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Jan 05

survey-questionsHi All,
I’ve finally had a chance to summarize the main points from the DotM survey… thank you to all of those who responded… particularly those groups that are not currently participating in the Disc of the Month project.

The original survey questions can be found at Disc of the Month Survey

The most common reason for not participating was the inability to find someone prepared to download the Disc Images and burn the Discs. But two groups were quite vocal about their distain for the idea of charging for Discs and thought that there was no need for such Discs as their members can download what ever they like off the internet when they want and whilst I don’t agree with their views, I did welcome hearing from them.

Most groups do a combination of promotional opportunities, but mainly in their newsletters and at their meetings. Only one group incorporates the Discs in to their meetings in other formats like presentations and at Q&As.

Only three groups promote previous month’s discs, which I must admit really surprized me…and two of them do it on their website and two of them do it at meetings.

The promo movies produced two opposing view points – some groups want the promo movies to remain around the 30 second mark, whilst others want them to be more detailed. Most groups do use them and one group started with showing the Festive Fun II promo movie on loop as people walked in the room and found sales increased, so repeated it in December with Artist’s Palette with similar result and will continue to so at future meetings.  [My recommendation is we leave the movies as ‘teasers’ to highlight the availability of the Disc and refer interested people to printed copies of the ‘About’ Flyers.]

The size of the movie isn’t an issue.

The Disc Labels work as supplied in a number of uses including printing on the Discs, on websites, in newsletters and mailing lists.

The most popular Disc was a three way tie between Celebrations Galore, Toolbox Essentials and HobbyMac.

MacServer was deemed the least popular as it was almost universally felt as been too specialised for most groups. Yet it was also the Disc that induced the most external sales for two groups.

Most groups didn’t have any feedback regarding if their members took advantage of the Discounts found on Toolbox Essentials. Yet most would be happy to see more of these discounts if they can be arranged… they are seen as a good bonus.

The idea of more Discs with only Free/Open Source software was very welcomed. But many groups still support the concept of exposing their members to a wider range of software.

The most called for Disc to be released in the future was actually for System Updates. Unfortunately I am not in a position to produce such a Disc nor can such a Disc be served from the Niche FTP server.  I cover the idea of System Updates in a later email. Aside from that more discs consisting of just Open Source and Free software were requested as were more games discs and collections of Clipart, Fonts etc.

I think every group responded ‘Maybe’ to the idea of re-releasing updated versions of previously released discs, so I’ll look into it.

Most groups sell the Discs at the RRP, but two sell them at ‘half price’ to members (and full price to non-members) and one group provides a computer with the Disc Images on and members can copy on to their Thumb Drives at meeting free of charge,

The number of discs sold varied greatly depending on the size of the group… one group sells an average of 50 discs a month and others sell half a dozen.

Most have not done any bundling of Discs, except for the one I supplied with Festive Fun II.

Most groups only sell at meetings but quite a few offer online stores. And all groups are prepared to sell to non-members.

Most groups place funds raised from the sales of Discs in to the ‘General Kitty’ of the club and I really enjoyed the excuses for not receiving any vodka nor chocolate.

The biggest problem people have found downloading the Disc Images files is the size of the Disc Image itself, particularly if they aren’t on ADSL2 or have low traffic allowances. The support files don’t seem to offer any problems for downloading.

A couple of groups would like a bit more notice if possible as they meet in the last week of the month, when the print edition of Australian Macworld comes out, so I’ll see what I can do to improve the release dates.

Some groups don’t replace the “REPLACE THIS FILE” file, but for those that do the 5MB reserved is sufficient.

Most groups are happy to have the occasional month with two Discs released, but not too frequently and would also cope with an occasional DVD.

Most groups use either an internal or external burner with Toast to prepare the discs and then print direct on to the Disc using a variety of inkjet printers models.

All Groups were aware of the promotion of the Discs in the print edition of Australian Macworld and in the AWM forums.

There was lots of free form comments, most of which can be summarized as either ‘Thanks for the Discs – they provide a nice benefit to members and a very welcome addition to the club’s finances’ or ‘We don’t have the bandwidth, nor volunteers, to download the Disc Images’

All the groups who are currently participating in the DotM project will continue to do so this year and about half of those not currently participating are considering participating – most of those just need to find someone to actually download the Disc Images and burn the discs.

Over all, it was a very informative survey and those of you who had specific queries or comments, I should have responded by now… if I over looked something let me know.

Again thank for all the feedback and I intend to continue with the DotM project into 2009 and believe that your responses will help improve the service to your members.

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