Phone on Fire Newsletter, Issue 7: Poll Results
Thursday, February 01st, 2007 | Author: lisaksimone

Folks,

Welcome to Issue #7: Results of the Completely Unscientific Reader Poll

Thank you for participating in my Reader Poll. Your feedback helps me understand if my thoughts are completely out in left field or not. Well, I think I know the answer to that question without having to ask!

Here were the questions:

Question 1 asked about your personal preference - did you like the cover?

Question 2 asked about the cover’s ability to attract a potential buyer to learn more…does the cover art do it’s job?

Anyway, 30 people participated in the poll. Here is some basic info about you:

* 22 of you are engineers/programmers
* 3 are scientists/other technical types
* 5 are in diverse non-engineering/nontechnical fields.
* 21 of you are male; 9 female

**** [Ed note: for those of you who received the original emailed newsletter, the counts below were incorrect. Yes, your Type-A engineering friend must have been under so much stress that she completely screwed up COUNTS!!!!. Below are the correct counts.]

Question 1 asked about your personal preference - did you like the cover?
__3__ It’s really cool - what a neat idea!
__6__ Yeah, I like it
__11__ It’s okay I guess
__7__ Well…not really
__2__ Wow, what happened with that?

With possible answers between 1 and 5, the average response was 3.0 with a standard deviation of 1.1.

Interestingly, the engineers like the cover less than the nonengineering folks: Engineers: 2.9 Nonengineers: 3.4

Question 2 asked about the cover’s ability to attract a potential buyer to learn more…does the cover art do it’s job?
__3__ Oh yeah, it sucked me right in
__10__ I was somewhat intrigued and would take a look at the back cover
__13__ I might take a cursory glance; depends on my mood
__2__ The book looks kinda odd. Hmmm, but that book next to it looks interesting.
__0__ Run Away! Run Away!

With possible answers between 1 and 5, the average response was 3.5 with a standard deviation of 0.8, with a smaller (nonsignificant) difference between the groups - Engineers: 3.4 Nonengineers: 3.6.

So overall, folks felt a little better about the message, but still not strongly supportive.

Several of you had comments…

I’ll start with my favorite….”This seems like the literary equivalent of ‘Do these jeans make me look fat?’ I’m steering clear of this.

Thanks for the laugh!

Most folks did not like the choice of phone.. Some offered that the phone pictured is not relevant or it “threw them off” because it has no software in it, and that a cell phone/new phone would have been better. A few mentioned that removing the base or making the phone smaller would improve the cover.

Two folks like the phone and offered that it suggests the history of telephony, but that the connection between the phone, the dangers of fire, and the newness of computer code could be better spelled out.

Most folks like the burning fuse, but thought it needed smoke or sparks to make it look less like light coming from a fiber optic cable and more like fire/flames.

Some additional quotes:

* For me it looks like an old book related to some old technology with a wired telephone.
* The phone looks funny.
* I hate the &$%* phone!

On the flip side, several folks commented enthusiastically that the glowing source code in the background is cool.

Folks had other suggestions for changes, including a flaming cord coming from the bottom of the phone, having someone holding a smoking phone, a stopwatch to indicate only a bit of time left to solve the problem, and the phone cord exploding from the jack in the wall. Two offered that the colors are bland, and that red should have been considered to draw attention.

Regarding fonts and titles, a few offered that there are too many words of different fonts. On the other hand, one person liked the title so much that the cover art would have to be very bad to turn them away after reading the title.

That’s it! I included Tiffany in this poll and she asked to see the results. Too bad it seems like we don’t have the opportunity to use this information to boost the attractiveness of the cover up a bit.

Thanks for playing in my sandbox,

Until next time,
Lisa