The Survey Says …

First, my thanks to all of you who participated in the recent CU at the Game Survey. There were several hundred responses, and most of you took the time to submit comments and suggestions as to how to make CU at the Game a better website.

So, what did we learn?

CU at the Gamers

The makeup of those who check in with CU at the Game is divided fairly evenly amongst the age ranges. The plurality (28%) are between 35-45, but that group is followed closely by the 25-34 age range (25%) and the 46-55 group (24%). The under-represented group is the 18-24 age group, which makes up only about 5% of the CU at the Game regulars. The translation here is that the website is not reaching current students in Boulder. Not a real surprise, but something I’d like to work on.

The readership is overwhelmingly male – not a surprise at all – at over 90%. But there are some women CU at the Gamers out there (hang in there, BuffLady!).

When asked about your connection to the Buffs, there were some interesting numbers. Two-thirds of you are CU alumni, but only just over half live in the state of Colorado (suggesting that many of you are ex-patriated Buffs, like me).

Less than half of you (44%) are season ticket holders, while 37% have family ties to the University.

Some of the better comments posted with respect to ties to the Buffs: “Have followed the Buffs since age 9-10 (60+ years)”; “I sold hotdogs at the game as a kid”; “Moved to Boulder in 1989. It’s how I learned football”; “Fan since 1963”; “I grew up wanting to attend CU… Out-of-state tuition was too expensive, so I attended KU. I don’t own one piece of KU gear – GO BUFFS!”; “I am cool, and, consequently, I like  all cool things, like CU football”.

For those of you who remembered how you first found out about CU at the Game, there were a number of responses. The most popular referral site has been AllBuffs, so many thanks to my friends at that website! Another popular reference was the Buffzone at the Boulder Daily Camera (thanks for occasionally posting a link to my site, VK!).

What you read at CU at the Game

The nice thing about a survey … you are largely preaching to the choir. Only those already on the site,  and are likely fans of the site, will take the time to complete a survey. This being the case, you have to take the results with a grain of salt, and remember that the readers you are trying to reach out to are the ones which probably took a pass on the survey as well.

Still, there were some interesting numbers …

During the season, over half of you check in with CU at the Game on a daily basis (thanks – no pressure there!), with the more popular response for the off-season being “a few times a week”. No real surprises there.

As for the CU at the Game articles, during the season those stories directly related to the Buffs are most likely to earn a click – and a read-  from you. The most popular article are the “T.I.P.S.”, the weekly preview which comes out on Wednesday before each game, with 76% of you “Always” or “Usually” reading the game previews. Next in line of preference are the game recaps (73%), with a similar number checking out the game essay. The “Colorado Daily” and “Pac-12 Updates” are slightly less popular, with the “Friday Fast Facts” trailing amongst the in-season articles in terms of popularity.

Somewhat surprising was the lack of participation in the polls. I usually put up two or three over the course of a given week, but only about 56% of you “Always” or “Usually” participate. I’m not sure what to make of that, but that may be an area on the website where something else could be placed.

While not regular features, the “Recruiting Prospects” and “Verbal Commitments” postings are very popular – even more so than the articles about the current games. This certainly suggests (and we’ll talk about that more in the comments section, below) that recruiting is very important to CU at the Gamers.

What is not important to you, which I understand – but it was still news I didn’t want to hear – is that the Archives of CU at the Game are not all that important to you. The “Archive Game of the Week”, which is prominently displayed on the front page of the website, rates the attention from almost half of you “Seldom” (36%)  or “Never” (13%). Meanwhile, the Archives themselves have only been visited “a few times” by about half of you (51%), with only 13% having browsed the Archives “many times”.

Again, I understand the numbers. Still, the Archives are near and dear to my heart. “CU at the Game“, the book, was something I worked on for over 11 years before “CU at the Game”, the website, ever existed. My goal remains to have the CU at the Game Archives not only a respository for my stories, but for yours as well.

Which leads me to …

Your Suggestions – for the Archives

 As to getting more participation in the Archives, a contest was the most popular suggestion. For those of you who need such prompting, you will be glad to know that such a contest is in the works, with a launch date either in the period between Signing Day (February 1st) and the start of Spring Practice (March 10th), or, more likely, after the Spring game on April 14th. The “CU at …” photo contest ran last summer, and proved fairly popular, so we will likely go with a similar format this spring.

Many of you noted that you did not know that posting your own stories was an option. This is something I will be working on with my computer guys. There is a “Post your own Memories” link at the top of each Archived game, but perhaps we’ll have to make that more prominent. I also realized that, while I mention posting stories fairly often in my email updates, that many of you do not receive those updates, so I will have to be more aggressive about putting that information out on the website proper.

