An Update on Those Surveys

Kyle Scott —  June 18, 2013 — 44 Comments

SurveysEmail from reader Russ D PipesI just watched the video explanation for the survey thing on your website. I just figured out I had to answer the survey to read the site today before I watched it. I was trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with the website for a week or two wondering why I couldn’t read it. It might be a good idea to keep that video at the top of the homepage for a while to inform the readers. I probably would have been able to use the site a week or two ago instead of just assuming a technical problem.

Good call, Russ D.

The response to the survey questions has actually been tremendous, better than I expected. A vast majority of you click when they show up on the homepage and there has been little negative feedback. I posted a video explanation about the questions twice, but I know that some people don’t like or can’t watch videos, and that others may have missed it, so here’s the deal with those survey questions that are not causing “a technical problem”:

Once a day, on the homepage, you may see a 1-2 question survey (no more!) before you can continue reading. Until you click an answer (sometimes two), the text on the page will be greyed out. There is nothing wrong with the site. That’s how it’s supposed to work. The surveys are generated by Google and are completely anonymous. Market researchers submit their questions and Google pushes them out to their 160 partner sites (we had to be selected by Google to take part in this). Each answer generates revenue (a few cents) for the site. It’s Google’s answer to the dreaded paywall. Ad rates on the web are continuously going down, causing more websites to charge for subscriptions, much like newspapers, magazines and other publications did for decades. But I don’t want to do that, and you certainly don’t want to pay for that. So this may be a happy medium– one second of your time to support the site. I’m guessing that you will start to see these on many websites in the coming months and year. The response on this site has been great, and I know that many of the other sites that are participating with the survey questions are experiencing similar success.

We are experimenting with the placement and frequency of the questions, but you should never see them more than once every 24 hours, regardless of how many times you visit the site each day. Right now, the surveys are limited to the homepage, not individual posts, and will only show up on Chrome, Firefox and IE, not on Safari or mobile. If you are seeing them every time you come to the homepage, check to make sure that you are not in private browsing or incognito mode, or that your browser doesn’t flush cookies every time you close it. I’ve received two comments, both from Firefox users, that they were seeing the surveys every time they visited the homepage. Please let me know if this is happening to you– we’re working to fix it.

As you can see, the surveys are very easy to dispatch and significantly less intrusive than full-page pop-up ads (or the 30-second ads that play before videos on CSNPhilly.com!). And every click helps to support the site. Most of you haven’t had a problem, and I’ve gotten many responses from people who were happy to make the extra click once per day. But know that there is nothing wrong with the site. The greyed out lines are normal. Just click a survey answer and they’ll be gone.

Thanks again for the continued support. The video explanation is after the jump, if you want more information on why we’re trying this.

Kyle Scott

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44 responses to An Update on Those Surveys

  1. I use Firefox and I’ve been having to go through the survey every time I go to the homepage- even if I’m “back buttoning” it from the comments section on a story.

    I’m not in private mode, and it’s not about clearing cookies after I close the browser, because I’m not closing the browser.

    It hasn’t slowed down my visits to the site, but it is annoying, and very well may lead to me not visiting as much if I have to deal with it every single time I hit the homepage.

  2. Everytime I visit the site I have to answer the survey. My browser settings do not dump all the cookies and I am not in private or incognito mode. Agree its not a big deal if it is only once a day, but this is really becoming a pain in the ass

  3. Honest question though and not trying to be a complete dick but if we are being forced to answer questions so you can make more money, it think it’s fair. Why do you need to force us to make you more money to hire a second writer when 99% of posts are just a recap of an article, tweet, video, another blog post, etc. with about 200 words added?

    If you are forcing people to make you more money, are any expected changes coming? Can we expect any more in-depth opinions or Crossing Broad exclusive content? If not, then you forcing readers to make you more money so I guess you can spend less time doing this is pretty much bullshit..

    • It’s not Bullshit you dumb Fuck. It’s a free country that we live in. Kyle is free to make as much money as he possibly can from this website. And you my dickless friend are free to come here or not. You aren’t being forced to do anything. Stick your “forcing people to make you more money” up your sloppy ass hole. Change your name to “The Idiot” it would be more truthful. Thank you very much.

      • Love when Kyle uses a fake name to attack his critics. It’s kind of like the time the black guy gave a fake name to his girl prior to making her vagina a recording studio for Boyz II Men. Kyle, talk to your girl man, she needs to come clean about how she hasn’t been faithful to you!

      • This is comical. Yes, America clearly is a free county. I am not sure what that has to do with anything though, so let’s just skip past that nonsense.

        And of course I am free to come here or not and I choose to because enjoy some of the content. Also, irrelevant.

        Readers now have to answer questions for, as stated, a new writer. Asking what the purpose of a new writer when blogs who publish twice the amount of content and are often ran by a single person, who often has a full time job is fair.

        As I said, I like some of the content, but if answering questions to make someone more money to view a picture of Andrew Bynum is all it is going to get me, I’ll go elsewhere.

        • Now, that’s much better Son. I don’t know how I raised such a pudwhacker.

          My point is this is a free choice you make, nobody else’s. So stop acting like you are forced. The only nonsense was your whining about being forced to do something you do out of your own free will.

