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Survey: how are we doing?

Community/Meta

By Adam Bink

Earlier this year, we did a full-length survey at Prop8TrialTracker.com, digging deep to see what everyone liked, didn’t like, and wanted to improve. We learned a GREAT deal and made a number of adjustments and improvements to writers, content, technical aspects and more. Thanks to everyone who participated.

The staff here just wants to check in again and see how everyone’s doing, but without a long survey — just a check-in over in the comments. Tell us how we’re doing… what do you like about the content (the blog posts) and what could use improvement? The technical aspects of the site? The writers? Features you’d like to see? Please be as candid as possible and leave a comment. As always, you’re welcome to e-mail a comment in private to prop8trial at couragecampaign dot org as well.

Let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading P8TT. This survey will run each day this week.

23 Comments

  • 1. Richard Lyon  |  August 27, 2012 at 9:25 am

    P8TT is providing a valuable service in presenting specialized and well informed information. It stands out as being positioned differently from most of the other sites in the LGBT blogsphere that typically concentrate on hot button emotional issues. You have an opportunity to be more than just part of the LGBT food chain. You can be a recognized resource to more mainstream media that have an influence on general public opinion.

    I see this happening when Scottie's articles are posted at HuffPo. They get picked up and linked at sites like Scotusblog. The same articles have appeared on P8TT, but you aren't getting the direct linkage. Since Scottie advertises his affiliation with P8TT there is some visibility, but you could get more benefit out of it.

    There are a number of established approaches for promoting this sort of network linkage. I think that you need to brand this site as something more specialized than just another gay blog. Within your specialized area you can provide the kind of broader public service that organizations like GLAAD have.

  • 2. Guest  |  August 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Let me be the first to thank and congratulate everyone who works on this project for a fantastic job reporting on Perry. But, I can still see at least one area for improvement. The quick hits section is very confusing (and I'm not new to the internet). It makes absolutely no sense to have a click on the headline (which ostensibly describes a third party article or site) and have that return the user to the quick hits page. It's counter-intuitive and a waste of time. Moreover, often the link to a third-party article/site is only one word; so it is difficult to even see how to navigate to where I want to go. I have found myself more than once Googling for the content I wanted to find because it is easier to do that than to spend time reading the P8TT blurb and searching for a link.

  • 3. Adam Bink  |  August 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    The reason to be directed to the Quick Hits page is because sometimes authors write a word or two of explanation along with the "link" to the original source.

  • 4. Guest  |  August 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    From the sidebar that would make sense, but once you are within the quick hits page it makes no sense for a click on an article's header to re-direct you to the same place within the quick hits page instead of the article itself. Further, clicking to quick hits from the sidebar doesn't even bring you to where that content is located in quick hits, but takes you to the top of the page.

  • 5. Adam Bink  |  August 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I don't agree. Explanation is useful. Further, Quick Hits gives people other than frontpagers a brief opportunity to make a comment about a topic in a place other than the comments. If one clicked directly to the article, that would vanish.

    The anchor links to avoid landing at the top of the section are working fine for most people, but we'll triple check that.

  • 6. Guest  |  August 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Wow, wonderful responsiveness to your "survey" (sarcasm). If you want actual feedback why don't you receive peoples' comments without openly disagreeing with them after they post them.

    Nobody is suggesting that readers don't post explanations. The suggestion is that once you're on a quick-hits page and you've seen what the reader had to post about the article, the 16-point link at the top should take you to the actual article instead of back to the same page you've already read.

    And no. The anchor links are not working and never have. Please do triple check that.

  • 7. Sagesse  |  August 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

    @

  • 8. Elizabeth  |  August 27, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I really appreciate how quickly I received am email back the one time I was looking for clarification on something in a post. I also really love how quickly information is added to blurbs about breaking news. This proved to be very valuable sitting in a courthouse wondering if me and mine would be able to get married.
    I really appreciate how each blog post puts things in easy to understand terms for those of us who arent legal experts. I tend to read the "easy to understand" version first, then backtrack to read the complicated version.
    Lastly, I think it's great that you have branched out to other cases as prop8 is winding it's way through the courts. I am so happy to see lots of into being shared on the case in NV. thanks for being such a great and reliable source!

  • 9. jpmassar  |  August 27, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I wish we could find a way to eliminate the need for '@' comments.

  • 10. Ann_S  |  August 27, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I find this site very valuable.

    I have stopped getting email notifications of new posts – and yes I have reported this as a technical issue. I have re-subscribed. Nothing I have tried seems to help. I have been relying on the postings on FB to learn of a new post on this site.

  • 11. _BK_  |  August 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I don't really have much to say; just wanted to drop off a comment of approval. The site has improved greatly through the years. I love how it's taken a broader approach to LGBT issues, rather than focusing solely on court cases. Although I absolutely love that we can find such detailed analyses here. Keep up the good work! ( :

  • 12. Adam Bink  |  August 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks very much.

