Survey Says…

October 18, 2013 at 1:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Raise your hand if you enjoy having to answer a survey question in order to read an article on the Journal Star’s website. Raise ‘em nice and high so I can count them. Keep ‘em up. That’s right. OK, the final tally is…


I swear the Journal Star is actively trying to push people to other news sources. Dozens of ads on the homepage, popovers, and now mandatory surveys. It’s a marketing department’s wet dream and every user’s nightmare.

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The Comments

Fletch October 18, 2013 at 3:04pm

I would like to believe that some of the fair-minded folks that work there (if there are some) pound their own heads on their desks and ask, “Why do we do this crap?”

I read a ton of news and information sites on the web, and I can’t think of a worse site for usability. The exact opposite of user-friendly. And all they are doing is punishing subscribers along the way. The only choice I have is to vote with my wallet, and I’m the closest I have ever been to dropping the paper altogether.


Mr. T October 18, 2013 at 4:01pm

I’m not sure what the financial situation is at the LJS, but I can only assume that the aggressive advertising presence, paywall, and now the surveys, all indicate a pretty bad state of affairs. Of course, this is happening across the country. I’m sure its not something they want to have to do. Their back is up against the wall. It’s pretty sad, and I hope they can sustain their operations without further cutting or increased advertising.

Fletch October 18, 2013 at 5:07pm

I think the problem is two-fold as it relates to the advertising. Clearly, ad revenues have to be down, and costs of putting the paper out go up. There’s some added cost of having the online properties as well.

The trouble with advertising is supply and demand. The demand is down, so the supply is up, and to get the $$ they need, they have to either charge more to advertisers (which will drive them away,  and magnify the problem), or come up with other ways.

The online advertising works the same. They want people to pay for the content now, and they want people to pay to advertise. Most folks won’t pay for the content (let’s be honest - I am sure the paid subs to get around the paywall have to be an embarrassingly low number). So they get more ads, and more sponsors, and more banners, and pretty soon it’s hard to find the news among all the ads. However, if they are charging advertisers for clicks, I have to think the clicks have diminished due to the paywall.

Further, and this is always my beef - in an attempt to collect some money from gawkers, they are punishing the people who pay. Mr. Wilson pays to get around the firewall. I won’t. I don’t imagine he sees less ads than I do. And I won’t pay because in principle, I am already paying a lot as a subscriber. So if I pay for the print rag, and I pay for the recycling (which I do), and if I were to pay for the online content (never), they are making money from me at every turn and still beating me over the head with ads and sponsors and so forth. Enough.

The surveys seem to not do any of that. They are just annoying. And stupid. And don’t relate to anything or give any results. They just are something to block your view that you have to click on.

JT October 18, 2013 at 5:28pm

My business was a long time advertiser with the LJS, like back to the 70s. When we decided to drop or at least cut back on our weekly ad there was little or no effort to work with us to find a better fit with the paper.

Dustin October 21, 2013 at 1:31am

It’s a horrible survey.  Because everyone knows that you don’t have to read the question.  You just click once or twice on the rollovers and it’s over.  Really a marketer’s nightmare… cause spending money to have someone do the coding (wasting money) and incorrect information (payee’s get upset)

CS October 21, 2013 at 9:47pm

its also confusing, because the survey and the pop up window for the paywall appear simultaneously. The revenue from the click through should be supporting the online version of the paper, otherwise why have it?

Mr. T October 22, 2013 at 2:31pm

You mean, if you pay for the paper version you don’t get online access too? Surprised to hear that. Yeah, its definitely a bad situation.

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