County.
Those figures are rewarding to us, because it indicates the vast majority of our viewers are true St. Lawrence County residents, not people who happen to land on NorthCountryNow.com by a Google search and never return.
Our survey, of course, only represents NorthCountryNow.com viewers who choose to participate and is not scientific. But the proportion of viewers by geographic location is consistent with results provided by Google Analytics and Quantcast.com, which both measure website traffic.
The survey also reminds us that our viewers have a wide range of opinions:
• Some wish we would post a “catch of the day” or “buck of the day” photo on the home page each morning; others don’t want us to run any hunting photos, even on an “inside” page which can be seen only by those who choose to visit.
• A number of viewers wish we would allow comments on our stories; an equal number is turned off by our Sound Off column, which features anonymous comments from viewers selected and edited by our staff.
• Some survey participants ask for more police blotter coverage, others say we run too many crime stories.
• Quite a few viewers appreciate our exclusive focus on St. Lawrence County, but some ask for regional and national stories.
So it’s pretty much guaranteed we will never completely satisfy each viewer, but will certainly appreciate your participation in the survey. The more people who participate, the better we will be able to craft a website that “mirrors” St. Lawrence County and its population.
The survey address again: www.surveymonkey.com/s/RS9WZWK
And thanks again for participating!