2012 Membership Survey

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Executive Summary

This year 218 responses were recorded for the Membership Survey. New to this year’s survey was an option to note if you would like to be contacted by the Department Head regarding comments left on the survey. Each Department was sent a list of names/emails and comments that they may want to follow up on by Mirandha several weeks after the survey was over.

This is the second year using the Lime software. It is the first year for the new Membership Survey Project Manager. This year questions were arranged according to department. We also solicited the expertise of Zashara and Yelenia in formatting survey questions.

Looking at the demographics, by far the largest group to respond were Aes Sedai and Gaidin as is reflected in the chart below. Numbers between last year and this year remain largely the same in all demographic areas.

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Department of Administration

While there seems to be a split between members who feel that application guidelines are fair and those who desire more structure in the application process, there are a large amount of people (12 out of 34 comments) who believe that the process is unfair. This is compared to the 9 out of 34 respondents who feel that the process is fair. Those that feel it is unfair cited reasons such as a presumed personal bias, preference given to members of the same community group as the person hiring, and popularity.


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When it comes to the annual report it appears that many people (28.4%) are neutral regarding how useful it is to them while 36.7% find it somewhat useful. 12 out of 71 commenters reported that they like seeing the data. However, it should be noted that many people seemed to confuse the annual report with the membership survey. When it comes to the membership survey, respondents reported that they have not filled it out in the past because they have not seen it before.

Department of Events & Conferences

68.3% of people responded that they plan to attend an event in the future. The factor that influences whether or not they actually can attend or not is almost evenly split between cost (36.7%) and location (33%).


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It is worth noting that several commenters said they did not feel welcome at events for different reasons ranging from being shy and being ignored to being harassed by Senior Members. Comments about favorite aspects of the events cover just about all activities that are offered. Least favorite activities include overly long ceremonies, and drunken people.

Department of Marketing

49.1% of respondents have not purchased anything from the TarValon.Net store. Those that provided suggestions of what they would like to purchase included ideas such as specified tee shirts, kitch (key chains, mousepads, buttons, ornaments, etc), affiliated clothing, and stationery.

When it comes to social media, 63.8% use Facebook to receive TarValon.Net related news. 25.7% use Twitter, and unsurprisingly only 7.8% use Google+.

13.8% of people gave a definitive “yes” to putting badges in their signatures for philanthropic activities and official events. 37.6% will do it sometimes while 28.4% will not do it at all. Comments regarding the badges ranged from “they rock” to people who don’t do it for personal reasons.

As for reading the Tar Valon Times, 26.6% said that they do read it while 45.9% read it sometimes. Only 12.4% reported that they do not read it. 17 out of 54 commenters said that they would like more notice or advertising when a new issue is released.

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Department of Membership

There is good news for this department. 63.3% of respondents indicated that they are very comfortable contacting their membership administrator. 16.1% are comfortable while only 4.6% and 2.8% are somewhat uncomfortable and very uncomfortable respectively. Most people who left comments indicated their satisfaction with the current Head or Captain of their affiliation. 42.2% indicated that their membership admin exceeds expectation and 28.9% feel they meet expectation. 9.2% of respondents were neutral, and 4.6% feel their membership admin needs improvement. More people left positive comments regarding the department than negative. Bullying, nepotism, length of time to resolve issues, and privacy issues were all mentioned as negatives.

Department of Moderators

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These two charts reflect how important the message boards and chatrooms are to membership. 66.8% rank the message boards as being very important while 16.5% say the same for chat rooms. By far the most popular forum is the affiliation public room (35.8%). Least favorites are Current Events (19.7%) and Frivolous Fun (13.3%). For those that frequent the chat rooms (33.5% answered that they rarely do compared to the 12.4% or 12.8% that go daily or weekly) the moderation level is adequate (51.4%).

Department of Community Outreach

13.8% responded that freeweeks are very important to their membership, 30.7% said it was somewhat important. On the flip side, 17.4% said it is somewhat unimportant, while 19.7% said they are very unimportant. Participation in the freeweeks vary across daily, weekly, and never (22.9%, 34.4%, and 19.7% respectively). Comments ranged from loving the group themes to wanting to see a new way to vote on the group theme winner. Some mentioned having fatigue with all the festivals and avoiding the Faire Grounds. Surprisingly, there is no one freeweek event that seems to be the most popular; group theme comes the closest.

Regarding financial donations to TarValon.Net, 51.4% said that they have made a donation with 22.9% donating 1-2 times. 15.1% have given 3-4 times. 4.6% said they have given 7 or more times! By far the largest factor that deters people from donating is their personal budget (47.7%). There is also good news regarding the level of faith the membership has in the new policies for handling money. 61% are very confident, 21.6% are somewhat confident, and only 3.6% are either somewhat not confident or not very confident.

Department of Research and Records

Sadly, 30.7% of responders said that they rarely visit the classroom and 27.1% said they never visit. Suggestions on what would draw more people to this forum include using video, more real life related classes, offering rewards for teaching, advertising more, and offering less classes that involve lots of “homework.”

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Things look a bit better for the Who’s Who. 50% responded that they sometimes visit while 22% said they often visit. Most commenters found the information in this section of the website to be pretty comprehensive.

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Unfortunately, over half of responders indicated that they do not use TarValon.Net email.

The Library is pretty popular with 50% responding that they use it sometimes. 18.3% use it often. The Ajah/Company pages are also popular with 50.5% using them sometimes, and 12.8% using them often.

Department of Technology

The majority of questions asked this year were regarding the switch to vBulletin.

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7% of respondents said that they were dissatisfied with the visual appeal of the site. 28% are somewhat satisfied, and 30% are very satisfied. 14 out of 49 commenters said that they would like to see more board graphics. Others would like to change the mobile options, feel the lack of some of the visual aspects of our previous site and boards, or plain just don’t like vBulletin.

17 out of 27 commenters do feel that the Department of Technology staff is working hard and doing a great job.

Executives and Final Thoughts

When it comes to familiarity with the hierarchy 50.9% of respondents claim to be very familiar, and 26.6% are somewhat familiar. Only 4.6% are somewhat unfamiliar while 2.3% are very unfamiliar. 13 out of 42 commenters said thank you for doing a great job! In response to the accessibility of the Exec Board, 46.8% said they thought the board is very accessible; 26.1% said somewhat accessible; 4.1% said somewhat inaccessible. The good news is that no one thought the board to be very inaccessible. A few left comments saying that they approve of the job the Executives did when it came to dealing with Riley. However, 4 people noted the lack of visibility of the Amyrlin and Keeper.