Friday, June 01, 2007

What Washington reads ii

I decided to redo my earlier informal survey using Survey Monkey. A total of 30 people responded, not a statistically significant sample. The discussion lists I posted this to do not have many civil servants, so that undoubtedly skews the result. Even so, I think it is useful.

Twenty out of 30 respondents are forty years or older. Fifteen are president or owner of their company, five are project managers or leaders of process improvement, the rest are, in descending order, independent computer consultants, programmers, and sales/marketing.

The Washington Post remains the most popular source of technology news, with 41% of the respondents naming it as a favorite source. The New York Times was a distant second, with 33% of the respondents naming it as their favorite source for technology news. In descending order, the remaining favorites were:
Computer World
Information Week
Washington Technology
Washington Business Journal
Software Development Magazine
The Wall Street Journal
Federal Computer Week
MIT Tech Review
Google Tech News
Yahoo Tech News
Government Technology Magazine
Defense News
CNN Tech
Government Computer News
CIO Magazine
Der Speigel
The Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The following sources had a single mention:
The Baltimore Sun
The Baltimore Business Journal
Federal Times
Oracle Magazine
The Register

The following sources were volunteered as an other choice:
Wired Magazine
PC Magazine (two mentions)
tech wire
Tech Crunch (two mentions)
Read/Write Web (two mentions)
The Economist
Christian Science Monitor
Potomac Tech Wire
ACM Queue
PC World newsletter,
Scot Finnie Newsletter
Rob Pegararo
Business 2.0
One responded listed various mailing lists.
Most interesting for a PR professional were respondents who listed news releases from software/hardware manufacturers and, as one respondent put it, “and sometimes even Microsoft itself!”

Only seven of the respondents, or 28%, read blogs. I suspect that would have been higher had the sample been a younger group. Of those that read blogs, Slashdot was by far the most popular with Tim Bray’s Ongoing, Jon Udell, and Lou Rosenfeld also being mentioned. Javaranch, Newsvine, Scoble, Joel on Software and Washington’s own CMS Watch were volunteered as other, significant as these were not prompted choices. CMS Watch was the only local blog that was mentioned.

Twenty-two, or 78.6% of respondents participate discussion groups. This is not surprising as discussion groups were the primary way I publicized this survey. DCPubs was by far the most popular discussion group. This either demonstrates the influence of DCPubs, or that their members are more willing to respond to surveys. In descending order the most popular discussion groups were CPCUG lists, DC Web Women (this one surprised me) Netprenuer Ad-Marketing, The Langa List (which is now part of Tech Republic lists, and PRSA members and nonmembers. Volunteered in the other category:
Wemaster World (two mentions)
Lassosoft's various discussion groups
U2U forums on
Netpreneur Talk the Talk

Only seven respondents use social tagging sites, with being the most popular, followed by Digg, Orkut, and Newsvine.

This sample size is far to small to have any statistical significance; even so it offers insight into local tech culture.

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