I’ve finally finished tabulating the results of the 2012 TTAG readers’ survey. Thank you for playing. I was hoping for about 400 responses to get the 95 percent error down to a reasonable five percent stat. Thanks to 1,699 responses we’re down to a three percent sampling error with 99 percent confidence. For you non-math nerds out there that might not mean much. For me the ability to use a 99 percent confidence interval instead of the 95 percent means a lot. As in this is the straight dope. On to the results…

First things first, the NPS score.

Customer service oriented companies use NPS or “Net Promoter Score” to determine how well they’re doing. They ask the question “How likely are you to recommend X to a friend or coworker” (which incorporates a lot of personal judgements about the product and distills them into a single question quite nicely). Respondents answer the query on a 1 to 10 scale.

From there it’s the percentage of people who answered with a 9 or 10 minus the percentage of people who answered one through six. The people who answer with a nine or 10 are considered “promoters.” They’ll tell people about your service or product. The one through six are more likely to say negative things about your service to others. Seven and eight don’t really go one way or the other, so they get dropped from the calculations.

The NPS range goes from -100 to 100. Anything above 50 is considered a “world class” operation. So how did we do?

NPS: 60

Awww yeah. Pretty good, but we can do better. And thanks to the NPS score being tagged to the rest of the questions, we can tease out what the people who don’t like us don’t like about us!

But first, the demographics. These are pretty much what we expected, so I’m just going to dump them all at once.

We have a pretty good mix of old and young guys reading the site. As expected, most of the 17 or younger crowd seems to be too distracted by internet [non gun] porn to read anything else on the internet. Moving on . . .

Raise your hand if you didn’t see that one coming. Most of the readers are guys, something I really want to change. Hopefully we can get Destinee to do some more of her great reviews. I know there are a couple women waiting in the wings for some high powered weaponry to review, so we’ll get on that. And I’ll tell RF to tone it down with the supermodels.

This one seems to be perfectly in line with what we’re seeing from the NSSF. It also matches up nicely with the proportions of the guns we’ve reviewed. Handguns are the most popular firearm, with rifles a close second and shotguns a distant third. This graph includes people who own all three, so this gives us an idea of what kind of firearm you guys are looking to purchase. We’ll continue to tailor our review mix to that.

I was shocked by the population of readers who concealed carry. I was expecting the percentage to fall closer to the national population (something like 10 percent of gun owners). Most of you guys carry. Good stuff . We’ll get some more CCW experts to write articles.

Now we get to the most important part of the analysis, and specifically the question I asked about which features you guys like most on the site. It gives us an idea about what kind of mix of articles we need; where we should invest our time and money.

Gun reviews are by far and away the #1 thing you guys like. Reviews are labor and time intensive; we’re working hard to keep ’em coming. With standardization of the format we’re determined to maintain the standards you expect. To that end, I was surprised and delighted at the results to the question about trusting our reviews.

I promise to do everything in my power to keep our reviews fair, honest and unbiased. Or, if they are biased, to let you guys know in advance. We will never bash something without good reason.

So, we know what you guys like. What’s driving readers away? I took the “least favorite feature” question and pruned it so that only responses from people who rated TTAG a 1-6 on the NPS question would be shown. Here’s what I came up with.

Looks like political stuff is what’s making people pull their hair out. Strangely enough, when I add everyone else’s responses into the graph it looks almost exactly the same.

The people who don’t like the Ask Foghorn segments, by the way, don’t like it when I try to talk tactics. Like using a handgun for home defense. Hey, you asked. On the other hand, when its something technical, people seem to really like them. So, message received, sticking to the technical nuts and bolts.

As for the political stuff, the feeling I’m getting is that you guys don’t really like it so much when TTAG authors get up on their soapbox and start pontificating. At least, that’s what I’m getting from the comments. For example:

Be careful about straying too far into the politics. TTAG is largely libertarian but it risks becoming another Prison Planet site that isn’t taken seriously.

And then again…

[Get rid of t]he political BS that you guys sometimes fall into.  Sometimes it is a bit too much, but I do understand the viewpoints expressed, but it can be tiresome. We all know that the gun grabbers exist, and they suck . . . In other words just a little less political and more about guns and training ideas which I find educational.

In general, the vast majority of the feedback we got was not only positive but helpful in figuring out where we need to focus our attention. You guys seem to like what we’re doing, and we intend to focus on the things that we do best. And with a little luck, next year we’ll be up to 70 for the NPS score.

Oh, one last thing though:

Hey Boss? About that raise…

57 Responses to TTAG Reader Survey 2012: Results

  1. “Who is your favorite author?”

    Nick, are you sure you didn’t have your finger on the scale?

    Seriously, all the contributors at TTAG are fun to read. Keep up the good work, fellas.

    • “, all the contributors at TTAG are fun to read. Keep up the good work, fellas.”

      I wrote something like that in my answers, as to why I didn’t pick a favorite.

  2. Grats on being awesome.

    I’m really surprised at the low rating for Gear Reviews in the “most favorite” and the reciprocal high rating for them in “least favorite” feature. I generally think they’re pretty good, and I tag ’em for the future if it’s not something I’m in the market for right now (like rifle scopes). Do you think that’s due to the “I’m not in the market for a flashlight/holster/scope right now so I don’t care about this” factor or maybe the choice of gear that has been reviewed? Looking back over the Gear Reviews I’ve bookmarked (and that’s virtually all of them since I started reading in September of last year), I’d estimate 40-50% of them are scope reviews. I don’t know how that figures in.

    • I think gear reviews got a low score because we could pick only between gun reviews or gear reviews to be our favorite.
      I would like to see more reviews of holsters, scopes, rifle sights, weapon lights, and muzzle devices.

    • Me personally, I’m never really in the market for gear. 95% of my meager gun-budget I want going to guns. I’m never in the market for scopes or flashlights. I carry work knives, so I don’t need anything fancy or expensive, just something reliable, and I don’t change knives enough to be on the lookout for a new one.

  3. Gun reviews will be the kiss of death for the site. Youtube “oh boy watch me shoot up this refrigerator” or “this stippled grip is the best I’ve seen ” will join the other four million sites doing the same for the last decade. The lowest common denominator.

    The site title says it all. Talk the full truth about the gun culture. Kim duToit had the same attraction as he covered everything gun. If he had not left the scene there would be no space for TTAG. So do what you have been doing.

    • “Gun reviews will be the kiss of death for the site.”

      What do you mean? I’m not trying to bust your chops, just trying to understand. Gun reviews are their most popular category.

      Most online gun ‘reviews’, YouTube and otherwise, are unprofessional junk and so not worth reading. Finding someone you can trust – smart, knowledgeable, thorough and critical – is everything in a product review. This is a good place to get that.

      • I didn’t mean to eliminate gun reviews. From the survey it would look like they should do 10 a day every day. I realize that folks like to hear about new stuff/old stuff/foreign stuff. But a diet of that will quickly dry up the broad audience. Both gun nuts and casual gun enthusiasts.

        It is popular to speak these days about the “gun culture”. Well I think that is a very real and accurate descriptor. Culture means a varied and wide lifestyle and set of beliefs. Maximize the coverage of that. That was my point.

    • I think TTAG’s “guidelines” for gun reviews have made the reviews a cut above those of other sites. It makes for better/easier comparisons.

  4. Yes, the truth about guns…..very good, short, sweet, and to the point.

    It is your name, how you guys (and girls) made your bones here, carved out more than just a niche for yourselves, and are going to go far…..good work from all.

    Stick to what you know, your doing it right!

  5. Um. I’d say the current volume of ‘political’ blurbs and editorials is just fine: not too much, not too little.

    The whole ‘don’t talk politics and religion at the dinner table’ is for mindless children, and neurologically damaged pussies.

    If guns/gear reviews were all we were after, there are literally THOUSANDS of other sites, just for that.

    I come here, primarily, for Farago’s Briton-influenced hilariously pithy headlines, cordially snarky comebacks, and his decidedly ANTI-Statist sentiments. Oh, that and his ever UK-tabloid tradition of making irreverent remarks linking ‘supermodels’ ineptitude.’ lol.

    To divorce politics from guns, is like asking for a 3 wheeled Lamborghini; it comes with the territory: I’d say cowboy up and simply DEAL with it.

    No offense to my other favorite go to daily gunblog, TheFireArmBlog.com, you can NEVER be 100% devoid of politics when you’re talking guns. It’s like, is martini a non-alcoholic beverage?

