Note: The JCRA launched a new Web site on March 1. Please visit us at http://jcra.ncsu.edu. This site, http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum/, is no longer being updated.

Spring 2004 Online Newsletter Survey

A one question survey was posted on the Arboretum's Web site in February 2004 asking readers which format (PDF, HTML, or HTML with no graphics) they preferred. This single question was asked to determine if the three formats were all being used or if one or more of them were not needed. People taking the survey were also given the opportunity to make any comments about the newsletter they wanted. The survey remained online for several months, however, the majority of the responses were left shortly after Volume 8, Number 1 was posted online.

Results

Each of the formats are being used, but they are not being used equally. The HTML version is the leader followed by PDF with HTML without graphics last. The "voting" is as follows:

Format     Votes
PDF   18
HTML   46
HTML without graphics   2

Most people taking the survey did not include any comments, however, several did. They are as follows:

"For content, PDF of the real newsletter. (I miss the calendar and list of board and staff otherwise.) For legibility and re-reading often, HTML with no pictures. (I do not like the HTML with pictures because it breaks up the content into pieces.)"
Note from the editor: The board and staff listings are left out of the HTML versions because, as this person points out, elements like these break up the flow of the text. However, for the first time, Volume 8, Number 2 includes the Calendar of Events in the HTML versions. This section has been left out before since the Web site has an entire section devoted to the Arboretum's events. The Calendar of Events section on the site should be first and only source for information about upcoming programs.

"PDF format is much preferred for printing a copy."
Note from the editor: PDF files are perfect for printing. Unlike the printed newsletter that we mail to our members, the PDF version's photographs are in full color. The HTML version also includes color photographs for those who like to read the newsletter online without printing it.

"Can't get past the logon business so I can't comment. I used the password you suggested, but have to guess the user name. Wasn't able to do it."
Note from the editor: The user name is "jcra" and is included on the Friends of the JC Raulston Arboretum Newsletter Web page. The user name/ID will never change. A new password is created for each newsletter and will be mailed to each member on the printed newsletter and e-mailed to members with a valid e-mail address. The person who left this response included their name in their comment. No contact information could be found, though.

"Format doesn't really matter to me."

"I could read forever about the woody trials but recognize that you have to appeal to a wide spectrum of interests."
Note from the editor: Our goal is to fill approximately 50% of the newsletter pages with horticultural articles. While woodies have been and continue to be a major focus at the Arboretum and in the newsletter, other plant groups will continue to be included also.

"I do not use the HTML or HTML without graphics."

"I like reading about the plant families at the Arboretum and about the new acquisitions with lots of descriptions about how and where to grow them."

"Your are doing a good job, keep it up. I also appreciate the pictures sent."
Note from the editor: Thanks!

Conclusions

Each online newsletter format has its following. All will continue to be created and posted.

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