As expected within barely a day and a half, on a low Saturday, the 100 slots of the first survey were filled and I can have fun this Sunday evening looking at the results. However curiously the second survey is still not filled up! I suppose that some folks did not realize that there was a second part. So please, finish up your work, or if you did not get into the first survey, you still can sneak in the second survey which is about what you like in this blog and what you would like to see. Link is here.
Before I get into the results, the nature of the replies confirmed my original guess: the readers that replied are definitely the regular ones, those that find time during the week end to check out this blog, the target I needed when I have only 100 answers available because I am too cheap to spend my CADIVI dollars.
If VN&V readers elected a parliament
The first surprise in the results came from the political composition of the readership. Thus I must start by discussing this aspect because I think it does also explain some of the other replies.
The graph below shows what would be the political profile of a VN&V congress. Clearly no stable majority is possible to rule the blog.
The big surprise here is the large, very large proportion of people who describe themselves as Libertarians. I confess that I am rather surprised. But also I am happy to see that the readers diversity is large, at least politically wise, in plain contradiction to PSF arguments that assumed that we were all a whole bunch of right wing nuts for not supporting Chavez.
Libertarians cannot really be classified right or left as they are very Liberal on many social issues and outrank Conservatives on many economic issues, thus I put them all the way to the right because well, I had to put them somewhere. Whatever it is, I think that this distribution perhaps reflects some of the contradictions of this blog writer, who describes himself as a mix of Libertarian and Liberal US sense. I suppose that you all find something to relate with when I discuss Venezuelan murky politics.
Just for the sake of it, I separated the US respondents from the other (they were the largest group). There the political diversity still exists but clearly the US readers are much more Conservative than the rest of the world (curiously some of you described yourself in European Political terms: a mistake or wishful thinking?). Also, we have much work to do still with US Liberals who tend to follow their misguided movie stars a little bit too much.
VN&V an elitist blog?
Well, we could be afraid of such. When we look at the background of regular readers, a whopping 60% of you claim to have a post college education. You know, PhD, Law school, MD, MBA and the like. Though from the comment box in that question I also got this: "2 years university, plumbing and construction now" which shows that you do not need a college degree to "get" the blog :). And this reader in addition claims to know about the blog for at least three years and reads it daily. Some of you PhD did not mark that ....
Regular readers are regular
67% of you visit once a day. 17% of you have followed VN&V since the beginning and 36% for at least three years. 8 % for only a few moths. There are two lectures here: VN&V has a hard time to make new readers, but once they are hooked, they stay. This is really something very gratifying for me and I wish to thank you very much for such loyalty.
But if readers are so regulars, does that make them "groupies"?
Well, not really. True, 29% consider me as a guru of sorts, but 58% satisfied themselves with a "like it". What was more reassuring is that only 10% had VN&V as one of their major source of information (already too high a number). In fact readers know exactly why they come for: 43% to "understand" (which means they already got the info) and 34% to confirm their opinions (they consider VN&V as the site that best match their opinion which I assume they formed them before they discovered the blog, or at least I hope). Note: 7% were forward enough to state that they read VN&V because they feel they have to.
Who are you?
One thing that was dispiriting is that I got only 22% female readers. Better than Quico, true, but too low for my taste. I also got an older readership than Quico which is not surprising as I do not seek debate and challenge for the sake of it, preferring to expose my ideas and wait for approval or disaproval. I suppose that since I am older than Quico I have passed my days of arguing needlessly, simply not having time or energy for that (I suppose I spent my arguing energy doing my PhD). I also assume that my readers are knowledgeable enough to seek tic for tac debate elsewhere when they feel the urge for it. With a 40% older than 50, and 11% less than 30, it is quite clear.
As I guessed very few of you bothered with the ehtnic question. I thought a lot before putting it but I knew that for many in the US it is an interesting thing (watch the current campaign for those who doubt it).
I did put a "control" question. Gays and Lesbians are assumed to be in the US between 3% to 10% of the population depending on how exclusively homosexual people describe themselves. Since I had on occasion discussed gay issues in Venezuela or anti Semitic attitudes of chavismo I decided to sneak in the Gay/Lesbian question. 5% of you marked it. Thus the readers who replied are representative at least on that respect. All of you gays seem to be in the US, by the way.
On the religious thing only half of you replied. As an agnostic myself and someone with little patience with hard core believers, in particular chavismo, I was curious to see how many of yourself described yourself as "believers": 24%. Note, I was delicate enough not to ask for a religion name, faith is faith. On the other hand Agnostics, my whimsical question among all, claim to be 29%. It could either be that many of you confused Agnosticism with Atheism or simply because so many of you are post college graduates and in the hard sciences (30%) that it skews the Agnosticism number. Indeed, campuses are known as an agnostic haven.
Do we communicate?
The surprise here, as in Quico too, is that only 16% of you cannot read Spanish. So, why are we all discussing in English? Is it to keep the chavista riffraff out? Are we just snobs? Or do we prefer English because we can remain more polite and civil in a language which rawness we never quite got to master? I think that I prefer the last one...
However this has already an immediate application: I will not be afraid now to introduce directly text in Spanish without translation, at least when pressed for time. I might also start translating some of the posts into Spanish instead of opening a new blog, something that I was meaning to do but could never face. After the "NO to the Reforma blog", I do not want to be managing more than a blog.
As for other languages, 13% of you claim French, and 6% German. Thus I can keep using in moderation a little bit of French here and there. Also three of you claim Papiamento, as readers from the Netherlands Antilles. Your number might be low, but considering how few you are in these rocks, you might actually be one of the proportionally largest groups here! And a wit spoke Cuti :)
Limited to ten questions I tried to combine the citizenship with the residency question. As expected the largest contingent is form the US, 39%, to which we probably must add a significant amount of the Venezuelan bi-national ensconced in Miami, a surprisingly high 24%. If Africa got 0, the big disappointment for me was Latin America with only 4%. From the Rio Grande to Patagonia, Venezuela is not high on our kindred agenda. Venezuela only, EU and UK+ countries were roughly the same percentages. Though I think here residency and citizenship do not coincide judging from my stat counters which give me consistently a 25% readers INSIDE Venezuela. All in all probably the most "failed" question as no solid info could be gathered except perhaps for the high amounts of bi-nationals.
Do you like Chavez?
Readers of this blog are crystal clear about what Chavez represent: 65% of you replied yes to "I think he is an autocrat, and he could become worse". Only 1 person thought highly of Chavez. Maybe chavistas have truly stopped reading? Or maybe they are not so sure about he man anymore? by the way, on the political question no one claimed to be pro Castro pro Pinochet, bless your hearts!
Coming back on this group. 76% of you are post college degree and 43% Agnostic. Please, write to the Libertarian Party of America to put a sponsored link on my blog :)
Some of the comments in the open boxes.
Point of view of someone in the provinces. Main reason, actually...
I'm just a house wife deeply perturbed by Venezuelan politics!
Getting main points of Colombia on same price
I enjoy your all rounded insights. You have a good handle on what is happening in Venezuela and you relate it so well in your blog. [OK, OK, I can pat myself once, no?]
Your blog gives an excellent perspective of the current situation in Venezuela. I also enjoy your writing style, it has the right combination of being informative and witty.
Indian languages, Yanomamö and Sanema
Comments on second survey when it is done.
Sorry if this post looks a little bit at times like Quico's. But we do work on the same material, and thus the coincidences are actually interesting, as well as the differences.