    Being “PC,” is what has set upon a pandemic of ‘grown-up’-neurological-ineptitude in this dying Republic of ours.

    It’s like you’re so used to being lied to, and manipulated every moment of the day 24/7/365, that unless you’re lied to, or spun everywhere you go, it doesn’t seem ‘normal,’ anymore!

    Frankly, I’m kinda surprised by the ‘anti-political’ bias results, cited in the ‘survey.’

    You’d think it’d be obvious that, that’s WHY people read TTAG regularly, vs. say FireArmBlog.

    It’s like, if ‘being political’ bothered a reader so much, then why bother coming to TTAG, especially when there are gazillions of other gunblogs that solely ogle over every tacticool gadget, everyday?

    Then again, I use TheGunWire, Defense Review (a bit hypochondraic on CopyRight; we’re not talking 3 paragraph minimum as per “Fair Use,” we’re talking ‘not linking without permission’-level hysteria: talk about limiting your exposure), along with the likes of SoldierSystems.net, ArmoryBlog.com, LoadOutRoom.com, SOFrep.com, etc.

    So frankly, strictly personally speaking, I visit TTAG daily, because I can 100% whole-heartedly state with 100% confidence to everyone and anyone, that Farago’s TTAG is THE Anti-Statist gun-blog. Most pretend, and like to use the similar rhetoric, but let’s face it: most are RINOs. And my chap, that is definitely not you, Farago.

    You know, as per your word-of-mouth ‘sell without selling’ NPS or “Net Promoter Score”-factor?

    Yes, Farago, I happily ‘sell’ your site to everyone and anyone who loves liberty. I KNOW I’m visiting some statist monkey’s site, whenever I visit everyone ELSE’s.

    So, why WOULD you water it down like Jerry Tsai? As per your previous blog on the auto industry, don’t you know that focus-groups are what ALWAYS 100% destroy a product?

    At this juncture in history, pussying out might as well be called “pulling a Tsai.”

    Mark my words: the day you go Tsai on us, is the day you lose your customers; think about it: all those who bitched that TTAG is “too political” are still viewing and contributing to your site. They visit regularly enough to know that TTAG tends to be ‘political,’ yet, STILL visit, and even took the time to fill out a rather lengthy survey.

    WHAT does THAT tell you??

    I consider this site to be first and foremost about our FUNDAMENTAL UnAlienable NATURAL RIGHT of Self-Defense.

    It’s about ‘FREEDOM, stupid!’ Everything else is tertiary.

    • Couldn’t agree more, don’t change it, don’t “fix” it.
      As a gun owner I’ve learned so much about, 2a, nanny states etc…, this is all ammo I use to spread the good word.

      • Totally agreed. Removing the politics from TTAG will water down the site considerably. You have a great formula and mix of personalities.

        “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

        If you find a way to improve it, baby steps. You know how badly things can go with drastic changes.

        Keep up the great work. You have a reader for life as far as I’m concerned.

      • Agreed. Keep the site the same, just change the gear focus away from scopes (boring reviews), and add more gun reviews. Other than that please dont change the mix.

        Also, I <3 ask Foghorn.

    • I agree with every single word Nelson wrote (and yes, I read the whole post). Some people might want to be ostriches and stick their heads in the proverbial sand but politics affect us all… The informed and the ignorant alike.

      Don’t change a thing, Farago. I like it the way it is.

  6. One of the ideas that I had was to setup up a set of questions that you could ask people that have been featured in the news for a DGU. These questions would be standardized and would get asked of everyone. I think it would give us some insight into what they could have done better or differently.

  7. A suggestion about gun reviews. Revisit the gun 6 months to a year later and do a followup in the category of reliability. This only applies to guns you actually use or someone you know and trust uses. Yes, it will be semi-anecdotal but very useful, especially with all the new guns coming on the market. Something like consumer reports automotive issue where opinion polls are taken for a particular vehicle by users of that vehicle. Incidence of repair and “would you purchase again” information.

    • I like this idea; if performed semi-methodically, it would be useful info for those of us who no longer feel the need (or can’t afford) to jump on the “gun-of-the-week/month” bandwagon immediately, but are still interested in certain models after their new-car-smell has worn-off a bit.

