Editor's Note: g1 Atsinganoi has compiled all the data from the survey he he took last October and here are the results. In some ways I think it is an interesting look at how ScrewAttack has evolved from its transition to the new ScrewAttack, and it makes me excited for all the cool features coming to the g1s in the future. Thanks for everyones participation and maybe we should do this again sometime. Also tell every female you see to visit the site...
Let's just get right i nto it, shall we?
Here are the results for the 1st question:
So, it looks like we start off with some good news for Craig and the crew. Overall, the response has been generally positive, with more than half (61%) having a favorable or better impression of the new site. Add to that another 15% of people who seem to like the site at least as much as they liked version 4, and you get 76% of respondents, which means it is a minority, though still a significant minority, of people who dislike the new site.
On to the 2nd question:
There are some clear winners here. Keeping in mind that respondents could chose more than one options, it seems people just love the new video player, with over 61% of the respondents choosing it as a change they've like. Not too far behind we have the addition of the search bar, the overall design of the site, and the expansion of the news section, each getting between 47 and 53%. Other categories, like the addition of trailers, the Hard News format, the new blogging system, and the Advantage program got respectable results, scoring between and 10%. Bringing up the rear, we got the forums, with 2% of the respondents choosing it as a change they've liked. Finally, 12 people chose "Other" and wrote-in their choice in the comment box. Most were actually complaints, so they should have put it in the next question, or simply spelling out their love for the new video player. One person did mention the "Hot on the Internet" feature, the "Poll of the Day", and the "Retired Features" as welcome additions.
Two people skipped the question.
The response to this question clearly shows that though there certainly have been complaints about the new site, not all the changes have been bad. On the contrary, some were warmly welcomed. On those points, good job to everyone involved with making those changes.
The 3rd question:
Most disappointing for g1s was the lack of subscriptions. Though the pie chart shows that this got 23% of the votes, it is very misleading. While it may look like the percentages are fairly evenly spread, it's important to remember that respondents could choose as many options as they wanted. In reality, almost 60% of the respondents (with 126 of the 212) citing the lack of subscriptions as a something that left them disappointed. This is a serious problem. It has been stated that subscriptions will be coming back, but the change has not yet been made. It is difficult to understand why they chose to not allow the option to subscribe right from the beginning of the design of the site.
Following the lack of subscriptions, the most cited problems with the site are the absence of the talk-back bar and the new blogging system. 80 people expressed their disappointment with each of these changes, constituting just fewer than 40% of the respondents. This is another serious problem and goes well beyond the usual discontentment you would expect when any site goes through an upgrade. Combined with the lack of subscriptions, as well as the 4th largest disappointment (lack of a friend system, which was the choice for just over 30% of the respondents), these two further problems with the site as determined by the respondents seem to be part of one lager problem: the perception of site's apparent focus away from g1 content, but we'll get to that when we get to question 5.
"Other" was the next most common choice for this question, and many people specified what disappointed them in the comments to this question. The comment seen the most often was the g1s distaste with the Advantage Program. However, it should be specified that these comments were not from Advantage Program members complaining about the feature, rather, they were complaints about the existence of the program itself, citing contradictions (no exclusive content, only early access to content, then finding out that some "behind the scenes" or bonus content would be exclusive to Advantage members) or the fact that many felt that Advantage content normally would have appeared under Random Awesomeness, which was free to all.
Next, we have the video uploading and the new Hard News format, both coming in at around 23%. Both of these probably affected certain users a lot, while most (since they never uploaded videos in the first place, don't watch Hard News, or like the changes to Hard News) were probably left unaffected.
Finally, coming in as the choice of roughly 15% of the respondents, we have the overall design of the site. This is not a negligible amount of people, but considering the scope of the changes to the design of the site, it might also not be surprising since most people tend to resist change; however, if we add to this amount the people who complained about the design of the site when they chose "Other", the percentage swells to nearly 25%. The main theme found within most of these specific complaints regarding the design focus on the "disappearance" or "burying" of the g1 content, something we will focus on, again, with question 5. A few people complained of the site's cluttered or messy front page, citing difficulties finding even the SA staff's original content.
Moving on to question 4:
Here the answers seem to have been rather split. If we add "Much more time on the site" and "More time on the site", we get the choice of 39% of the respondents. By adding "Much less time on the site", "Less time on the site", and "Virtually no time on the site", we get 30%. This leaves us with 29% of the people who responded spending "about the same amount of time on the site". At first glance, this seems like good news. According to this, there are more new people coming to the site and spending more time on the site than there are people leaving or spending less time on the site.
