The editors always look for ways to make Videomaker serve your needs. From time to time we ask our readers how we’re doing. For example, we sent out a survey a few months ago designed to discover what you like about Videomaker, and what you’d like to change. We sent the survey to only a small group of readers, but we hope the respondents represented our readership as a whole. Care to hear the results? Read on. Then tell us, if you’d like, whether you agree with the answers of our respondents.
When asked, “If Videomaker could publish only one type of feature article, which would you want it to be?” the majority answered, “Articles on how to use various pieces of equipment.” The majority remained consistent when it asked for more pieces on technique and more explaining various types of equipment. Most felt, however, that the present number of pieces on video technology (such as the CCD, NTSC signal or various formats) is fine.

The great majority of respondents felt that our feature articles are “just technical enough” for their needs. A similar number felt we run “just the right number of articles and columns aimed at beginners.” The respondents felt, overwhelmingly, that Videomaker is “reader-friendly.” But a large minority of them said that it could be more reader-friendly if we ran “more stories from personal experience.” Most said “the present selection of models” (regarding their mix of age and gender) for our photographs is fine. Also, they did not feel that we need to show more people on our covers.

An overwhelming majority of respondents would like us to compare similar products head-to-head in our Product Probe reviews.

When asked why they thought’ most of our readers are male, the majority–of both men and women re-spondents-guessed “More men use camcorders than do women.” Most said, nevertheless, they would like to see more articles from women writers. They would also like to see more profiles of women videomakers.

While we’re on the women question, note that the majority of our female respondents agreed with the majority of our male respondents on 80 percent of their answers. Probably we would have found differences between hobbyists and video pros greater than those between genders. Should we assume that men and women videomakers want the same things from their magazine?

The answers on which the genders differed, however, may also prove illuminating. A majority of women said they found videomaking “physically taxing.” A majority of men did not.

The single largest group of women said they read the Viewfinder column first; the largest group of men said they read Desktop Video first.

The largest group of women said they’d like us to cover the ways of making money with video more frequently; the largest group of men said they’d like us to cover random access editing more.

The largest group of women said that “how to shoot” articles are their favorite while the largest group of men said that “how to edit” articles are theirs. The majority of women said they’d like more product reviews while a majority of men said the present number of product reviews is fine.

As mentioned above, the majority of the whole group thought that more stories, written “from personal experience would make Videomaker more reader friendly. If we break out their answers by gender, however, we find that the largest group of women said “more from personal experience. The largest single group of men, however, said “simpler vocabulary and fewer technical terms would make the magazine friendlier.

Do these results express your feelings about Videomaker? Do you disagree with any of the statements above? Do you have suggestions for improving the magazine not mentioned in these results? Why do you think most of our readers are male? Write us.
You may send messages to Pause by Fax at 916-891-8443.

Or you may send them to us through plain old snail mail: the kind that comes wrapped in a white envelope.

Stephen Muratore is Videomaker‘s Editor in Chief.

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