Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Comment: Survey Results

Some interesting results from the first CoCo Hut Survey are now available. For this first run at it, I wanted the questions to be pretty broad. We'll run these again from time to time just to see what's up. Over all the response was better than I expected. 22 visitors responded. Judging by the site traffic reports, though, we can do better. :) The new survey is up, so I hope everyone will pop in there and take it. Only takes a moment or two.

The first question was about whether or not Hut visitors would be interested in participating in Color Computer programming contests. 66.7% said yes. I think there is an interest in this sort of thing, it's just figuring out how to pull it off so that the maximum number of people will and can participate. I'll chat with a few people, think on it some, and maybe we can get something fired up this Spring or Summer.

The second question was for Color Computer vendors and whether they would be willing to sponsor such an event (with prizes and such). Only two respondents, one yes and one no. That's not bad. Any sort of programming contest would be oriented toward hobbyist programmers (not necessarily professional), so we're talking about the main prize being bragging rights, sense of accomplishment, the warm fuzzy glow of victory and that sort of thing. A prize would be nice, of course, but something small and useful or fun would do the job. It's something to ponder and ask around about, anyhow.

Next was a general question about what people wanted to see on the Hut and about the Color Computer. The breakdown went like this:

What would you like to see the Hut focus on next?

News about CoCo happenings: 25%
Modern Uses for the Coco: 25%
Games, games and more games: 18.8%
More history and reviews of CoCo stuff: 18.8%
PDF Docs for the CoCo: 12.5%

I kind of expected games to take a commanding lead, but News and Modern Uses topped the list. This was a choose as many as you like type of question.

News I understand. I really think there are a lot of CoCoists out there that just want to know everything they can about their beloved machine. Thus, this blog and at least an attempt to post some newsworthy stuff as I come across it. Several programmers, hobbyists and web masters have been very obliging and forth coming with items. It is greatly appreciated, and I'm certain not just by me. :)

Modern uses for the CoCo is a harder one to lock down, so the next survey digs into it a little deeper. I've been curious about this for awhile. I know what I like to do with my CoCo, but what are other people doing with their CoCos? What do CoCoist want to see? What games do they like? What kind of hardware do they want to hook up to it? I could probably come with dozens of questions like this, but we'll start simple.

I think some neat project type stuff would be fun. Something like a testing lab, or weather station, or robot control. Stuff like the electronics projects that used to be published in Hot CoCo and The Rainbow, but assembled and ready to play with. Is there a market for that sort of thing? Well, probably not. Not exactly, anyhow. But I'll bet an enterprising individual could sell a few for fun (and maybe a smidgen of profit).

I just don't see a lot of database management, personal finance, or word processing being a driving force in the CoCo community. But I could be wrong! So, the new survey asks for some more specific feedback.

Games, history and reviews scored in second place. I'm not sure how much I can do in the games department, not being a particularly sophisticated programmer (I'm a dunce, really), but I could probably put more features into the site that point the way to some great "modern" games for the CoCo still available for download and/or sale.

Reviews are coming, so hang in there. And of course, the primary focus of the Hut, collecting CoCos, will remain front and center with more history and photos and retro reviews being added as quickly as possible.

I did think PDF docs of CoCo documentation would be high on many people's list, but it scored the lowest. Not that there isn't interest or need, but in this case I think it has more to do with what folks would prefer. There's several sites to get some docs online now, with at least one ongoing project with that aim. There are no plans, at the moment, to include these at the Hut.

Overall, the surveys gave me some interesting things to think about, and I hope they do the same for you. I mainly hope that they'll encourage people to jump in there and contribute to the CoCo community. There's plenty of venues, from the fine message forum at, The CoCo Nuts Newsletter, shopping at the CoCo Lounge, pimping out your CoCo at Cloud 9 and just emailing and participating in mailing lists. Upcoming surveys will tackle other subjects and get more specific on these subjects. Jump on in and give it a few clicks. Tis great appreciated.

And drop email with your thoughts, questions and comments anytime. No format expected. No survey needed. :)

Angel's Luck & Electric Dreams,

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