The problem with making this conclusion is that we ignore the people who have stopped visiting the site altogether and the people who spend "Virtually no time on the site" or "Much less time on the site" that just didn't happen to visit the site while the survey was underway. Potentially, this group of people could be very large, simply based on the fact that 11% and 7% of the respondents, respectively, did choose those very responses. It stands to reason that many more people would have chosen those categories, but they just don't visit the site enough anymore. If I ran a website and had these kinds of results, I would be a little worried.
Finally, mitigating this problem a little is the fact that, as we will see later, the majority of people who responded are g1s. This means that they are most likely to be people that already did spend a considerable amount of time on the site; therefore, it stands to reason that it is much easier for people who spend a lot of time on a site to spend less time on it, than it is to spend more. What the question and results of this survey does not reveal is the scope of new visitors to the site, since these people were naturally much less likely to respond to.
Now for question 5.
First of all, I'm only just noticing that the colours for "Much more" and "I never blogged in the first place" look identical. Regardless, that whopping 47% belongs to "I never blogged in the first place". If we eliminate the 100 responses for this option, as well as the 6 who chose to skip the question, we are left with 106 people who responded and just happen to also be bloggers.
This is the area that concerns me for the site. I had a vague feeling that people were blogging less. I also had the impression that people were visiting g1 blogs a lot less frequently than they did on v4. The answers to these questions, and especially the comments, seem to confirm these fears.
1% of the respondents claim to blog "Much more". Almost 8% replied that they blog "More". Another 26% said they "About the same" amount of time blogging. This leaves us with 8% spending "Less" time blogging, 28% spending "Much less time" blogging, and another 28% admitting they they've "Stopped blogging altogether". These stats mean that nearly two-thirds of blogging g1s do so less than before, with the vast majority of them doing much less blogging. For a site dedicated to its community, this should be very alarming.
Even worse, there were 29 people who left a comment (more than for any other question) to explain why their blogging habits changed or stayed the same. The overwhelming majority brought up one major issue, and instead of summing it up, I'll post some of the comments verbatim:
"Like many g1s I've come to know thanks to ScrewAttack, I came her for two reasons: to catch all of the great SA content and to blog in an environnement of respect with like-minded gamers. The community is like no other I've come across. Sadly, I feel like the new ScrewAttack has purposefully turned it's back on this great community in the hopes it can become IGN or GameTrailers, and it pains me beyond belief to witness would I would call the dismantling of the greatest online community found anywhere. How did this happen? One simple answer: news and trailers spamming g1 content into oblivion. It's one simple act that obliterated half of the reasons I even saw this survey."
"What point is there in blogging if there's little to no chance anyone will be able to find it?"
"My blogs get lost in a sea of others. I'm thinking of no posting at all anymore. Time for the blogging g1s to move on to another site if they actually want to be read."
"What's the point if no one sees it. It's not just the blogs. The SA stuff has way less views as well. Maybe, just maybe, it's because you've alienated the people who made up the other half of the reason your site used to be the best."
"While I used to have an average of 500 to 1000 views on every post in the past, I'm now lucky if I get 50 to 100. I feel like the bloggers in the community have been cast aside."
"The community has seems to have been burried behind this new focus on trailers and news."
"The old ScrewAttack was meant for gamers to post their videos and experiences, now its just a carbon copy of IGN."
"Why bother with blogging here anymore? The dismantling of the community combined with this new focus on news and trailers. The constant flow of pointless and useless news and trailer posts borders on spam. Basically, you have to hope that someone with influence notices you, and whether or not someone does seems like a total crapshoot."
"I don't even know why we even still have the option to blog here. It's seems like the site's focus has changed. While the g1s/the community used to be important, now trailers, news, and views have pushed the lowly g1s aside. g1 content is clearly not important to the site anymore."
There were many more like those, unfortunately. Some of the less aggressive comments also brought up the lack of subscriptions as a reason they are dissatisfied with blogging here.