    • It takes time to write long, in-depth original content. It’s a full-time job. One of the aspects of the site that most people like is that CB finds the entertaining stuff from an endless stream of shit and passes it along with some context and commentary. And I’d like to think that just about all of that comes with a different slant than what you’ll find elsewhere. There’s plenty of original stuff on this site, but some of those longer posts can take basically an entire day to write, or if it’s a video or podcast, hours to edit, upload etc. Which means there would be 1-2 posts on site, not as many people would read, I couldn’t get paid for it, and the site wouldn’t exist. If I hire a second writer, you can bet that all of the usual stuff will be here, plus it will free up time for me (or the other person) to write some original stuff too and spend a bit more time on giving commentary to the other stuff. That said, adding, say, 200 words to sometimes 10+ posts per day is more work and time consuming than you think it is. And then there’s the whole business aspect of it, finding advertisers, fixing issues with the site, etc. Adding a second person would go a long way in providing more frequent, and in-depth posts, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that the style would change. A lot of people like the site for what it is, so it would be that– just more of it.

      That said, I’m not forcing anyone to do anything. The site is free, yet it has to make money somehow, just like every other business ever. Except for the Mets.

      • There you go. Fair enough and what I was looking for. I certainly understand the time it takes, especially if writing is natural to you. And while I have been critical in the past, I thought it was a fair question to ask what the purpose of this would be rather than just “hiring a second person”. The main reason I come here is for the snark, so I would hope that doesn’t change.

        I am very familiar with paying for content on the web and the sites/publishers that have been the most successful, I think, are the ones that are the most transparent.

    • bad argument there, the truth. I guess you didnt understand the part that said regular ads are demanding less $. and dont get that it costs money to run these sites.

  4. so you tout the advantages of surveys over full-page pop-ups, then the next time i come to the site, there’s a full-page pop-up?

    • Yeah, and a NASCAR ad I might add – is there really that much overlap between Philly sports fans and NASCAR? I mean, I know it’s growing in popularity, but I don’t know a ton of Eagles fans who would kill to go to Pocono on the weekend. Am I off base here?

      • Gah. That shouldn’t be there. Sometimes one slips through our ad network. I’ve asked them to remove it.

  5. your a dick. I was on your side because according to you, “we only will have 1 to 2 surveys to answer.” Every fucking time i go to this site i have to answer a survey. for some odd reason i visit it 4-5 times a day thinking you will add somehting with substance. everyday i am wrong. now i go to the site today and there is a full page add, which you said you wouldnt be doing. i’m done dude sorry. i have a feeling your going to loose more money with these adds and surveys. your traffic is going to go way down. i dont have to answer surveys when i go to deadspin or barstool sports. and those sites actually have articles which i can read, not just a picture with 3 words under it. so i’m done, peace.

  6. Big Fan of Fingering Girls June 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    You should do a survey to see if anyone would fuck Susie Celek?
    A) Yes
    B) No
    C) maybe after a few cold beers

  7. Don’t make me answer a question just to view articles man. I don’t even know what twitch is.

  8. Hey Kyle,
    Fuck you. Your site blows now. Actually i cant see what it says because i refuse to voluntarily submit info in order to read your usually entertaining and insightful commentary about our failing teams. You get paid to be a blogger, don’t be a dick. Quit the bullshit data mining. Why would you think we who read this site would want/accept an extra step in getting to your articles? I am willing to bet if we traded places you would be thinking the same thing, “fuck this guy, fucking sell out.” Then again I may think the same as you, “I dont care I get paid to blog and shit, fuck that guy.” It was a nice run but you are now part of a disgusting trend of shittiness on the internet. I think you should have more ads and more surveys less articles. Bad enough all our communications are recorded and potentially later reviewed, but a sports blog asking you to submit to it openly…? Kyle you fucking Cray. I will be back to see how long you ignore the readers and keep this bullshit up cuz i am willing to bet this is just the beginning.

  9. You tards complaining about the surveys are morons. Just click any answer if you dont want to read it. Do you think it matters what answer you gave an anonymous survey?

  10. I’m watching you. I’m watching all of you. Make one more anti-Semitic remark to Kyle on this survey, and you’ll feel the full weight of the federal government descend upon you.

  11. Not having much negative feedback could also be that people are really lazy and dont want to anonymously bitch at a blogger who is likely to ignore their comment. My previous words were a bit harsh considering the time I have spent enjoying your work but we as a citizenry, in a FREE AMERICA, like our privacy and dont like jumping through hoops for people. I am sure you understand that. Maybe the true test would be to host a mirror blog and see who goes where. Do people keep going for the survey because they want you to eat every night and put victoria’s secret on your girls ass, or do they say fuck the survey and go to your original no survey format? I agree with you having ‘original’ content but the comments being left are very valid your site has decreased in quality of said content. The decline could be that there just isnt much exciting going on or it could be you are very busy as you have stated but end of the day instead of getting better and better the site seems to be slowly declining. On top of that we get smacked with these surveys. I dont know Kyle I want you to be employed and I may even want to continue reading your blog but there must be a better source for income. I hope you find it.

    • Much of that wasn’t coherent, but doing my best to respond here: I’m not dating mining you, I’m trying to make money so I can run the website. Well aware that people don’t like “jumping through hoops,” but other than online, just about everything else in life people pay for. No one wants to pay to read websites (myself included), so we’re trying something new that asks for a one-second click once a day. In the next year or two, you’re going to see a lot of sites that have paid writers asking you for money or some sort of click, I can all but guarantee you that. So we’re asking for a quick click to support the site if you like it. I understand that not everyone will think that’s reasonable, but thus far, the response has been fairly positive. I will, however, argue with you that over the past month or two the site hasn’t been good. Given the current Philly sports landscape, I’m actually very happy with the amount of content (and readership) of late.

  12. I’ll fuck anybody

  13. Im pretty sure you can customize the message before the question. Instead of “answer to help CrossingBroad” You might want to put something like “To continue reading, please answer this question.”

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