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Our reader survey results

Our reader survey results

First of all, may I personally thank everyone that took the time to fill in this year‘s reader survey. It genuinely helps in terms of setting our priorities and direction for the next year. I‘ll respond in accordance with the questions.

How often do you visit the Imperica website?

The clear majority here was “I don‘t. I just receive the newsletter“ which implies two things. Firstly, it‘s that we are not publishing articles which are compelling enough for people to return (after all, new articles are also announced on our Twitter). Secondly, Web Curios - the newsletter - doesn‘t really point people to articles either - so perhaps we should have a special “This week in Imperica“ box somewhere in the newsletter. Thanks, though, to whoever answered “2-3 times a week“.

What do you think of the quality / volume of our content overall?

Mostly “High quality“ / “Just right“. That‘s all good.

Which areas do you enjoy reading?

We didn‘t want or intend to catch people out, but even for those of you who answered “I just receive the newsletter“ for the “Volume“ question above, people put all sorts of answers here: News, short articles, interviews, and so on. Maybe readers assumed that we were referring to links to those types of content in the newsletter rather that what we were producing ourselves - an unintended consequence of a badly-phrased question.

If Imperica was a monthly magazine, how much would you pay for it per month? (GBP / EUR / USD)

Mostly 3-5 per month, which is reassuring.

In which field do you work / where are you based?

Around 50% of respondents answered with “Marketing and advertising“, and most people are based in the UK. This has a major impact on our direction, as I‘ll explain below.

Do you have any additional comments?

Here‘s a sample.

  • ​Missed Web Curios when it was gone! Until earlier this year it hadn't registered with me that you make other things, something I intend to remedy​.
  • I am blown away every week by the effort that goes into the newsletter and the quality of the collation and writing. Thank you so much.
  • The formatting of the newsletter makes me cross-eyed, but the content is gold. I enjoy being known as the one who puts the best stuff in the office #random Slack channel. Thanks for all the hard work that goes into it.
  • ​I get that you need to monetise the platform, but those spammy SEO links in the recent articles are awful. Literally any other monetisation route would have been better. For a site I trust/admire it absolutely destroys your credibility. Content=great tho!

The final comment refers to a bunch of our recent articles where we inserted paid placement links - firstly, because we were paid to, but secondly because we ran it as a little experiment. People tended to hate it, so we need to find a balance between sponsorship / paid placement and making that (reasonably) non-obtrusive for people.

I thought of the idea of Imperica in the late 90s and finally got around to starting it in 2010. The original idea was to have something like a European version of Edge.org, which had interesting people talking about interesting things, in a way which was unashamedly intellectual and thought-provoking. Ultimately, the goal was become something of a nexus point for amazing creativity between artists and marketers - something which our short-lived service Imperica Connect was to commercialise.

Ultimately, that idea doesn‘t, or certainly didn‘t, work. It was perhaps too high-minded to be a concept of significant commercial value. In 2014, in a sort of random/serendipitous way, Matt came along and we brought Web Curios into Imperica - which has cast a long shadow over everything ever since (and I mean that in the nicest way possible).

As such, our future almost certainly lies in some sort of “new / intelligence-based stuff for the marketing community“ proposition, which is clearly what Web Curios is and does, then building something around that. Anything else then becomes part of our forthcoming Real Magazine Thing, so we still have the opportunity of producing long-form content, but it is more obvious as to why, and what the connection is between the website (short-form intelligence), the magazine (long-form interesting), and our commercial stuff (being commissioned to do either/both).

And, as I write that, the proposition finally becomes very clear.

Paul Squires, Publisher, Imperica

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Web Curios 23/08/19