January 18, 2012

RESULTS of the 2011 Man-Making Blog Survey

NOTE: There has been a slowing in my posting rate the last two months. Some of it was due to the holidays, but mostly, the fact that I’ve been working on the Second Edition of the Man-Making book. Watch for the publication announcement in late February or early March.  

Thanks for your interest in the Annual Man-Making Blog Survey for 2011. If you didn't get a chance to give me your ideas and opinions, the survey form, at this link, will continue to accept responses until the end of January. If you haven't yet, please take a moment and help me increase the value of this blog for you. While very helpful responses are still coming in, there are some common trends showing up I’d like to share with you.  

Here is a general summary of what you told me:

Your overall satisfaction with the blog came in with 64% of respondents giving it a 5 (love it) and another 24% with a satisfaction rating of 4. That means 88% of you really like what you’re getting. No one gave the blog a one or two.  

As to the frequency of posting, at the current 3-5 posts per month, again this year 85% of you said it was just right. A few wanted more, and a few wanted less. One person who requested fewer posts said he needed more time to “digest and research” the content. In the hopes that too much of a good thing is OK, I'll continue post at about the same rate.

I also asked, What's ONE thing I can do or change to improve the blog for you? By far the most common response was to just keep on doing what I’m doing. There was a suggestion to provide a listing of local opportunities for men who want to get involved with man-making (check out the zip code search engine at the National Mentoring Partnership). There were a few requests for research based posts, and a couple wanting to learn more about an adolescent male’s developmental stages. I’ll try to honor those themes in upcoming posts.

While it’s difficult for me to collect, a number of you wanted to hear from young guys; what they want from men, what a rite of passage experience was like for them, and how it feels to have an older man (other than the father) involved in their life. Will do what I can on that one too. If you have a story like that or know young men I can interview, please let me know.

In the question where I asked, What type of content is most interesting or helpful for you?, there were a few clear leaders. The Physical and Emotional Development of Boys and "What You Can Do" to Support Boys were the most requested at 62%. Stories about Personal Rites of Passage Examples, from men and boys was close to the top at 58%. Men's Stories about Man-Making, Activities for Men and Boys, and Man-Making Related Research were requested content by almost half of you.

Here is the complete list. Remember people could select more than one response so the totals come to more than 100%.
  • What You Can Do" to Support Boys 62% 
  • The Physical and Emotional Development of Boys 62% 
  • Personal Rites of Passage Examples 58% 
  • Men's Stories about Man-Making 46% 
  • Activities for Men and Boys 46% 
  • Man-Making Related Research 46% 
  • Related Film and Book Reviews 35% 
  • How to do Rites of Passage for Boys 31%" 
  • Recorded Podcast Interviews (with people in the field) 27% 
  • Information on Organizations Initiating Boys 27% 
  • Community Violence Prevention 19%

I also asked, Is there a resource you know of I should profile in the blog? The short list of your responses to this question included: the Pathways Foundation in Australia (post coming soon), the name of an organization initiating young male in South Africa, a number of books and films for guys (any book or film reviewers out there?), and an offer from New Zealand to be a “down under” correspondent for man-making happenings in that part of the world. All this has been captured for future blog posts.

Finally the question: Why do you stay subscribed to this blog? Some of your responses really warmed my heart. Just a short sample of what you said includes:
  • Because I want to help young men become good fathers and citizens. 
  • I need this inspiration to keep me involved with the boys in my neighborhood. 
  • It keeps me connected to my own journey to manhood, keeps me aware of the boys around me. 
  • I am a parent of 3 sons and 2 grandsons. 
  • Curiosity and desire to learn how to support them keep me coming back to your blog. 
  • Your blog posts cover current affairs and are very relevant to men like me with the passion of helping boys on their journey. 
  • I’m interested in men/ boys/ masculinity/ how to be a male in this world 
  • Great information to pass along in my office (mentoring organization)--where all of my women co-workers need to be constantly reminded on how to recruit male mentors. 

Thanks again for your feedback. I’m always open to your suggestions, challenges, book or film reviews, and your stories about men and boys on their journey to manhood. You can use the comments feature at the end of any post, or use the "Send Earl a message" link at the end of each post.

Mostly, THANKS for your support and for caring about all our boys.


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