The little survey that you did or didn’t answer: blogging in a pandemic

Remember, two weeks ago I asked, How can my blogging in a pandemic help you? Well, 3 of my 6 friends say they want a podcast of poems for a pandemic.

Now perhaps using a survey form to ask three little questions was foolish, as only six people replied. On the other hand, those particular readers are special because they did do the survey. Thank you to the faithful few!

I’m paying pragmatic attention to the general trend of the survey responses, even though the sample is too tiny to have any statistical significance.  Here they are.

Question 1 is a broad one, not related to my work

Honestly, what do you need most at this time? Check in order of priority. Answers were in this sequence, with the most popular choice first.

  1. Practical help and advice
  2. Inspiration
  3. Company
  4. Distraction
  5. Entertainment
  6. Training and courses

Question 2 concerns the frivolous entertainment that I sometimes offer

What entertainment and distractions would you like me to provide? (Check as many as apply.) You answered as follows:

Bar graph showing that 100% want insights into the creative life, 71% want more cat pictures and 57% want more photos of Wellington, New Zealand.

What entertainment and distractions do you want? Insights into the creative life, cat pictures and photos of Wellington

This was a badly thought out question: I forgot to include “More wonky drawings”!

But hey! 100 percent of 6 whole people said they want “More insights into my life as a creative person.” I only included that item because Patreon insists that this is a big attraction, and your replies made me take it seriously. My life “as a creative person”? I would never normally categorise myself that way, yet I am a writer and poet, working in various “creative” fields. So I’m happy to share more of that side of my life. After all, I also like to read about other people’s lives, if they write engagingly.

As for the cat photos, I have consulted Ursula and have hopes of her occasional compliance.

Question 3 concerns my next project: what should it be?

What major project would help you most. I can do one of these things. Which one appeals to you most? Please advise.

The results here hit home and I’m delighted to say that as 3 out of 6 people chose the podcast, that’s exactly what I intend to embark on.

“A mere 3 people chose one of 5 options? That’s like nobody at all,” I hear you say. Hey, that’s a ringing endorsement for my modest little podcast, How To Be Old. Imagine asking 6 of your friends a question like this: you would probably take notice if 3 of them chose the same thing. I choose to regard this as a sign of faith in my next podcast (or season?) which will involve lots of other poets, old and young, reading and talking about one of their poems that speaks to us in this pandemic.

Here’s a graph with these statistically meaningless but personally interesting answers. It’s perfectly obvious what I don’t have to do, thank goodness! And clear what might be  helpful if I had time. But I don’t: the podcast will consume most of my working life for the next six months at least. Yay! I can’t wait!

Graph showing 3 people want Rachel McAlpine to do a podcast of pandemic poems

If 3 of my 6 friends want a podcast of pandemic poems with writer interviews, I shall provide!

We’re still at Level 2 Alert for the coronavirus pandemic, so the future is uncertain. But I will start recording pandemic poems with various poets for the podcast within a few weeks. Deal? Deal.

Meantime I had better send you another photo of my cat Ursula.

Domestic cat in a domestic jungle of daffodils

23 thoughts on “The little survey that you did or didn’t answer: blogging in a pandemic

  1. Sadje says:

    I tried to enter the poll but somehow it wouldn’t take me selection.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Oh Sadie sorry about that. It’s the first time I’ve used sogosurvey.

      1. Sadje says:

        The one you used before was easy to use.

      2. Rachel McAlpine says:

        The free version disappeared I think.

      3. Sadje says:

        That’s just what happens to free versions.

  2. I never saw it come through, your survey, or I would have answered. 😉

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      My fault for only mentioning it once. Thank you!

  3. Gallivanta says:

    I didn’t do your survey but I did listen to and enjoy your interview on Nine to Noon on Radio New Zealand.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You know what, I enjoyed it too. Kathryn Ryan was so warm and enthusiastic. The podcasts I hope will have a similar warmth.

      1. Gallivanta says:


  4. alison41 says:

    What beautiful daffodils, and displayed in the perfect vase. BTW, Ursula is looking pretty – inspired by the flowers, I expect.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      The flowers came from my friend’s garden. Gorgeous.

  5. hilarymb says:

    @ Rachel – I’m not sure if I answered (doesn’t say much does it) … but I’m always happy to read and I do enjoy seeing Ursula – perhaps more to the point the spring daffodils as here I’m stitting amongst grey clouds – we do need the rain. Take care and I’ll be by to, on occasion, listen in … all the best – Hilary

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Hi Hilary–yes, the daffodils!! Never fear, they will return to your part of the earth again.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Glad to see that my answers had an outsized influence on the results!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You said it!

  7. cedar51 says:

    I did check out the survey, but nothing seemed to resonate with me – but now seeing that podcast poems pandemic has a wide number of 3, I’ll add that to my likes…

  8. delphini510 says:

    Shame on me for not trying but I must admit to not having spotted this. Reading it now I realise I struggle with
    fitting in with options. It is too late now or I would answer.
    1. Courage and friendships
    2. Choice no 3
    3. A story from your childhood

    🤗 there is always the awkward ones.


  9. rummuser says:

    I am late coming here but, I prefer the written word and have now opted to get advice of your blogposts by email and will henceforth read all of them and comment wherever I can offer something useful.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Hello again! I’m thrilled to have you read what I write, whenever, however.

  10. Hi, Rachel – I’m sorry that I missed your survey. I love the answers here and how you have decided to go forward. Good luck with your podcasts adventures. And please keep on blogging to (the written word is definitely easiest for me to keep up with).

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Yes, I will keep blogging! That’s where it all begins.

  11. There are indeed poets—including myself—who have been writing poetry about the pandemic from its beginning. You are welcome to tap and reblog any suitable poetry from my archives…as I’m sure other poets would allow!

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