I had a chance yesterday to finally look over all the responses to Part One of the recent FWG member survey, so here’s the rundown on that section. Part Two will come later, probably after Easter. (I started to post this in the FWG members-only forum, but all in all, I’d rather everyone here be able to view it.)
Total responses received: 39 each to the 2 parts (out of 103 total members contacted)
Have you visited the Furry Writers’ Guild website (www.furrywritersguild.com) since its redesign in June 2014?
Yes - 97.44% (38)
No - 2.56% (1)
If yes, what did you like about the website?
Received 30 responses, with the organization and ease of navigation getting positive feedback.
What aspects of the website do you think could be improved?
Responses to this one were all over the board, so it was hard to feel much of a consensus on what might warrant improvement. To address a few things that were brought up: As far as updating the writer’s market more often, that of course depends on when there’s new information to update it with. There was also a call for members to be able to update their own bios, which might be possible, but I’d have to find a way to give each member access to edit just their page and not the entire blog (possibly with a password?), which I suspect might turn out to be far more effort than it’s worth. Right now, remember that all you have to do is email your new bio/pictures to furwritersguild (at) gmail.com, and I’ll get them updated as soon as possible. (Generally speaking, I’d advise members to provide links to their website or blogs where readers can find up-to-date information, and to list a few of their best publication credits rather than keeping an exhaustive list in the bio that has to be frequently updated. But I don’t mind doing frequent updates if you don’t!)
Do you read the blog on the FWG website?
Yes, sometimes 31.58% (12)
Yes, but rarely 23.68% (9)
There’s a blog? 15.79% (6)
Yes, I’m subscribed via RSS/email, or see posts via Twitter 13.16% (5)
Yes, often 7.89% (3)
Never 7.89% (3)
First, for those who haven’t seen the blog, it’s at
You can subscribe to it by email or RSS to receive the latest posts, and there’s an automatic tweet sent out as well when each new post goes live. We have four types of posts that occur regularly – the guild newsletter/update (on the 1st of the month), the Book of the Month (on the 5th), guest blog posts from our members (the 10th and 20th), and Member Spotlights (the 15th and 25th).
Any suggestions or feedback regarding the FWG blog?
This was almost entirely positive, so it looks like those of you who do read the blog like what you see.
Any suggestions or feedback regarding the FWG forums? (Please note, this is just for feedback about the forums, not the shoutbox or the Coffeehouse Chats.) If you don’t participate in the forums, is there anything we could add, change, or improve that might encourage you to participate?
The impression I got from the responses to this question is that for those of you who do use the forums, your experience with them is mostly or entirely positive, and for those of you who don’t, there’s not really anything specific that we could change that would encourage you to participate. Many mentioned time as a factor in not participating more, which is understandable.
Have you attended any of the Coffeehouse Chats that take place at scheduled times in the forum shoutbox?
Yes - 35.90% (14)
No - 64.10% (25)
If you haven’t attended a chat, why not? (Please check all that apply.)
The times are inconvenient for me 44.83% (13)
Other 37.93% (11)
Wasn’t aware of chats 24.14% (7)
Don’t like the shoutbox format 13.79% (4)
Not interested 10.34% (3)
Among the “other” category, it pretty much boiled down to being too busy or the times often being inconvenient.
As far as not being aware of the chats… They get mentioned quite a bit here on the forums generally, and there are 6 reminder tweets that go out every week on Twitter referencing them. They’re also mentioned every month in the guild news update on the blog. If anyone has ideas for other places the chats should be mentioned to help raise awareness, let me know, but as they say, you can lead a horse to water…
Any suggestions/feedback about the Coffeehouse Chats?
I thought I’d get more complaints about the shoutbox format in these responses, but those mostly seemed to show up in the question about the website instead. (On that topic, I know the shoutbox isn’t perfect, but as forum admin, Sean Rivercritic and I have considered other options, and right now the shoutbox is honestly the best we can do.)
There was some mention here of the chat times being rather US-centric, which is something I’m trying to change as we speak. And there was a suggestion for the topic-based chat (currently held Thursdays) to post that day’s topic in the reminder tweets, which I think is a very good idea – but those reminder tweets are usually scheduled days or weeks ahead of time, so I would only be able to include the topic if it were being chosen relatively far ahead of time.
Part Two is where things get more interesting. Watch this space.