In late 2015 I created and published The UX Self-Evaluation Checklist as an online survey through SurveyMonkey. The survey itself is oriented towards a limited audience : my fellow professional ‘user experience’ practitioners. It is simple, short, and shallow (only about 10 questions) – and was motivated by ongoing discussions among colleagues regarding the nature of our craft.
I posted a brief announcement and link to the survey on LinkedIn Pulse (a ‘public access’ bulletin board on a professionally-oriented social network. I was gratified with ~50 responses within the first month-or-so (which then tailed off again quickly).
But I was also disappointed that there was not greater interest in the survey, since the topic continued to be debated. Late in 2016 I decided to ‘reboot’ the survey by re-announcing it on LinkedIn – but this time I would use a different publication strategy.
My primary agenda was to increase participation in “The UX Self-Evaluation Checklist” survey. The positive impact of re-posting announcements of the survey was both substantial – and a little surprising. The initial response (in the first couple of weeks) is captured in “The Value of Re-Posting“.
This is a follow-up, with some analysis. Interesting stuff deserves commentary. Here’s mine.
By the Numbers
The article was initially posted (in the ‘public’/general LinkedIn Pulse platform in late 2015.
Results: There was a flurry of activity in the first 2 weeks (40 survey responses), which then subsided quickly and ended entirely to nothing by the fifth week (a total of 51 responses).
A year later in late 2016 I re-posted links to the survey. It was announced (with a brief “tweetable” intro) on 20 different LinkedIn special interest Groups (user experience) over the course of 7 days. The reason for this: LinkedIn punishes you if you attempt to ‘share’ an article on more than 3 groups (I suppose that this is to prevent ‘over-use’ or ‘spamming’).
Results: The number of people responding to the survey escalated quickly – and then tailed off just as quickly.
- 29 in week #1
- 541 in week #2
- 52 in week #3
- 11 in week #4
Survey responses continue to dribble in (currently at the rate of 1-3 per day), but it appears that the initial flurry of interest and engagement is over.
Observations and Assessment
My of high-level takeaways are:
- Re-Posting has Value (Repetition works)
- Targeting implies Meaningfulness
- Audience Attention Span is Brief
The initial posting of the message on a broad, “public” platform means that the article was seen by a lot of eyes. But few actually checked out the message. Much less, acted on it.
Re-posting the article to multiple special interest Groups means that the message was seen by a smaller number of eyes. But those folks actually had an interest in the message. And they acted on it.
The “window of opportunity’ for having the audience’s attention is very small: Two weeks, at most – really just 1 week.
This analysis isn’t really ‘new’ news. But it’s true news. That’s why it bears repeating.
Limitations and capabilities
There’s another aspect of this exercise. I announced the survey on two of my preferred socialNet platforms: LinkedIn and beBee. Both of them claim to be ‘professional’. I figured that it would be interesting to see whether they could both be effective in spreading the news to colleagues who might want to take the survey.
I published the announcement of the UX Checklist survey on LinkedIn in February of 2016. There was modest interest (50+ participants) in the survey as a result.
I published the announcement of the UX Checklist survey on beBee in mid 2016. There was no interest or activity in the survey as a result.
I published the announcement of the UX Checklist survey on LinkedIn in multiple UX groups in late 2016. There was huge interest (1400% increase) in the survey as a result.
My take on it:
- LinkedIn maintains a large number of active, engaged professional Groups populated with qualified colleagues
- LinkedIn offers tools with which allow you to reach out to the colleagues in those Groups effectively with your message
- LinkedIn professionals demonstrate a clear willingness to participate in professionally-related activities
LinkedIn is vastly more effective than beBee in connecting with fellow professionals on professional issues (other than – perhaps – marketing)
Observation: beBee focuses almost exclusively on its effectiveness as a platform for marketing. No argument here. Also not all that relevant to me. — John Vaughan
‘Re-posting‘ is a form of re-cycling which is fundamentally redundant (i.e. It’s the same article). Often ‘re-posting’ is necessitated because the socialNets lack the tools to allow graceful, efficient sharing-across-boundaries. Or – as with LinkedIn’s moderation dumbots – they punish you for ‘excessive sharing’ as a matter of Stupid Policy.
I use the term ‘re-cycling‘ to describe the re-purposing or revising of info in an article. This may involve editing, combination with other info, a new brand (title), publishing in a totally new venue, etc.
Net/Net: The one is sharing, the other is re-purposing
Would that the socialNets offered tools to effectively support ongoing ‘threads of thought’ more effectively, both internally – s.a. revisions, and externally – s.a. cross-pollination.
Anyone reading this article probably has more than a few questions about my process and methodology. Let me admit up-front that my process was based on convenience and my methodology is “informal”, at best. Criticisms are probably well-justified, from a research perspective.
In many ways, these follow-up articles are merely an afterthought. Still, I believe that they offer some insight and value.
Let’s note that re-posting to multiple groups did not increase the number of people who saw the announcement of the survey. Clearly, more people were exposed to the message when it was posted on public Pulse (i.e. everyone on LinkedIn). When I re-posted the announcement to special interest Groups, I was actually talking to far fewer people. But I was talking to the people who were most interested in my message. Participation in my survey skyrocketed, as a result.
The keyword is targeting
As noted above, my primary agenda was to increase participation in my “The UX Self-Evaluation Checklist” survey. The positive effect of re-posting was both substantial – and more than a little surprising.
© The Communication Studio LLC