Posting stories about current games is also a good idea. Perhaps with either the game writeup or my column for the game, we can make it easier for you to relay your own current experiences (“had a great time in Columbus!”; “You should have seen the look on my Utah friends’ faces when the field goal sailed off to the right!”).

Others suggested expanding the social media for CU at the Game. There is a Facebook page for CU at the Game, but I don’t know how to post to it (thanks for doing it for me, Kimbirly!), I don’t know how to Tweet, I don’t know how to create an “App”, and I don’t know how to make the site more readible on your iPod or Blackberry. But I understand that I am behind the times, so improving the CU at the Game experience in those areas is something I’ll work on with my computer guys this off-season.

Your Suggestions – Overall

Several of you asked for coverage of men’s basketball. Sorry to say, that isn’t going to happen. For two reasons: first, much of the season coincides with recruiting season for football, and, if there is anything I have learned from the survey, is that you are interested in how recruiting is coming along; and, second, while I was a men’s basketball season-ticket holder when I lived in Boulder, and while I watch a number of games on television, I am not well-schooled in CU basketball. I’m afraid I wouldn’t have much to offer.

The display of photos and the layout of the website also caught your attention.

– As to the photos which rotate on the main page, I switch those out twice a year (so look for new photos early in January). The campus and game photos are pictures which I – and everyone else – has free access to courtesy of the University of Colorado. I don’ have ready access to game photos, so I have to go with photos archived by the school.

– As to the time each photo appears on the page, I will talk with the computer guys about lengthening the time each photo stays up.

– As to the background photo, from the 2007 upset of Oklahoma, I will see if I can find a newer picture.

– As to the banner picture, which is obviously from a Spring game (as there are players in both black and white jerseys), I will check and see if there is something else which can be substituted.

Many of you also are looking for more recruiting coverage. All I can say at this point is that I am working on it. With copyright laws, there is only so much I can gleen from the pay sites like Rivals and Scout (but there is also a great deal out there which is public information). I’m not in a position to contact recruits directly (which would be an NCAA violation, as I qualify as a “booster”), so I have to rely upon third party sources. Rest assured, though, that I am working on expanding my network so as to provide you with as much up-to-the-minute information as I can.

There were several comments about, well, comments. There is a comment section attached to every story, but perhaps it is not a link which is as easy to find as I thought, so we’ll take a look at that. Also, I’ll ask about reversing the comments, so that the most recent comments are shown at the top.

If you do not see your comment specifically addressed above, please know that I am working on all which you have noted. You were kind enough to send in your comments and suggestions, so my pledge to you is to take them all seriously.

Thanks again to all who participated in the Survey. If you have any other comments or suggestions (or you were amongst the over 50 respondents who clicked on: “I am not on the email update list, but would like to be” … but then never sent me a note to get on the list), you can always reach me at

Go Buffs!



7 Replies to “The Survey Says …”

  1. —->There were several comments about, well, comments. There is a comment section attached to every story, but perhaps it is not a link which is as easy to find as I thought, so we’ll take a look at that. Also, I’ll ask about reversing the comments, so that the most recent comments are shown at the top.

    I'm one of those who isn't sure how to find the comments, or if the comments are for several articles, or what. I like seeing the feedback and the back and forth converasation, so what about putting comments linked to a more "forum" type format, so we can see what people are talking about and maybe participate?

    By the way, great site, Stuart, keep it up!

  2. Stu:
    Put the link for posting fan stories on the home page! If we see it every time that we go to CU at the game, it is more likely that if we have a story that we’ll remember to post it!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement Stuart. I may be the only female “gamer” but I have been a Buff for 34 years and am not going anywhere! I will continue to visit this wbsite as I think it is one the most informative and your insight is great. Keep up the good work. GO BUFFS!

  4. Stuart–I know I speak for a lot of Buff fans when letting you know you an awesome job and how much we appreciate your regular updates. Thanks and Go Buffs!

  5. Posting users stories is a sweet idea, especially during the off season; whoever thought of that is a genius. I read EVERYTHING Stu posts so I have no problem at all cutting into my hubby time to read everybody else’s! 😉 It gets slow during the off season so that is a great way to fill up the archive games too.

  6. I love the polls Stu! Don’t 86 them yet! That is one thing that is really entertaining about our daily visits. I have a feeling that the same percentage of visitors that are regulars are also the same ones who participate in the poll. 56% sounds like a majority! Right? What would Ralphie do?.

    Go Buffs!

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