Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Results of our blog survey

We launched this blog last December. We have finished an admissions cycle, and the incoming class is on the verge of descending on Bologna.

It's a good time to review our work, to see if it's been worth it and, if so, to introduce improvements.

Many of you participated in an online survey in June. As promised, we will offer the results of that survey. But first, some


Between December 1, 2010 and June 27, 2011, we published 129 posts. They generated 30,567 pageviews, for an average of 237 pageviews per post.

The posts included 34 videos. Each post had at least one photograph or graphic. The posts generated 296 comments that we published (and some spam comments that we spiked).

Here are the countries with the most pageviews to date:

Here are the three most read posts since we launched:

1. What is in a name? (December 9, 2010)
2. Seeing how you think (February 21, 2011)
3. A video peek at SAIS DC (March 10, 2011)

Here are the three most viewed videos:

1. Tour of SAIS DC
2. Reaction to Mario Draghi's speech at SAIS Bologna
3. SAIS Bologna Students' Summer Plans


Here is a summary of the results of the survey. It is, well, a summary and so leaves out a fair amount of detail.

The 76 people who completed the anonymous survey came from 28 countries. Eleven of them have dual nationality.

Some of the results:
  • Two thirds of the participants are 21-25 years of age, and just over one quarter are 26-30.
  • More than eight out of 10 of the participants will be attending SAIS Bologna in 2011-12 or 2012-13.
  • Most found out about the blog via an email from SAIS.
  • Two out of three read the blog several times a week or once a week. 12% read it every day.
  • Everyone reads the blog on a laptop or desktop, with a few using mobile devices.
  • Readers call up the blog in various ways: bookmarks, RSS feeds, email alerts, Facebook, search engines.
  • Nine of 10 readers find the blog useful. No respondents found it not useful.
I have compiled all of the written comments that participants offered up here.

Here are some of our takeaways:
  • Readers have generally found the blog useful in learning about SAIS and getting ready to attend.
  • They want more details on the admissions procedure, more information on career opportunities, more involvement of students in the blog posts and more faculty profiles.
  • We can improve tools for navigating the blog and for retrieving/archiving posts.
  • We can also publicize the existence of the blog better.
  • Some readers like the weekly quizzes -- but many more do not.
One thing I should point out: as almost all of the respondents have been admitted to SAIS Bologna and will be attending, they already know a good deal about SAIS the institution. It is natural that they would want more detail on the nitty gritty of life in Bologna.

I should also note that some respondents asking for more input from SAIS Bologna students will be ... SAIS Bologna students this coming year. We look forward to your contributions!

One of our challenges going forward will be to make the transition to a new pool of readers: prospective candidates for 2012-13 who may know very little if anything about SAIS. Some of our current readers were in that camp about a year ago. How time flies -- and we've had a lot of fun over those months with this blog.

Thanks to those who participated in the survey and to our loyal readers.

For those who have just joined us, you can sign up as a follower by clicking on the Follow button on the upper right-hand side of the blog.

You can receive blog posts by email by submitting your email address in the Follow by Email box, also on the upper right-hand side.

And you can receive the blog via an RSS feed. Those directions can differ depending on your browser.

Comments, of course, are welcome.

Nelson Graves

No comments: