The July 1988 Antic Editorial Survey revealed some significant shifts among our readers' concerns-even though the overall picture of a "typical" Antic reader remains much the same as was first seen in the September 1985 survey. (Results of that previous survey were published in the January 1986 Antic)
The main difference between the 1988 and 1985 surveys seems to be that now the pendulum swung back towards the majority of readers being primarily interested in Antic's own ready-to-use programs-both type-ins and disk bonuses. Back in 1985, the most important parts of the magazine for a majority of readers appeared to be reviews and new product information.
Here are some of the numbers that led to this conclusion-50.3% of readers counted in the survey said they wanted more type-in programs and 52.9% wanted more disk-only bonus programs. But only 28.1% called for more non-program articles. Looking at the most popular specific categories, a solid 52% wanted more new product information while 48.5% wanted more product reviews. But an even higher 68.1%, wanted more type-in practical user programs (55.8% called for more disk-only practical programs) while 67% wanted more type-in utility programs (55% voted for more disk-only utilities).
In general, readers want more-or at least the same amount-of just about everything they find in Antic. The two glaring exceptions are ST coverage (52.6% want less) and Atari-unrelated coverage (52% want less). And as we promised in last month's editorial about the early survey trends, the magazine has already taken a number of steps to give you more pages of Atari 8-bit programs and news-plus a monthly double-sided disk packed exclusively with 8-bit material.
Just as in 1985, the 1988 prototype Antic reader is an intermediate (66.1%) BASIC programmer (93.9%) who owns an Atari XL/XE computer (58.5%) with a disk drive (87.4%), printer (84.2%) and modem (57%). An ST plus an 8-bit Atari is owned by 10.8%, and additional computer brands-primarily PC compatibles-are also owned by 10.8%.
There now seem to be a number of splits emerging between various elements of the Antic readership. Most markedly, there is a highly vocal division between readers who want either less or more game programs. In the type-in action/arcade game category, 32.2% wanted less and 37.1% wanted the same amount as now-wanting more was in third place with 26.9%.
Special thanks go to two Atari users groups, MACE of Michigan and APES of Louisiana, who sent in mass responses from their members. The 1988 survey compilation program was written by Technical/Online Editor Charles Jackson (who also wrote the 1985 compiler). Editorial Coordinator Carolyn Cushman compiled the results.
Antic would like to thank the 343 readers who responded to the 1988 editorial survey, a turnout that was hardly any less than the 1985 participation.
Tramiel Write-In Overview
In the May 1988 Sixth Anniversary issue of Antic, we asked readers to send letters to Atari's chairman of the board, Jack Tramiel.
In the following weeks we received 54 photocopies of consumer letters and 43 copies of replies from Atari. About 65% of the reader letters provided store addresses and phone numbers. Atari generally replied to these letters that a nationwide dealer network was being established.
The other most frequent topic, appearing in 46% of the consumer letters, was a list of the Atari equipment owned by the writers. About 40% of the responses from Atari included a list of available 8-bit merchandise; 35% said that the suggestions or information provided by the consumer were being forwarded appropriately; and 33% simply thanked the consumers for their suggestions.
Comments in the reader letters ranged widely-from "You don't care' and "Deliver what you promise" to praises of "Great job."
Unfortunately, the Antic readers who took the trouble to write
letters could have been more specific in telling Tramiel what they really
want. Few of the writers actually discussed what would influence them to
buy more Atari products, or even specified something that they wanted to
buy. From this, Antic has learned that next time we try a campaign
like this, we must try to make it clearer to readers that better results
might be obtained by telling Atari how you use your equipment to help you,
as well as just listing what you own-GREGG PEARLMAN
Survey '88 Results
Differences in interests between longtime Atari users and relative newcomers were shown in the write-in comments. On many of the same topics, different readers wrote in that they wanted either more coverage or less coverage.