The lack of subscriptions will apparently be remedied, but for the general feeling that ScrewAttack has abandoned the g1s who blogged and posted videos, the solutions are not so easy. Maybe there are plans for things that will be coming soon. Maybe Craig has already thought of some solutions. Maybe, we'll have to wait and see, but the longer the situation continues, the less likely many of the people who responded so strongly will return. Based on chatter I've come across on Twitter, some g1s have already left. The situation is similar to trust for most people: many trust easily, but once betrayed, it's nearly impossible to regain that trust. One wonders whether the people who have left would return at this point.
Enough of the sad, time for question 6:
Not everyone uses the forums, so if we eliminate the 98 people who were not forums users in the past, and the 12 who skipped the question, we get a clearer picture of how the people who are avid forum users see the changes to the site. Overall, it's negative, but only slightly. About 10% of the respondents are visiting the forums more or much more often. 40% have not changed their habits at all. Also, 35% visit the forums less or much less often, while 17% have abandoned the forums completely.
Those last two numbers look terrible, but we need to keep in mind that since so many responses were eliminated, the rest of the results are only based on 102 responses, so the margin for error is larger, while our ability to expand them to reflect the forum users as a whole is hindered slightly. The numbers aren't good, but the potential for them to have been skewed by factors outside of the control of the survey is greater. As well, not being a forum user myself, I'm not the first person to become aware of any changes, if any that have taken place in the forums that may have tempered this reaction. For all I know, all is now well.
The following questions are more of a demographic/general interest nature. I included them to see if some of the questions would have anything interesting added if we looked at the responses by gender, age, etc. I'll bring up the instances where they did as we get to them, otherwise, you'll just be getting the pure statistics.
This question was asked more out of curiosity/market research than anything else, and based on the results; we do get an interesting picture of what brings people to ScewAttack.com. The partnership with GameTrailers, featuring the AVGN, Top 10s, VGV, and now Death Battle, has certainly helped introduce this site to many people. Having SideScrollers and Hard News on YouTube is also contributing to some growth. Finally, it also looks like the g1s are also doing their part. It's a very nice mix and shows that having a strong community and partnerships has served the site well.
Keeping in mind that more than one option could be chosen in the response, we still got some interesting data from this question. The people who came to rate and comment have reacted to the changes much more positively than the average g1.
Meanwhile, the g1s who joined to blog are by far the most disappointed group when we observe the percentage of these people who chose the negative answers in question 5. While earlier, we had 8% of the people who have blogged spending "Less" time blogging, 28% spending "Much less time" blogging, and another 28% admitting they they've "Stopped blogging altogether", if we look at only the people who chose to become g1s so they could blog (among other reasons), the percentages jump to 21% who blog less often, 37% much less often, and 35% who have stopped blogging completely. That makes for a whopping 93% of g1s who came here to blog that are now doing so less than before.
Still looking at the g1s who joined to blog, if we cross-reference them with the responses to question 3 (what has left them most disappointed), only one of these respondents did not chose "Blogging system". Lack of a friend system (46%) and the lack of video uploading (38%) are also much more important concerns for these people.
The forum users are also slightly more critical of the changes, though the difference compared to the average g1 is not as drastic as that of the bloggers.
Well, what can I say about this question? Should we laugh? It's not like anyone expected the results to be any different. Unfortunately, 31 female respondents are not enough to interpret the differences in responses between men and women. Regardless, all would agree that the g1 sausage party needs some more ladies.
First of all, the green slice "2011-11-14" is the result of having worked on this pie chart in November. It should read "11-14".
One result here was slightly surprising. Maybe you don't see it, but the 27-30 year olds outnumber the 23-26 somehow. The numbers for the other groups are fairly unremarkable.
As for how this played out with the other questions, the results were fairly typical, with a slight variance here and there. The older g1s tend to blog a bit less, so the percentage of them disliking the changes to the blogging system was a little lower. The exact opposite is true for the younger g1s, since they tend to blog more; they have tended to have disliked the changes. as for the rest, the numbers only vary by a few percentage points here and there, all within the margin of error.
So, those were the results. React to them if you like. Hopefully, the staff will see this and chose to make some changes or address some of the concerns/complaints. As well, we can hope that this will have provided some confirmation that many of the changes were welcomed and appreciated. Some changes are good, others not so much. Such is life, but since change is inevitable, the strong adapt while the weak get trampled. ScrewAttack, for better or worse, has changed. It could have stayed the same and risk becoming stagnant, which none of us wants. In the end, we can surely all agree that a lot of thought and work went into the new ScrewAttack.