  • 13. Cary  |  August 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I love coming here. I expected to see a faster posting of Ware's decision today to close the Prop 8 case; thereby ending the stay on marriages in California, but you can't be everything to everyone 🙂

  • 14. MightyAcorn  |  August 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Sadly, it doesn't end the stay, but we'll see what SCOTUS says in a month or so.

  • 15. MightyAcorn  |  August 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    This is my go-to site for legal info on Prop 8, DOMA, ENDA, and DADT. The only thing I can think of that could use a tune-up is the "Want to know where things stand?" page: it's way not "scannable" in the internet-info-intake sense, in that it's very long blocks of detailed text that, while informative, immediately discourage P8TT newbies from reading it.

    May I suggest a short couple of sentences answering the immediate question of where things stand at the top of the page, perhaps bolded, which at the mo might read something like,"August 2012: After being overturned in two federal courts, Prop 8 is still in effect but the case is currently being appealed to the US Supreme Court. We will know whether SCOTUS will hear the case in late September or early October. Click here to receive email updates!" Next paragraph: "For a detailed history of the case, please click here/read on…."

    I think that's what people who click that link are looking for. The legal geeks can then read further if they wish.

  • 16. Kevin  |  August 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Actually, not sentences, graphics with mouseover or some other kind of pop-up text please.

  • 17. Mike in Baltimore  |  August 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I try to read P8TT on a daily basis. I'm very impressed how some attorneys try to take very 'legalese' and translate the verbiage into 'normal, non-attorney' language to help people understand what's going on.

    As to my one major complaint – whenever a 'Scribd.' document is inserted, it starts messing with my browsing (instead of it being smooth, it is 'jerk', 'jerk'. Two or more in succession messes with it even more. Could you link the (especially 'Scribd.') documents, thus keeping them off the comments pages? Yes, it will mean one more 'click' for people who want to actually read it, but they have to scroll through the document anyway, even if it's only a single page.

    BTW – I'm using a desk-top PC with Windows 7 Home Premium (with 5.66 Gig memory), 2 Gig HDD, and Mozilla Firefox (most current version – yes, I'm anal retentive on keeping my browser updated).

    I'm not sure if the problem is with my PC, my browser, the web site is acting slowly as I browse down the page(s) with embedded Scribd. postings, with the Scribd. site, or with the Scribd. site being linked through another site. I've only noticed it, though, when linked through the P8TT pages.

    And a minor complaint – could a date/time stamp be placed on updates? Sometimes it's difficult to impossible to tell if an update was from 5 minutes ago, or days after the original article. Usually, an update that is not date/time stamped can cause confusion when trying to read an article and/or comment and respond accurately (and P8TT is not the only site that has this problem).

  • 18. Adam Bink  |  August 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks for the notes particularly on the tech side. We'll look into these and address.

    Certainly, we can add timestamps to updates.

  • 19. Mike in Baltimore  |  August 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Adam,

    Thanks for looking into the problems I'm having, and let me know if you need additional information to help you on these problems, or if there is anything you think I should change to make things run smoother.

    Mike

  • 20. Bunka  |  August 28, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I check this site fairly regularly. I assume the 90 day clock started ticking on June 5th as to a Supreme Court filing and was counting down the days left. I just read an article elsewhere that the proponets of prop 8 filed with the Supreme court on Aug 5th. There is no mention of this anywhere on this tracking site. This is big! I thought this site was the place to go to eliminate confusion and get the latest information. It needs to be updated as new developents happen. We seem to be right back to confusing and missing information. There is no place to go to track current information and status. This site has failed us!

  • 21. Mike in Baltimore  |  August 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Maybe you should retain some of the valid information of what you read, and be much more selective in what you read?

    Maybe this will help you: http://www.prop8trialtracker.com/2012/08/24/plain

    (Note: the filing was made on August 24, 2012.)

  • 22. Daniel Park  |  August 28, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I think the site is excellent. However, since you ask for suggestions on how to improve, here are mine:

    – As Prop 8 litigation is now in its penultimate or ultimate stage, you will need to think about what else the blog should cover. IMO, you should stick with your niche and not try to be a generic gay blog. Focus on the fight for marriage equality, with an emphasis on coverage of marriage-related litigation (in NV, IL, and NJ to take a few examples). Also, I would include analytical pieces on the political battles over marriage. For example, I see very little really good analysis in the blogosphere of how we conduct our campaigns, who steps up to fund and who doesn't, etc.

    – I also see very little good writing in the blogosphere directed at rebutting the claims of the other side. Sure there are countless blog posts about decrying NOM's claims about public schools as BS. But you see very few pieces that involve actual research, hard facts and analysis. How much more useful it would be to have, say, an interview with an education official from IA or MA or VT debunking the claim about public school curricula. Ditto for the claims about Ocean Grove and the rest. Provide something new and something useful, analysis and info that could actually help activists and attorneys.

    – You will also need to consider a new name, as the Prop 8 litigation is going to be history either in a few months or by next June. Arguably, the name is already passed it, as the trial phase of the P8 litigation ended years ago.

  • 23. Adam Bink  |  August 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks for the notes.

    Actually, we have some news on several of this points coming in September. Stay tuned.

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