February 3, 2010

Man-Making Blog Reader Survey Results

I want to thank you all for you input into the 2009 reader survey. Your feedback is always helpful and, for me, inspirational. I want to share some of what I learned and some of the suggestions that came my way.

You are indeed a diverse audience. Each of the 13 interest categories had many responses. That response says keep doing it all! At the top of your list were Men’s Stories about Man-Making, Personal Rite of Passage Examples, and a desire to learn about How to do Rites of Passage for Boys. Close behind those you voted for Activities for Men and Boys, learning about What YOU can do to Support Boys, and post that are both “inspirational,” and research based.  I'll keep these requests in mind going forward, and if you have any content or stories to contribute, do send them to me.

In response to the question, Why do you stay subscribed to this blog?, your responses were also very broad. Some that were really a heads up for me included, It encourages me to get off my couch and do something, Hard to get this stuff elsewhere, Helps me in my mentoring, Your blog reminds me that I need to act in the lives of the young men around me, I like that it uncovers parts of my life which were lost to me . . . , and, It connects me to a community that doesn’t exist elsewhere for me.

I also asked you about the ONE thing I can do to make the blog better for you. Below are just some of those responses and below each, my reaction:
  • Tell me more about what we can do to make schools better for boys.
      I'd love to hear from people working in schools. I'll see what I can find, but stories from the front lines are the best.
  • Post more often.
      I'm shooting for weekly, unless something that's hot comes up. I want to go easy on people's in-boxes.
  • Invite readers to contribute stories and I want to hear more about Man-Making moments in men’s lives as they were growing up. I'd LOVE more stories from readers. I'm also thinking about doing the occasional podcast (audio) as an experiment to see if I can master the technology and if you like them.
  • Add a PayPal contribution button. I just may. I know of many fledgling Man-Making initiatives I love to support with donated funds.
  • More stories about men working with boys, what they do, their successes and lessons learned. If you're a person working with boys in any capacity, send along a few paragraphs on what you've learned. Many will benefit. I'll try to find more of those stories for you too.
  • Be more open to diverse views and perspectives. If you are working with boys in any way you haven't seen represented in the blog, I'd appreciate you letting me know. I'd be happy to cover any approach with out judgment.
  • Focus more on content from outside the US. I have reported on projects in Australia, Tasmania, South Africa, and England. I'd be happy to hear more about those countries and to learn of initiatives in new countries. If you know of a program you think should be profiled, let me know and I'll do the research.
  • More on historical-tribal stuff. I too find what I term the ancient template fascinating and inspirational. I'll try to keep those examples in front of you.
  • Tell me about the medical reasons boys act like . . . boys. There are some great books on this topic and lots of research papers. I'll see what I can find.
  • Do interviews with people doing this work and get posts from other authors. I have profiled many books, most recommended by you. I'd be happy to get book reviews from you. I'll try to do some author interviews and see about some guest blogger posts.
  • Let’s hear from boys who have experienced rite of passage experiences. This one is a little harder because it's hard to get young males to write. I do know a few and I'll ask, maybe even do an interview or two.
  • And many of you said, "Just keep on doing what you’re doing."  Thanks.
I appreciate all your support and encouragement. Thanks also for spreading the word about this important work and for helping to make this blog more helpful.

You wouldn't be reading this if you didn't care about boys and men, so please consider yourself a co-creator in this blog. If you come across anything in this topic area, just  send them to me and I'll take it from there.




  1. Hi Earl, I am so grateful to have come across your blog. Although I am a female, I just started mentoring a 16 year old young man living in a foster group home with all boys. I read your blog to keep me focused on what it means to be a mentor, to offer love, guidance and inspiration without enabling him. As a mother, my instinct is to protect this worthy young man that I have become so attached to. I hope beyond all hope that I can make a difference in his life. And that he will grow into a stable, successful and happy adult. Thank you for all that you do.

  2. Suzy... I honor your wonderful intentions and I'm Absolutely Sure, you have already made a difference in this young man's life. There is never any guarantee you can make "the" difference, the one that saves him from himself. But you can be sure that your caring and attention are having impact. I do so honor you for that.

    Thanks for your very kind words about my blog.

    All blessings,



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