How do you feel about WaterLine? I run into a lot of people who tell me how much they enjoy the magazine, but I always ask them the same question: What could we be doing better? Sometimes I get an answer, but not usually. “It’s perfect!” they say.
However, I know better. There are many changes that could be made, and a lot of them could be for the better. But that’s not really my place to make that decision. I’m just the publisher. I’m steering the ship — but really, you’re the ones who are in control. The readers run the show. While I’m at the wheel, I’ll go where you want to go.
Now, how am I going to figure out what you want if you won’t tell me? As I’ve done before (way back in 2012), I’ll do it by asking you — yes, you — to fill out a survey. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been crafting a survey that will tell us what you think of the job WaterLine is doing and what you’d like to see changed. This survey will tell us what sort of outdoor recreation you enjoy and what you want to read about.
Surveys only work if the answers are honest, and people are more honest when they know their answers won’t come back to haunt them. So ours has been set up to be anonymous. We’re doing it through a service called SurveyMonkey, so you’ll take the survey online (it’ll work equally well on your computer, phone or tablet). We’re asking some pretty specific questions, but we’re not collecting any data that will identify you personally — not even an IP address.
When you get to the last question, you’ll be asked for a name and a phone number or email address. And that’s where you’ll say, “Dangit, he said they didn’t want my personal info!” We don’t. Really. The survey is fairly long, so to encourage you to take the 15 to 30 minutes required to fill it all out, we’re bribing you.
I have five $50 Publix gift cards (mmmm — Pub subs) to give away to random survey takers, but I can’t hand them out without some way to contact you. The contact info will be kept separate from your answers and will be used only for letting you know you’ve won a gift card in the drawing. And if you don’t trust it, that’s fine — you can just leave that part blank.
In fact, you can skip any question in the survey. But we’re trying to get a clear picture of who our WaterLine readers are, and the more you fill out, the better we can understand you. The better we understand you, the closer we can match WaterLine to your wants and needs. And since we’re trying to understand what our readers want, please don’t share the survey link with people who don’t read the magazine. I know we’ll get some anyway, but I’m hoping to get mostly actual readers since we’ll be making future changes based on these results.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the results from this survey. I have an idea of how things will go, but I know there will be lots of surprises as well. I’ll be sharing some of the information with you in future editions of the magazine. And now that we are partnering with SurveyMonkey, you can expect to see shorter surveys popping up every now and then here in WaterLine.
Thank you for sharing with us and helping to make WaterLine the best local outdoor magazine anywhere.