A Sense of Who You Are

Washington Technology's readers speak, and we are listening

WT recently commissioned a reader's survey by Chicago-based ResearchUSA Inc. These kinds of things help us learn more about how and why you read us, what you expect from us, and, moreover, give us a profile of who you are and what you care about.

We learned that most of you read us closely: 86 percent are regular readers who have read at least three of the last four issues; 73 percent read all the last four issues. Content-wise, 79 percent read one-half of each issue or more. Less than 30 percent of you read other technology publications; 52 percent read the Washington Post, 42.5 percent the Wall Street Journal, and 30 percent Business Week.

We also learned that many of you work for some of the world's corporate leaders: 18 percent at companies that do more than $1 billion in sales each year; about 28 percent at companies that do upward of $50 million annually. Nine of 10 of you are males, your average age is 46.2 years old, and more than 80 percent of you are married; almost half of you have earned a master of arts degree or doctorate.

And we learned what parts of the paper you like the most: Tech Business, New Markets, our features on information technology issues, our Industry Watch and Internet columns, Beltway Biz, and our Policy section, in that order.

You also let your hair down and told us in words what you think, and to say the least we're very flattered. A good 75 percent of the comments went something like this: "Washington Technology is a great venue for news and information on the technology front."

However, in the interests of humility and continued improvement, here are some of the constructive criticisms:

"I'd like to see more writing done on finance and technology and how commerce will be affected by the computerization of banking."

"I am not sure if the new format is lending to a more readable newspaper."

"I believe Washington Technology is too oriented to big company news and mindsets."

"WT is too focused on the grand policy of the aerospace industry. More information on GATT, NAFTA, etc."

"Listings of events are not very inclusive. Many important events are omitted."

"Don't talk down, but define terms."

"Publish a biannual contract directory and acronym dictionary for clarifications and reference."

"Include more biotech and Maryland information."

"Include more articles about government policy and news on funding opportunities, such as ARPA and NIST programs."

"Stop focusing on the same small disadvantaged businesses - branch out and look into others."

"I wish there were more technical articles and less advertising."

"You don't answer E-mail."

And, finally, "survey the readership more often and place the survey results in the issue."

This one's for you.

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