Results of our survey

I found the image above, of what appears to be an utterly meaningless rating of the prevalence of freedom in the world, on Wikimedia Commons.  I suspect most people interested in human rights would find this graph of accelerating freedom to be strange at best.  Perhaps this was from a Pentagon power point presentation?

Back to our survey…We wanted to thank those of you who completed the Pue’s reader satisfaction survey and let you in on the results.

A summary of the quantitative questions:

1. I read the blog…65% of you read it most days, 24% read it once a week, 8% read it several times a month the last 3% read it once a month

2. The number of posts per week is…Most of you (65%) thought the number was just right. 22% thought there should be more posts and the rest (14%) didn’t have an opinion.

5. Overall, the writing is...The overwhelming majority of readers (95%) thought that the writing is accessible while 5% thought it was too populist.

The qualitative questions are a bit more tricky to summarize, but here’s a general flavour:

3. My favourite part of the blog is…Many of you mentioned the longer articles, the PhD diaries and the interviews. There were also a few votes for the events pages and the pictures!

4. My least favourite part of the blog is…Interestingly, here the PhD diaries and interviews came up again. There were a few suggestions on altering the interviews to make them a bit more substantial, which is something that we are working on so watch this space. And to pat our own backs, fewer people answered this question than number 3, and several of you to say ‘none’!

6. Any features you’d like to see or suggestions you’d like to make? Much to our surprise many of you want LONGER pieces! Suggestions were diverse but a few of the ones that we hope to act on are as follows: more perspectives from outside of academia and outside Ireland, more early Irish history, a little more humour and podcasts.

Thanks again to those of you who took the time to fill out the survey, we appreciate it and hope to incorporate the suggestions and criticisms in the coming months.

4 Responses to “Results of our survey”

  1. John Keating Says:

    Dear Pue,
    I must complain about the rather snide opening to your pole results. The (unattributed) graph at the top of the page appears to be taken from Freedom House’s Freedom Index, and so is far from meaningless. It was not from a Pentagon power point presentation, but the produce of decades of scholarly research undertaken by a Congressionally funded but independent think tank.

    The methodology used by Freedom House is plainly laid out at Some of their measurements are debatable. However, they wear their bias on their sleeve and their data is robust, discrete, measurable, and comparable across countries and time. It seems a bit rich to attack such a venerable survey after having completed a simple blog poll.

  2. puesoccurrences Says:

    Dear John,

    Thank you for your comment and for the link. My remark was not intended as an attack on the Freedom Index in any way, nor do I consider myself a poll expert on the back of a basic survey. However, the idea of measuring something as abstract as ‘freedom’ seems strange to me no matter what the concrete basis of the data. Even though the index relates to specific freedoms which are measurable in a certain way, the ratings are the result of the decision of one analyst or group of analysts. Many of the questions use terms which seem to me to be culturally loaded (eg ‘free’ and ‘fair’). The survey also has its basis in the assumption that evidence of specific types of freedom make for a superior environment. And finally, nowhere does it seem to consider whether the people of the country FEEL themselves to be free.

    However, I recommend that all our readers check out the link listed above as the basis of the survey is extremely interesting.


  3. remaunsell Says:

    I suppose only a nation so naieve as to have the pursuit of happiness in their constitution could fund a freedom index

    the ghost of mr. gradgrind should be happy

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