We recently kicked off a survey to get feedback from you folks about what we are doing well and what you would like to see us improve. We also asked for some demographic and behavioral data to satisfy our corporate sponsor overlords. With typical PEL Citizen and Fan aplomb you responded in numbers to our request. I'd like to share some of what you told us with you and answer the burning question on the minds of quite a few of you.
You are overwhelmingly male. We'd like to see that shift to more gender balance but such it is. Three quarters of you are between 18-44. You have a lot of formal education. 94% attended at least some college, 74% graduated and 38% got Masters, PhDs or other professional degrees.
You are mostly employed (65%) or students (16%) and when employed, make decent money (probably because of the education). You are mostly single (61%), childless (87%) English speakers (84%) who rent and live with others. You work in many different job roles across many industries of varying sizes. It looks like you either own the business or work there: very few managerial and executive types among you.
You are mostly subscribers (62%) who have listened to at least 6 episodes (89%!) 77% of you listen to each episode in it's entirety and 42% listen two times or more (another !). Surprising to us, almost half of you listen from the website vs a podcast app or iTunes.
We are over-delivering. Your average satisfaction across all measures is 8.7 out of 10 and your satisfaction rating is greater than the importance you place on all those measures by almost 1.5 points. In non-survey speak, for everything that is important to you we are meeting or exceeding your expectations. Same goes for things that are less important to you.
All of the quantificational measures aside, you shared your opinions. Almost everyone who responded left us verbatim comments on what they like and dislike about PEL. Mentioned for 'likes' are the respectful conversational tone, the balance between seriousness and flippancy, being deep enough but not dry, approachability, making subjects accessible, variety and our consistency and longevity.
Dislikes include our occasional glibness or lack of charity, length, failure to explain terms, lack of knowledgable guests, bad guests, denseness and the ads. Most of you understand why we have the last one you just wish it wasn't so or that we were more entertaining when we do them, like Bill Burr.
One final thing you mentioned as a dislike that I'd like to address personally and directly: a number of folks called out that they miss me or wish that I were more involved recently. I greatly appreciate both that my contribution is valued and those of you that made a point of saying so in the survey. I want to tell you that my commitment to PEL has not waned even while my personal situation has precluded my full participation in our increasingly aggressive recording schedule. I started a new job at the beginning of the year which has demanded so much of me that I've had to selectively take some episodes off. Hopefully as I settle in I'll be able to return to a more regular rhythm with PEL. And while I won't lie and tell you I'm sorry to miss Searle, I wouldn't and won't miss the Frankfurt School.
Seth B. says
I don’t think you should be particularly surprised that survey respondents tend to listen to the show on the website. It seems likely that survey respondents are disproportionately likely to be members of that group (if only because website visiting is a necessary condition for taking the survey).
Seth Paskin says
I think the surprise was that we didn’t have a greater proportion saying they were using iTunes or a podcast app. In this respect we are pretty different from other podcasts which people mostly listen to via mobile. I have a theory that many people listen via their computers at work. No validation, however.
Mary Ricci says
I download from the site because the Citizens’ feed doesn’t come through iTunes. If it did, I’d get it through iTunes.
Seth Paskin says
You can get it with any podcast app like Downcast that can do authentication. FYI.
Mary Ricci says
25 years+ in the tech sector has polished my attitude toward new-fangled apps to a glowing yet decidedly “get off my lawn” patina. I only use iTunes (still version 10) because it’s been part of my software stockpile longer than my fading interest in better living through tech. But thanks for the tip.
Seth B. says
Hi! Hope you’re enjoying the new job!
Seth Paskin says
Apparently I can’t reply to a reply. I know your type of tech luddite. Not the oxymoron it appears. I know people who cried when Google finally killed Reader. You at least can get direct access to the audio…:)
Mark Featherstone says
I did indeed miss you on the Searle episodes, but congrats on the new job! Now that you write that you don’t regret not being there for Searle, I’m especially intrigued to know what you might have said. Hearing Searle’s philosophy evoked in me a tremendous sense of relief. I finally found someone who seems to root their philosophy in biology — biology never lies. I’ve now got his book (the one under discussion — I should have read it before the podcast) and will read it with great enthusiasm. Maybe you can tell us some time what you dislike about Searle’s views (assuming that you dislike them).
I’m sorry to have missed the survey. For what it’s worth, I’m male, 59, married with kids, employed in academia (biology), have a PhD, mostly listen to the podcast via the iTunes app while driving, often replay episodes. My ratings would have fit nicely into what you summarize.
Thanks so much for a wonderful and long-lived podcast,
While I was catching up on the latest episodes I was saddened by the mention that he wasn’t going to be on as many episodes since he’s far and away the most focused on the text and is the closest in philosophical disposition with his interests in social and political philosophy.
Also I definitely podcast this to my android phone and occasionally chromecast that to my big speakers when I’m doing chores. mostly I listen on long walks.
Mark Linsenmayer says
We’re recording with him (and sans Dylan, who is vacationing) tomorrow on Levinas (ep 145), so that should be fun. He’s definitely not out of the game, though he won’t be on eps. 144 or 146 or 148.
Sheldon Richman says
For the record, I am a fan of Podcast Republic (Android), which I learned about through this site.