February 13, 2013

RESULTS: 2012 Man-Making Blog Survey

The 2012 Man-Making Blog Annual Survey is my attempt to sharpen my editorial focus and, hopefully, increase the blog's interest and relevance for you. Your helpful responses have been compiled and summarized below. Your feedback offered some affirmations, ah ha’s, recommendations, and a few invitations to actually shift my approach to serving this community!

Simply stated, you like the direction I've taken. You continue to want a fairly wide variety of types of information on man-making themes. Many of you use the blog for support and motivation for your own involvement (or intentions) in this work. Many of you have important expertise and are aware of content and resources beyond my reach. Finally, many of you are interested in experience and idea-sharing exchanges using conference calls or web-conferencing tools.

I do intend to incorporate many content suggestions in the very near future. I will also put out an announcement here soon inviting you to register for our first, topic-focused conference call. If possible, I'll also be posting links to the call recordings. I think diving deeper into the rich reservoir of knowledge and experience "you" represent will enrich the Man-Making Blog experience for everyone.

I’m going to leave out your wonderful compliments, but I do want to thank those of you who basically said, “Thanks . . .” and “Keep on . . .”.  Those affirmations feel great and are Very Much appreciated. Thank you for continuing to care about what happens in the lives of men and boys.

For brevity, I’ve combined your responses into common themes. Here’s a summary of what you expressed:

What is ONE thing I can do to make the Man-Making blog more meaningful for you?
  • Continue featuring the variety of man-making groups around the U.S. and internationally (I'm writing from Italy).
  • Create a space for existing organizations to promote their offerings for boys/men.
  • We’re running school workshops for adolescent boys in Australia. We’d love to get feedback and ideas from your readers.
  • I’m interested in being a better father and hearing about activities for my son and his friends.
  • Tell us about meaningful stories of initiation in other cultures, for example, Asian, Aboriginal, that support younger men to live more fully inspired lives.  
  • Write more about your experiences mentoring boys. Keeping the conversations and stories real keeps me coming back. 
  • Encourage men to take GOOD care of themselves, medically-in particular. 
  • I am a father of 5 boys, ages 5-11, and would like ideas for practical rites of passage ceremonies for my boys. 
  • Write a simple how-to ebook describing a simple initiation ritual for men and offer it to every man on the planet.
  • I have no personal connection to any men interested in this work. I’d like a check-in call where people answer "why are you on this call?" to hear about successes and from other newbies. 
  • Add more pithy quotes, if I cannot read the whole post, at least I could be inspired by the quote.

What type of content in blog posts is most interesting or helpful to you? 
In this question, I forced you to choose from a list of possible content and allowed multiple choices so the total is over 100%. Here is how you voted in order of preference:

Getting men interested in mentoring and man-making63%
Rites of Passage activities or programs for boys51%
Men's stories about men who made a difference in their lives         43%
Young male developmental stages40%
Man-Making Films and Book Reviews 40%
Man-Making related research31%
Developing school-based support groups for boys29%
Activities men and boys can do together29%
Community based violence prevention for young males23%
Single parenting of boys17%

Is there a Man-Making resource you know of that I should profile in the blog?
Your responses to this question were proof that there is a wealth of ideas and experience "out there." In your responses, you told me about young male-serving programs from around the planet, as well as books I'd not heard of, and even some inspirational video clips. You'll be hearing about many of these and others in upcoming blog posts, but here is just a sample:

Interest in forms of Idea Sharing: In the survey I said I felt the challenge of getting good men to show up for young males is too big and too important for me to be the only voice being heard. So I asked you about your interest in other ways we might share ideas. While Earl's Special Reports don't really fit here, many of you do want to find a way to hangout. We will be experimenting with these ideas in the near future. In order of preference, you said:

Topic-Focused Webinar or Conference Call         55%
Earl's "Special Report" Publications55%
Private Facebook Group45%
Open Conference Call39%
Mini-Conference with 8-15 Participants29%
Internet Call-In "Radio Talk Show"16%

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