The Results Are In – I

You may have noted that the look of this blog has changed a couple of times in the past few days. I blame technology.

I wanted to see what things would look like with a new template. I wasn’t satisfied with just looking at a preview, so I switched, figuring I could switch back to the old one after sixty seconds and probably no-one would notice. It didn’t work. The nice people at WordPress have retired the “theme” that has been the look of these posts for two years. I couldn’t restore it. I suppose if I had called customer support they would have fixed the problem for me, but for something that would only last a couple of days it didn’t seem worth the effort.

That’s because the first ever Random Thoughts From Lorne survey results indicated that most people didn’t care if the look was changed, but a significant minority thought it was time to freshen things up. Only one person said to keep the old model. The new look is the most obvious change.

The response rate was less than I had hoped for, but in line with what the direct mail industry sees as a reasonable rate of return. Given that some of the political mailings I have done have had response rates in the tenth of a per cent, I’m actually pretty happy with the results.

The only unanimous response was on the length of these (usually) daily posts. What I am doing is just right as far as you are concerned. (Just so you know, the length is the same as the sports column I used to write occasionally for the Pembroke Observer 30 years ago. I assumed, probably incorrectly, that that length had some reason behind it so decided to go with it here.)

The ranking of the topics surprised me. I had expected travel to be the favourite, but religion was the most popular. Maybe this means I should have more pictures of churches and mosques.

In asking you to rank the topics I write about, I was looking for guidance to help me when I am waffling on what to post. Some days I have more than one completed post and I am never quite sure which one I should go with. Now I know, though for the most part you’ll still be getting whatever strikes. I’d love to do more travel posts, even make this a full time travel blog (with a separate blog of other thoughts) but I haven’t done a tourist trip in a couple of years. My annual vacation in Maine doesn’t count – while I have had some posts from it, to me it’s not tourism, it’s my second home. Of course if someone wants to underwrite a trip so I can write about it, I’m more than happy to go wherever you want. Send me an email and we can discuss it!

The top five categories people wanted to read abut were: Religion, Humour, World Affairs, Travel and Leadership. That did quite surprise me. The bottom five were: American politics, Society, Book Reviews, Concert Reviews and Sports. I can understand people being tired of American politics – I think we all are given the interminable presidential campaign. I do have a couple more posts that I think are relevant though, so there will be a few more before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. (That’s how the election date is set. Nothing as simple as just choosing the first Tuesday.) I also have some book reviews coming up – feel free to ignore them if they aren’t of interest to you.

Tomorrow a bit more about the survey results and some more changes.



  1. What if you had said “music” instead of “concert reviews?” I’d enjoy your random thoughts on that.

    1. Good point. There are some musical memories coming – but current events always seem to bump them.

  2. “What I am doing is just right as far as you are concerned.” Beware “subscriber bias”.

    1. While subscriber bias may be an issue if I want to grow to 100,000 readers, it is good to know that those reading the posts enjoy them. For the most part. And when they don’t, I enjoy the debate.

      1. Debaters enjoy the read or they wouldn’t be there. Those not there aren’t part of your survey.

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