  8. Somehow, the first part of my comment got cut off. I wanted to say that I agree with RKflorida that a follow-up review would be a good idea. I had first came into contact with Mr.Farago’s writing back when he was editor of The Truth About Cars and was one of the many who missed him when he left. I later discovered him and The Truth About Guns, while “overjoyed” may be a little strong, I was certainly glad to find him again and dealing with a subject matter close to my heart. I have found Dr.Karesh’s TrueDelta to be very informative and useful regarding vehicles so think a similar thing for firearms would be of equal value and enjoyment.

  9. While surveys are fun to take, do NOT give them too much consideration.

    TTAG is where it is today because the current formula works.

    If it isn’t broken (and it is not), don’t fix it!

    • +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

  10. Oh, and please for the love of God, about those gun reviews; I’d like about 95% less AR reviews and about 85% less 1911 reviews and about 200% less “tactical” gear reviews. THEY ARE ALL THE SAME. A twice yearly roundup of any new noteable models is more than sufficient.

    • Personally, I would be a lot more interested in the newest / latest CC and Home Defense guns and equipment reviews because it’s the most practical application the average “non-gun nut” can relate to.

      Can’t really peak a person’s interest more if you’re talking about better defense and tools for their person and their loved ones.

  11. I understand people not liking the soapboxing, but without calling out our more vocal enemies, without telling folks that difi is trying to slip another AWB into the farm bill or whatever, there are many of us who wouldn’t otherwise know.

  12. Do not limit the Site’s content to Gun and Gear Reviews. It is the wide variety of content that makes TTAG so good. Personally, I don’t care about the gun and gear reviews, as you can find that kind of stuff all over the internet, but I recognize these articles have value and interest to others who read TTAG, and I just don’t read them too often. When I do read them I find them well done and interesting. Your Staff does a commendable job.
    The “political stuff” is an important part of the National dialogue on the Second Amendment and TTAG has some of the best articles and insightful comments from Readers I can find. It does not matter to me how widely those articles and comments swing along the bell curve of the political and social beliefs, hard facts, interpretations and opinions about RKBA. It does matter that there is a forum where a wide variety of those beliefs, facts, interpretations and opinions can be freely expressed and debated. This is how we learn and refine our own ideas and interpretations on any subject.
    For those whom the “political stuff’ causes their brains to hurt, just read the stuff you like, Guns and Gear, for example, and ignore the “political stuff”. It’s that simple.

  13. I think the politics that affect us (yes there are gun grabbers out there but what is their strategy currently) is useful… How would I go about lending you guys guns to review (live in Nevada )?

  14. I am not suprised that interest in shotguns was the lowest on the scale. At the same time, I am not suprised by the reactions of shooters who witness pattern tests of both high performance factory buckshot and pressure tested buckshot handloads. It seems most shooters don’t expect the performance disconnect between myth and reality.

      • Let’s not leave out those that are on the fence, or possibly looking to see “The Truth About Guns” and the world of it’s owners.

        We all started out as non gun owning persons at one time. “I was born, a shotgun in my hands” is only a lyric. Most gun owners today were ballistic virgins until well into their adult years.

        • TTAG was my biggest source of info when the idea of guns not being scary had only just wiggled it’s way into my head.

  15. In doing any gun and gear reviews how about adding price range and where to find it, also think about a few gun book, magazine reviews, etc… THANKS for the hard work.

    • “where to find it…” This would discourage ad revenue if you are willing to freely advertise where items are available. Although, with the major search engines banning the “shopping” option for firearms and related items has left a big void for TTAG to step up and fill.

      What say you RF? Can TTAG spawn a shopping section?

  16. Why do I feel the favorite writer category was rigged?

    The site is doing great and all. Nice to see RF succeed a second time at creating a new Internet product.

  17. I’m one of the survey respondents who thought there should be less politics. What turned me off about the political articles, and many of the comments they provoked, was that they always seemed to lean the same way—”gun grabbers” are ignorant, Mayor Bloomberg is on a power trip, liberals are hypocritical, etc. I have the same problem with the New York Times editorial page: there’s no point in reading it because it’s utterly predictable. But, upon reflection, I think my reaction was wrong. TTAG is a blog, not a newspaper—which means that the comments are an integral part of the article. And I’ve found the comments to be incredibly frank and intelligent. Just when you think some author or commenter has gone overboard, the next commenter steps in with a witty or strongly-worded rebuttal. So I retract my suggestion of less politics. Increase the number of gun and gear reviews for sure, but don’t reduce the number of political articles.

