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Q-talk 143 - Survey Says!

 

Well the survey results are in, and the answers ranged from insightful and funny to perhaps a little crazy! So, I feel like I got a good cross section of the Quickie Builders at large. tongue

The results are posted in the same location that the original questions were, so you can check them out by visiting the links below. I can’t answer each question or concern individually, but I will givea short summary of each of the surveys below.

Survey 1 - QBA and Q-talk Survey

When I first posted the surveys, I think there was a little confusion about the questions concerning what I should concentrate on going forward. Several people chose "Other" and then wrote in "All of the Above”. Unfortunately my time is limited, so focusing on all of the options listed in the question is simply not possible.

Therefore, I revised the question to make my intent a bit more clear and a consensus eventually developed. It seems that most people want me to focus my efforts on "Supporting Builders" and "Increasing the Number of Flying Quickies." I have several ideas to achieve these goals, and I plan to begin implementing them (and incorporating your feedback) over the coming weeks and months. I'm going to start off by linking the forums with the Yahoo! Q-list, and then concentrate on getting the article archive completed.

When the new Q-talk "e-mail only" format was brought up, it seemed to
divide the group almost in half. The majority of QBA members like the new format but over 40% don't. The overwhelming majority of complaints about the format involved people's inability to print the articles easily.

I assume that even though many of you responded positively to the new format you would also like to be able to print hard copies of the articles. So from now on I will make all of my articles printable. I do not have print rights for any of the back issues of Q-talk, but there is an online order form so that you can request printed copies and/or PDF's from the former editors.

That leads to the next question, which is whether or not the price of QBA membership should increase. Many of you responded that you would like to maintain the same price that QBA has charged for the last 23 years. However, at the same time, many of you also indicated that you would like additional membership benefits, such as having the newsletters printed out in color and mailed. When I asked whether people would be willing to pay more for these types of services the overwhelming response was no. In fact, one person basically said, "Why should I pay more to get back to ‘even’?"

That leads me to believe that perhaps I haven’t done a thorough enough job of explaining why your current membership is more valuable than it used to be.

Here is just one example: if you check out the back issue order form and select issues 86-138, you'll see that you'd have to pay $189 to have them printed and mailed to you. However, for just $20 per year you have access to all of those same articles in an online text searchable format. That may not be important to someone who has a three ring binder out in the hangar with all of the old Q-talks, but I think it's a huge benefit for all of the new guys that the website is attracting to our beloved planes.

In a nutshell, you are getting more for your membership dollar than you did in years past!

In addition, as we all know, it’s not 1987 anymore! Times have changed, as well as prices for just about everything. The royalties that I pay the previous editors mean that my expenses have gone up, even before I factor in printing, and mailing costs.

However, I do want to respond to your concerns as best as I can given the circumstances. For next year, I will keep the annual membership dues the same. But I reserve the right to increase membership dues based on Member participation. If you contribute, your membership will be extended for free. If you don't contribute, you can expect your membership dues to increase starting in 2012.

I will continue to allow my Q-talk articles to be printable online. In addition, if someone is willing to format my articles for print or PDF, I will allow one person to provide them to members who would like pay an additional fee for that service. The "Print Editor" designated by me, can sell that membership "Add-On" in the online shop, or through the subscription page, whichever they prefer. If you are interested in becoming the "Print Editor" simply send me an e-mail through the "contact me" link in the upper right hand corner of every page.  You will be expected to show me a sample of your work.

Survey 2 - The QBA Website

The next survey dealt with the website itself. An overwhelming majority of you (over 95%) like the new website. Most of you also stated that information on the site was easy to find, which is good to hear!

Your feedback on this survey helped provide me with some direction regarding content that you'd like to see in the future. Based on the survey results, I will begin adding content in the order you've dictated, including more book and magazine articles, "how to" articles, and software applications.

Finally, the majority of you stated that you're not interested in helping to administer the website. I asked this question simply because I want to ensure that QBA lasts for quite some time. I hope that the seven people who said YES will contact me via e-mail so that we can work together to keep the site running smoothly. In the short term, it would be very helpful to have a couple of moderators for the site forums, and also a few people who could approve articles for members. These tasks are quite easy to accomplish, and they would go a long way towards ensuring that the site stays around for many years to come.


Survey 3 - Fly-ins

The “Fly-In Survey” was simply a way to get some information about what you all expect from fly-ins and their organizers. I will do my best to coordinate at least one fly-in next year, and work even harder to incorporate as much of your feedback as possible. Seems like the Central US would be the most sought after place to hold a fly-in, so that’s what we’ll work on for 2011.

Again, the number of requests that are able to be filled will of course depend upon the amount of participation from members. I'll do my part to encourage attendance, if you'll put in your best effort to attend!

Conclusion

Thanks to everyone who took the survey. From the over 1,000 e-mail requests that I sent out, about 50 of you took the time to tell me what you thought. I hope you see positive results from your responses as your feedback is incorporated. I also hope that you'll continue to provide feedback and let me know how I'm doing as Editor.

As the old saying goes, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. So not everyone is going to be happy with all of the changes that are necessary to keep this organization going, and the surveys certainly showed that. However, the surveys also showed that there are many members who recognize the inherent value of the QBA and are willing to do their part to keep the association vibrant and growing well into the future.

As we look towards 2011, I'll have to attempt to please the majority, without getting burned out. Your help and enthusiasm, will go a LONG way in helping us to keep moving forward and encouraging new builders to keep at it!

Thanks again, I look forward to working with you throughout the coming years!

 Changes to the website since the surveys:

  • All of my newsletters are now Printable.
  • There is a video tutorial that shows how to print my Q-talk articles
  • There is a video tutorial that shows how to renew your membership
  • We're Hiring - A "Print Editor" to format, print, and mail Q-talks
  • When you contribute you have a choice of extended membership, or a feature request!