Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

September 17, 2017

Reader survey, 2017 results

Filed under: 2017 Reader Survey,Survey — Razib Khan @ 9:54 am

Every few years I do a reader survey. Below are results without cross-tabs (well, with a couple of exceptions) or any deeper analysis. I’ll probably do some follow-ups in the next month or so.

This gender proportion has been pretty constant. When I was at Discover I think the female percentage went up to 15%.

Many people read this blog in their grad school/postdoc years. Then they get busy with life. Also, there are a fair number of retirees who read this weblog (they are much more likely to email me for what it’s worth).

People pick “5” and “10” years because they are round numbers. A small number of readers actually know of me from Usenet groups and mention it (so they are “pre-blog”).

One thing that has changed over the years is that I have gone from the modal number of children, 0 (partly due to age and educational levels of readers), to considerably above my readership at 3.

The above demographics are reflected in “relationship status.” Lots of younger people who say “single” (though presumably they are dating).


The distribution of incomes is no surprise in light of educational attainment:

In terms where readers live, not much has changed over the years. I had expected more and more Chinese…but they basically have their own world-wide web (no, not banned in China):

In terms of academic background:

Fewer people from life sciences than I’d have thought. I think the proportion of people from math, engineering, and physical sciences has been increasing over the years.


60 geneticists responded. Pretty even distribution.

Surprised how few readers knew what the HWE was. Limiting the sample to geneticists improves the result somewhat:

Still surprised though at the low numbers for Breeder’s equation, Hamilton’s rule, Fst, and the neutral rate of substitution.

Surprised at the high number who have read Farewell to Alms. I think I can take some credit for the number of readers who have read In Gods We Trust and The Fall of Rome.

The fractions are the same for the geneticist sample in both of the above questions, as people will probably be curious.

Not surprised at fractions for deontology (low), consequentialism and virtue ethics (higher). But surprised by the proportion aligned with natural law.

The fractions on this question are the same year after year.

I did ask a question about religious identification. It did establish that at least 10% of readers identify as Jewish. This is no surprise.

No priors on this.

Seems right. As in, aligns with previous surveys.

Lots of political diversity. People who describe themselves as “libertarian” have always been modal since the beginning of the blog, but never have they been predominant.

When I force people to choose between fewer options a mild Right tilt in the readership is apparent:

On social issues there is a Left lean:

On economic issues, a Right lean:

When it came to president it was all over the place:

For the last result I’m going to switch to absolute numbers because nearly half of respondents didn’t give an answer (presumably because they did not identify as any of the communities):

April 21, 2017

2017 Gene Expression reader survey

Filed under: 2017 Reader Survey,Blog — Razib Khan @ 6:22 am

Since I’m finally getting settled in here, I thought it was a good time to do a reader survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MW3YFZH.

So it’s open. You can only take it once, but it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. There are 30 questions but the first 20 are mostly demographic and should go very quickly (e.g., your age, your sex, your race), and the last 10 are not difficult either (if you don’t know if you are a deontologist or consequentalist on ethics, don’t answer). Many are now of the form where you can answer more than one option.

I basically took the template of last year’s survey, made several changes, removing some questions and adding some. Also, I stole a few from Slate Star Codex.

You can read the non-text answers of the 2016 survey here.

In the middle of May I will the raw data (no-IP) and post it here so others can analyze if they want.

Addendum: Since I don’t know where else to put this, I have noticed an increase in referrals through my Amazon links. So that’s much appreciated. Obviously I’m not really getting paid much for blogging or doing the sysadmin activities, but it’s definitely going to covering overages from VPS traffic or anything like that. Remember, even if you don’t buy directly through the link I still get a referral if you are on Amazon during a session and buy something different.

Addendum 2: Forgot to mention. I’ve been doing reader surveys since 2004. The final tally of the number of people who fill the survey is always between 300 and 500, invariant of how much traffic I received (my traffic has varied about an order of magnitude over the years). It is curious to me that this “core readership” (as I perceive it) is about the same size as a Roman cohort.

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