The survey said...

Thanks again to everyone who answered last week's LA Observed reader survey. I closed it at 800 responses, blown away by the wealth of insight and suggestions that came in. Today I'll start to post some results, with more details going by email to LA Observed Insider subscribers. The clearest message is that readers have a strong connection to the site: More than 80% who answered said they visit one or more times a day and 97% like what we do, with the highest ratings for posts and reporting on L.A. media and politics. The qualities that readers score highest are credibility, tone, writing and knowledge of Los Angeles — all received well over 90% excellent or good ratings.

You want more of some content — insider information, original reporting, and of course media and politics — and also sent a loud message that you don't want the tone of LA Observed to change as the site grows. (Only 19%, for instance, want more "attitude.") You feel the design and use of photos could be improved. And while 39% would like to see the return of public comments, 44% said no. Here's a sample of the written responses on comments:

→ Please please please don't restore the reader comments.
→ Miss the commentary from readers.
→ I know comments threads are easily hijacked by trolls and obsessives. But if you could find a way to filter that out, they also cultivate a sense of ownership and loyalty.
→ Leave out reader comments to individual posts - even on a good day they're as inane, sophomoric and asinine as a chatroom thread.
→ Readers' comments on a popular blog tend to get out of hand quickly. I'd leave 'em out.
→ I do miss the comments, even though they descended into shouting matches with assholes.
→ Please do not bring back reader comments. Unfortunately, when the site had comments before, the occasional intelligent remark was too often lost in a sea of hatred, libel and stupidity.
→ I just want to reiterate how much I would like to see readers able to comment directly to your posts.

Later I'll post some data on the LA Observed reader base — and the results of voting for the top L.A. media story of 2007. After the jump is the ranking of Top Media Stories for 2006, voted by survey respondents:

L.A. media story of 2006Votes
L.A. Times gets new
editor & publisher
Billionaires bid for LAT56.3%
Immigrant marches44.1%
TMZ breaks Mel Gibson story33.9%
Judith Regan and
O.J. Simpson
UCLA student Tasered
on YouTube
New owners at LA Weekly14.0%
Stephanie Edwards dissed
KZLA drops country music6.9%

Most clicked on LAO posts of 2006
Top LAO media stories of 2006
Top LAO politics posts of 2006

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
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Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
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