The results are in! After a survey of our community, I’ve compiled the data and am ready to release much of the quantifiable results to the fleet. Let’s get started!
Our first piece of data is information about how many people responded to the survey. Here’s a table showing responses per ship:
Pretty amazing that we had an 80% response rate for the fleet! Every ship had at least a 50% response rate, and the Tiger had 100% participation.
Next up is the following question: “Overall, how happy with UFOP: StarBase 118 are you?” There were five possible answers:
- Not happy at all
- Mostly unhappy
- Mostly happy
- Totally happy
We wouldn’t expect to get too many “unhappy” answers — after all, if you’re unhappy, you’re probably not sticking around, right? But I was surprised at just how many people responded “happy.” We grouped each of the Happy and Unhappy selections into “Mostly Happy” and “Mostly Unhappy”:
Exact answers are as follows:
- Totally happy: 40.00%
- Mostly happy: 56.47%
- Neutral: 4.71%
- Mostly unhappy: 1.18%
Time Spent per Week
Captain Waltas added the following question to the survey after our first draft: “How many hours per week would you say you spend on activities within our community, including simming?” This was a stroke of genius, as we hadn’t considered until then how we could use this information for the purposes of understanding how dedicated people are to simming! Check out these numbers:
One person said they spent 40 hours a week on community activities, but as you can see the averages are quite a bit lower than that. On our faster-simming ships like Mercury, members are spending about two hours a day on simming and OOC activities. Drake is an outlier, as they’re also one of our faster simming ships with a relatively low average per day. However, this may account for simming vs. OOC activity participation.
The average American spends about an hour a day online, which means that UFOP: StarBase 118 members are spend far more time online than most people, and that members spend a large percentage of their time online participating in our activities.
Community News Engagement
Our next question was how often participants read the Community News on our website. Possible answers:
- A few times a week
- Once a week
- A few times a month
- Once a month
Here are the results:
Interestingly, 87% read the news at least once a month, which is good, but it could be better.
We asked those who said they “Never” read the news what the reason is. Most said that if they could receive the news via email, they’d read it even if it came once a day. The good news? We already have that feature! On any page of the site, you can click the “Subscribe” link on the right side of the menu bar, and then click “Get UFOP: StarBase 118 delivered by email” in the box on the right. Enter your information, and you’ll receive a digest of the news that comes no more than once a day.
Things People Like About Us
We asked “What do you like most about our community?” and got a really wonderful array of responses. The best way we could demonstrate the results without giving specific answers was a word cloud. Here’s what it looks like (click on it for a larger version):
Obviously, the sense of community and “the people” were a big factor in many of the responses. Many people said the community was “very friendly” and that the forums were a big part of what they like about the group. “Inclusive” and “lots of diversity” were also in there a few times.
Awareness of OOC Activities
Our next question was “Do you know how to find out more about the OOC activities you can participate in?” Answers here are relatively straight-forward:
That’s a healthy part of our community that’s at least occasionally participating in OOC activities, which help build and maintain our fleet.
For those looking for more information, you can find it on this forum announcement.
From time-to-time, disgruntled members leave the community. Recently, one such member was adamant that our organization had a negative reputation among the internet RPG community, and so we were curious whether folks were hearing anything we weren’t. Community staff actively participate in a number of email lists and RPG channels, so it’s unlikely that we’d miss an infamy of the nature we’ve been led to believe, but we thought we’d put our fears to rest. And sure enough, our members uniformly agree that we either have no particular reputation, or a good reputation. Take a look:
No one at all responded by saying they knew of a poor reputation.
Duty Post Population Preference
Alliteration FTW! Let’s take a look at the question about whether people prefer more, or fewer people in their Duty Post. Here’s the data:
This is somewhat difficult to unpack, for a couple reasons. First, the data is going to be shaded by the player’s current situation. For example, if you’re a security officer with two others in your duty post on your ship, you may wish you were playing alone! But if you’re a Security officer who has no one else in your duty post, you may wish for two others.
Nonetheless, the data is mostly predictable and in line with how we currently try and align our placements per ship. Science, Engineering, and Security officers overwhelmingly seem to prefer a total of two people in their duty post. Counselors prefer to work alone — generally we don’t place more than one counselor aboard a ship unless there’s special circumstances.
Surprisingly, Medical officers seem split across the board on whether they prefer to work alone, or with others. I’ve opened a thread on the forums about this, so if you’re a Medical officer, please drop in to that thread and give us your opinion!
We learned something valuable for one of our less-populated duty posts: Intelligence. We don’t have many in the fleet, but the number seems to be growing. And it appears that, like Counselors, Intelligence officers prefer to work alone. We’ll keep this in mind for placements to ensure that whenever possible we place Intel folks either alone on a ship, or at most with one other.
I was also surprised that by a 3-to-1 margin, Tactical officers prefer another in their duty post. This is contrary to our current placement procedures, as we generally try and place Tactical officers alone. This data tells us that, instead of giving new cadets their second choice duty post if there’s already a Tactical officer on every ship, we can instead simply double up and give them their first choice duty post.
For this question, we wanted to know how many people had read the Promotion Guide, or at least knew where to find it. We were curious if members felt like they had, in hand, the tools necessary to move up through the ranks. The question was “Do you know about the Promotion Guide on our website?” and the available answers were as follows:
- Yes, I know about it, and I’ve read some or all of it
- Yes, I know about it, but I’ve never read any of it
- No, I did not know about it until now
It appears we’ve done a good job of publicizing it, as about 89% of respondents at least knew of the guide, with just slightly less having read it:
For those of you who don’t know where it is, you can find it on our website by clicking “Members” on the menu bar, and then “Personnel Dept.” and finally “Promotions.” Or, link directly to it here.
Simming Feedback & Guidance
Next, we wanted to find out if members were routinely receiving feedback from their CO or FO, which would help them move up to their next rank. We asked: “Has your Captain or First Officer ever given you any direct, one-on-one feedback about how you can advance in rank?” Available answers were:
- Yes, in the past three months
- Yes, more than three months ago
- No, not that I remember
And here are the results:
Without a doubt, this number needs to be increased. Every member should be receiving feedback at least once every three months.
Desire for Command
Our final data set for this post concerns the desire to move toward Captaincy among our members. This is important because without a ready stock of members who wish to command ships, it’s difficult to expand when we need it, and difficult to maintain our current level of ships when Captains retire.
1 in 5 members have no interest whatsoever in command, while about 2/3 are headed down that path. Of course, over the length of a member’s engagement with the community, that number goes down as members retire or go on Leave of Absence. However, this seems like a healthy number for the moment. We will continue monitoring this number each year, to ensure that we’re not seeing any drop from this point forward which might cause us to be concerned.
Not all the data we collected in the survey is included here. The first set we released was the responses to the question “If you were Admiral Wolf, what’s the one thing you would change about our community?” — you can find this information on the forums.
The information above is the second set of data.
The last set of data will be released only to the Captains Council, directed at allowing Commanding Officers of the fleet to improve their ships. This will be accompanied by feedback from myself on how to work toward solutions for some of the problems that were raised.
Comments or Questions?
Post them on our forum thread about Survey 2012!