Last week we designed a survey to get a better understanding of what works on the Nation Network and what doesn’t. The answers that came back were all across the spectrum – some provided great insight, others provided a good laugh, others made us want to rethink our chosen profession. 
We sat down at Nation HQ this morning with a fresh glass of thinking Rye and read everyone’s responses – over 1100 in total! – from bow to stern. A big thank you goes out to everyone who took the time to answer this thing. Surveys are SO annoying – we appreciate you taking time out of your life to provide us with key information to drive our redevelopment. 
Our summary findings can be found after the jump.


Survey results are always funny. I can see how people get ‘analysis paralysis’ when they have access to too much data. For every part of the site – every feature, every type of article, every writer – there are those who love it and seemingly equal numbers of people who hate it. 
“More Wanye!” “Less Wanye!” “More polls!” “No polls!” the comments point in every direction under the sun.
“What do we do? Nothing? Everything? Fire everyone?! Rehire everyone at 5x the output!?” the brainstorming has been set to hurricane the entire morning as baggedmilk and your ol’ pal Wanye ran around the war room trying to take immediate action – whatever that action may be.


Well that reads pretty well. 95.7% of Nation Network readers are satisfied or very satisfied with the overall experience we are providing. If I had this high of a satisfaction rating among the womens I meet I wouldn’t need this platinum Tinder account on constant refresh.*


Is anyone working anymore? Thankfully the answer seems to be no. The mission of the Nation Network has been “give people stuff to do so they don’t have to work for a living, but still look like they are working for a living when someone casually passes by their office and see them staring intently at their computer screen.”
Mission accomplished.


It seems as though Nation Network readers are divided equally into camps that love and hate every writer we have. For every “fire Gregor!” there was at least one “Gregor rules!” type comment and that went for every writer mentioned in the survey. 
“What do we do? Fire everyone? Rehire everyone at 5x the output?” Baggedmilk and I ran around the war room at HQ equal parts panicking and taking decisive action like only people suddenly overwhelmed by data can do.
We currently have 49 writers across the Network. We will be announcing some new additions before the season starts in our climb to 100 writers under contract within 3 years. Hopefully they will all create the polarizing reactions our first half of the team have to date. Our awesome team of writers is the key to our success and that will forever be.


One of the questions we asked was to gauge people’s thoughts on paying for premium content on the Nation Network. To be clear that doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we are going to be throwing up a paywall like the geniuses at the Edmonton Sun elected to do or something equally ham fisted to ruin everyone’s free fun.
The Nation Network will always be free to read all articles, use the tools and resources across our 9 sites. What we are trying to do is see “if we did something entirely new, would people pay for that in addition to the current free experience?”
Trying to find a way to monetize content driven websites like blogs is a tricky business. We are out pitching potential advertisers day after day and doing everything we can think of to grow traffic which in theory leads to more revenue with which to hire writers down the road. Cooking up plans for new premium pay features is part of that.


Enough people lipped me off in the comments that our cold lump of coal we call a heart was warmed. No, I haven’t quit writing for the sites. I did take the summer off from writing and don’t put out as much content as I used to in the golden era of the site where there were eight readers and we were all BFFs and chatted the day away. But as we will see in the lead up to the season beginning I haven’t been screwing the proverbial pooch all summer long.
I got a few things done in between “trying to help the Mud Howlers” and watching “Mexican Jersey Shore.”** You’ll see.
*Look for me I’m signed up as Gregor, Jason.
**Actual show, muy entertaino.