Last week we designed a survey to get a better understanding of what works on the Nation Network and what doesn’t. The answers that came back were all across the spectrum – some provided great insight, others provided a good laugh, others made us want to rethink our chosen profession. 

We sat down at Nation HQ this morning with a fresh glass of thinking Rye and read everyone’s responses – over 1100 in total! – from bow to stern. A big thank you goes out to everyone who took the time to answer this thing. Surveys are SO annoying – we appreciate you taking time out of your life to provide us with key information to drive our redevelopment. 

Our summary findings can be found after the jump.

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Survey results are always funny. I can see how people get ‘analysis paralysis’ when they have access to too much data. For every part of the site – every feature, every type of article, every writer – there are those who love it and seemingly equal numbers of people who hate it. 

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“More Wanye!” “Less Wanye!” “More polls!” “No polls!” the comments point in every direction under the sun.

“What do we do? Nothing? Everything? Fire everyone?! Rehire everyone at 5x the output!?” the brainstorming has been set to hurricane the entire morning as baggedmilk and your ol’ pal Wanye ran around the war room trying to take immediate action – whatever that action may be.


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Well that reads pretty well. 95.7% of Nation Network readers are satisfied or very satisfied with the overall experience we are providing. If I had this high of a satisfaction rating among the womens I meet I wouldn’t need this platinum Tinder account on constant refresh.*


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Is anyone working anymore? Thankfully the answer seems to be no. The mission of the Nation Network has been “give people stuff to do so they don’t have to work for a living, but still look like they are working for a living when someone casually passes by their office and see them staring intently at their computer screen.”

Mission accomplished.



It seems as though Nation Network readers are divided equally into camps that love and hate every writer we have. For every “fire Gregor!” there was at least one “Gregor rules!” type comment and that went for every writer mentioned in the survey. 

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“What do we do? Fire everyone? Rehire everyone at 5x the output?” Baggedmilk and I ran around the war room at HQ equal parts panicking and taking decisive action like only people suddenly overwhelmed by data can do.

We currently have 49 writers across the Network. We will be announcing some new additions before the season starts in our climb to 100 writers under contract within 3 years. Hopefully they will all create the polarizing reactions our first half of the team have to date. Our awesome team of writers is the key to our success and that will forever be.



One of the questions we asked was to gauge people’s thoughts on paying for premium content on the Nation Network. To be clear that doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we are going to be throwing up a paywall like the geniuses at the Edmonton Sun elected to do or something equally ham fisted to ruin everyone’s free fun.

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The Nation Network will always be free to read all articles, use the tools and resources across our 9 sites. What we are trying to do is see “if we did something entirely new, would people pay for that in addition to the current free experience?”

Trying to find a way to monetize content driven websites like blogs is a tricky business. We are out pitching potential advertisers day after day and doing everything we can think of to grow traffic which in theory leads to more revenue with which to hire writers down the road. Cooking up plans for new premium pay features is part of that.



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Enough people lipped me off in the comments that our cold lump of coal we call a heart was warmed. No, I haven’t quit writing for the sites. I did take the summer off from writing and don’t put out as much content as I used to in the golden era of the site where there were eight readers and we were all BFFs and chatted the day away. But as we will see in the lead up to the season beginning I haven’t been screwing the proverbial pooch all summer long.

I got a few things done in between “trying to help the Mud Howlers” and watching “Mexican Jersey Shore.”** You’ll see.

*Look for me I’m signed up as Gregor, Jason.

**Actual show, muy entertaino.

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  • I love this site, and even though I’m a fan of one particular team, I love reading articles from all the teams you cover.

    The one complaint I have isn’t something this site has much control over, though. All I have to do is say the name of the team I cheer for (Canucks) and I will be inundated with trashes and replies calling me various words that I suspect might be mildly moderate-able.

    Other than that, I love the site. I get so much pretend work done here.

  • zachg

    Hey fn overlords,
    I discovered this site three years ago and i check this
    Site on a daily basis. I do not comment very often, but i will
    occasionally. I would like to thank the team for they’re hard work
    and dedication. I visit this site as much as facebook and ect. Just keep
    up the great work and just add to your phenomenal flames insight and stats.
    From your FN fan

  • M22

    Not to pump your guys tires, but would like to
    congratulate “All” at Oiler Nation writers, for fulfilling our “all things Oilers” during the
    tedium of summer months. Always coming up with store, angles and write ups to keep this interesting in the off season.
    Thanks, keep up the good work.

  • Serious Gord

    While I realize I visit site a lot more than most ON visitors, so my perspective is skewed somewhat, I think that ON is a leader in a part of the sports media world that has the potential for significant growth.

    It is hard to see how a hardcore fan of a sports team would not visit a site like ON on an almost daily basis (and according to your survey ON visitors are daily visitors.) in many ways it is the modern day version of a newspaper sports section. Except much better in almost every respect.

    One question not asked in the survey was how many ON visitors read both the threads but also the comments that accompany those threads.

    My guess is that a very large majority do and that that is what really makes the site a daily habit for them.

  • The Craig

    Suprised no one else has mentioned the lack of mobile optimization, ever try reading this site on your phone? Agonizing.

    Also lack of support for mobile apps like feedly, you get part of the article, then have to visit the site, which is a pain to read on a phone!

    Fix it already, cant be that hard, what is this, 2009?

  • BobbyCanuck

    For the last couple of years, I have gotten more entertainment value from ON, then the Oilers.

    This site is especially amusing after a brutal loss, which has been more often than not.

    This year I am hoping for more articles about how great we played last night.

  • Avalain

    Did Kevin McCartnery get lost after covering the first Penticton game?
    A word of explanation please on why coverage of the prospects’ tourney terminated so abruptly.

  • Bishai in the Benches

    Forgot to mention this in the survey, but I seriously think a weekly feature where a commenter is selected to write a piece. Provides fresh opinions, more content, a different , fan based perspective, and it could be a complete train wreck which is always fun and provides opportunity for ridicule.