  18. And I’ll tell RF to tone it down with the supermodels.

    BOO! I call for Nick Leghorn to be banned from this site. It wasnt a option in the survey, but I demand more pictures of women in underbust corsets.

    And for all those who don’t like the political articles, you don’t have to read them.

    • Rambeast, with a handle like that I can certainly understand why you’d prefer more pictures of women in underbust corsets! The only question is whether cheesecake unnecessarily narrows the spectrum of potential female readers. I don’t think it would deter libertarian women (like my daughter) who are already open-minded about firearms , but it might deter undecided or negatively-diposed women (like my wife) who might otherwise be persuaded by the kind of intelligent commentary that has attracted all of us to TTAG.

        • My handle actually came from the first “real” PC I built for myself. It had rambus 1066 memory. I dubbed it the beast, and a coworker said “the rambeast” and it stuck ever since.

          To be fair, the pics are links in the story, and you would have to click on them to even be bothered. I have seen very little “T&A” in the post main pictures.

          This site’s format is about as neutral for the sexes that you will find in the firearms community, and if someone were to seriously take offense to the contents beyond a gun grabber, I’d be shocked. The comments are another ball of wax. I have my ranting anti authoritarian streak, others have issues with race/religion. This community is pretty diverse (not as much as some would like) and getting more so every day. Patience, tolerance, and perseverance.

  19. The political stuff is what first drew me to the site and what keeps me coming back several times each day.

    It’s good to know anti-statist, libertarian and anti-authoritarian (sorry cops but I’ve learned through life experience and academic study that though there may be good individual cops as an institution law enforcement is a horrid entity in need of swift and complete eradication) views can be shared by “normal” people and not just Infowars/Prison Planet/Truther crazies.

  20. I just can’t believe how many readers voted for Foghorn. Still, I have to give them some credit. Many of his fans have to switch off between typing and breathing through their mouths, so a survey can take a long time when you touch type and keep passing out every 45 seconds.

  21. I’m new to the site and didn’t see the survey but I wanted to weigh in on the politics. I understand that there is opinion with the articles but please keep them coming. I don’t care if they mesh with my ideals or not, they provoke thought. There isn’t many different places that discuss gun politics that is in a format I like but this is one place. Just my two cents and I like the site.

  22. Nick,

    Do you know what generates the most comments/replies?

    I have a feeling it is the political stuff, but it is just a hunch.

  23. You know Nick when you asked the question, which writer you like best, I felt really bad..
    Here is why..
    Nuts and Bolts reviews and vids, Nick is the best.
    How to beat an Anti down and make em cry uncle, Bruce is a legend.. If only in his own mind 😉
    Dan and Robert both contribute heavily on a lot of the 2A related stuff, and also the IGOTD, and DGUTD. They are like the anchor reporters out on the street.
    Then we have everyone else throwing in too, myself included. The first time RF published my post I was giddy as a school girl. Now it is hard and I am trying to raise the bar on my writing.

    The point is this…
    Everyone has a role to play, and everyone is contributing. So saying I like you more than Bruce, or Dan or Robert really isn’t fair. If you said who writes the best 2A law review pieces, or best gun reviews, then I could narrow things down. But by having the community that we do and the contributions from many, it makes TTAG what it is. It isn’t one person being a know it all. We all put in to the conversation, which is what makes TTAG better than others. MY hope is that the popularity will grow, and sponsors / advertisers etc will take notice.

    With any luck next year your sample size will be more in the 5 to 10K range..

  24. I enjoy the training reviews/reports. I say report, because rating a trainer or training facility can be very subjective, as if rating a gun is not subjective enough. I don’t like double-stack guns because they feel like clubs in my hand, that is my bias. If you have larger hands, no problem. However, what if I dislike a certain trainer because they use the word “like” to many times – that really has very little to do with your experience I would think. Keep ’em coming! The current mix is good, if anything, too many posts in a day – I can’t keep up.

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