Market research

I posted two new threads within minutes of each other. Each was a ride report. Each had a simple quiz in it.

One was called “Bride along the river (easy quiz)” and one was called “What a Let Down”.

After 24 hours, Bride Along the River (easy quiz) has been read approximately half as many times as What a Let Down.

Now that’s fine - no one has to read my threads - but I’m just interested in the reasons. Were readers put off by one title, or attracted to the other? Or is the truth a bit of both?

Did people think, “Just another riverbank write up” and not bother to read it? or were people put off by “yet another bl**dy quiz”?

Alternatively, did “What a Let Down” attract curiosity, and the opportunity for schadenfreude?

Has the riverbank write up thing been overdone? has the novelty of the quizes passed? It takes me half an hour or so to write each one, so feedback would genuinely be appreciated.

I was quite the opposite, I nearly missed seeing the “What a Let Down”. I don’t know why, my screen shows them arranged latest post first, so the “Let Down” was immediately below the “Bride”. Hardly invisible.

There are a number of rec.posters, maybe three or four, whose writings I purposefully seek out. They are always worth the time spent absorbing them. I am not a technical rider, and it may be that I therefore prefer the descriptive ride writeups rather than trick details. My own riding is headed more towards solo rides than any other discipline, and I am happy to carry the uni up a kerb rather than try to jump it. I certainly finish one of your reports and then immediately look forward to the next. The quiz is an added extra, I was never able resist a challenge.

I certainly appreciate the time you take to write these reports, they are rec.uni highlights for me, and I would spend far less time in rec.uni, were they not there. I like rivers too, and indeed canals, ponds, puddles, and lakes, so I feel I often learn something interesting and worthwhile from the writings. Today I learned the meaning of “schadenfreude”, a word whose existance I knew nothing of.

Maybe you could compare your posts to others of similar age, are they read more or less than those?


A title like “What A Let Down” suggests a high likelihood of the post being a rant. Good quality, passionate, foaming-at-the-keyboard rants make excellent reading but are very difficult to find a good specimen of. :slight_smile:

I must confess to having read neither yet; there’s a lot to catch up on since Friday morning, and decent ride reports shouldn’t be rushed.


To be honest I was one of the people who opened your what a let down thread and not the other. I opened the what a let down thread because I thought it might be a quick read with a good concise story. I like your style of writing but I was in the mood for a shorter read.

I read, and thoroughly enjoyed both reports. Sometimes I almost feel that I have done the ride with you (or rather, behind you).

In my general cruisade to tackle my fuzzy thinking, I have been thinking about your reports and quizes. I think the way I read gives me an overall picture, rather than concentrating on the details. I’m not very good at noticing errors as I naturally concentrate on the bigger picture.

I had a few goes but just ended up getting frustrated cos I couldn’t see the errors. I’d prefer just to enjoy the ride.

But that’s just me. Write on!


I’ve only seen the what a let down one.

I was surprised to see a title of “What a Let Down” being written by ‘Mikefule’

I don’t know why though.

I always seek out your ride reports but will sometimes save them and read them later when I have more time. Skim reading doesn’t do the time you take writing the reports justice (for me anyway).

I’m with norry. I read “What a letdown” first, mostly since the title drew my attention. I actually wondered what happened to you that would be bad, how bad, etc. and was a little (little) worried.

I read What a Let Down first as well, I think the title was better that’s all. I enjoyed it so much I read the other thread just after.

Keep them coming Mike, they are really good.

No, I thought “Just another suspension bridge write up”. :slight_smile:

I suspect the ambiguity of the title “What a let down” piqued the curiosity of the casual browser.
Me? I’d be happy reading your shopping lists. :slight_smile:

What I’ve read or not won’t be included in the stats that you’re looking at, because I don’t use the forum for reading rsu. As it happens, I’ve just read “Bride along the river” (never heard of the area featured in your mistake before, BTW, it being related to a subject that I tend to actively avoid), but I haven’t yet read “What a let down”.

The reason is simple. My newsreader is set to display threads in alphabetical order, and I haven’t got down to W yet. Does the forum have an alphabetical display option? Might there be a significant number of forum readers reading from A-Z?

The novelty of the quizzes has passed to an extent, for me, in that I’m tending not to bother responding (partly because recently I haven’t got round to reading the reports until after the answers have been posted). But I still enjoy looking out for the deliberate mistakes as I read your stories.

A Mikefule write-up is something to savour, and for me the quiz is just the cherry on top of the cake (bad metaphor, I hate cherries, but you know what I mean, I hope).

My threads are sorted by date, with the newest ones appearing at the top. Don’t ask me how to change this, I have no clue.
It was like that when I got here! :slight_smile:

same for me except that I missed “what a let down”!
also same remarks as Naomi: I like reading your ride reports … they just zen my mind up and I can imagine bucolic surroundings (probably better in my imagination than in real life …) again they should be used by the lcoal tourist bureau … everybody wants to visit Mikefule’s hunting grounds!

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to read your posts due to lack of time rather than lack of interest. I really like doing the quiz but sometimes I don’t get to them before the answers are posted. I’d like the puzzling to continue!