In the yearly poll DPRP gives its readers the opportunity to tell us what they think of the pages in general and how they rate the various sub-pages. We also ask for suggestions of improvements. This part of the DPRPoll Results looks into that evaluation.
Visits per Month
The average DPRP reader visits the page 11.6 times per month, which is a slight decrease
compared to last year's 12 times. However, the average number of visitors per day has risen from 1657 in 2001 to 2173 in 2002!
Most people visit DPRP around 10 times per month, which roughly corresponds to the average amount of updates per month.
Rating of DPRP
We asked the participants to give an overall rating of DPRP on a scale from one (very bad) to ten (excellent). On average, the pages got a rating of 8.4, which is a slight decrease compared to 2001.
Let's have a look at the table first:
|Change ? ||Participants ||Percentage 2002||Percentage 2001||Percentage 2000|
|It has improved a lot !||40||5.9%||12.1%||30.9%|
|It has improved a bit||251||37.0%||42.9%||45.8%|
|It stayed the same||260||38.3%||27.6%||12.7%|
|It's worse than it used to be||23||3.4%||3.2%||0.6%|
23 people (the same number as last year) thought that DPRP is not as good as it used to be, whereas less than 6% (compared to 12% in 2001 and 30% the year before) think it has improved. Those 23 people are right. There is no denying that the past year has been a tough one for DPRP, and this is reflected not so much in the quality, but moreso in the quantity of work we have produced in 2002.
People's lives change, jobs change, and even musical preferences change and what started out as a nice hobby years ago, may have become a burden as the years went by. This is a natural process in any organisation and over the years we have had quite a few people leaving the team, and others joining it.
However, with four people leaving the team in 2002, among which were three long-time members, DPRP lost nearly 70% of its total input, most noticably in the reviews, specials and bands sections.
New reviewers have joined the team, and the CDreviews column is picking up its old pace again, yet many other sections have come to a complete halt or their updates are long overdue.
Add to this the fact that we are in the process of leaving our nest and have been very busy with the move to our own domain (DPRP.net - update your bookmarks now!) and you may get an idea why updates have been a bit slack in the past six months.
In December we posted a request for additional (prog-metal) reviewers and the response was overwhelming. However, we are still in need of more people. Not just reviewers, but also people in general with HTML knowledge who are able to maintain certain sections, as well as write the odd concert- or CD review, Counting Out Time article, conduct interviews or with perhaps other brilliant ideas for new additions to the site. If you are interested in joining the team write an e-mail explaining something about yourself and where your interests and qualities lie. Please do take in mind that this is not to be taken lightly and that DPRP will be demanding a lot of your free time (at least 5 hours a week). The work however, is very rewarding. :-)
Evaluation of the Various Sub-Pages
As the average number of daily visitors and the overall rating of DPRP proves, the recent cutback has not yet resulted in a decrease in popularity. In the following table you can read how many of the poll participants regularly visit the various sub-pages and how they rate these.
Again, the departure or change of work situation of some of the team-members has resulted in a couple of sections not being updated anymore. This is reflected in the decrease of visitors and the rating of these sections.
We also needed to take a few of these sections off the server, as the space we have with our sponsor Vuurwerk is becoming increasingly limited. (one of our main reasons for the move).
Other sections however, seem to have improved. The News page, undoubtedly our most constant section, was appreciated more than previous years, while also the CD reviews got a higher rating, despite the decrease in updates.
There is no doubt the re-installment of 1999's smash hit Counting Out Time delighted many prog fans, while also the Concert Reviews received a significant higher number of visitors, thanks to the amount of reviews written in 2002, which is almost twice that of 2001.
Forgotten Sons is also establishing itself in a nice little niche, with a quarter of the participants rating it with an 8 on average!
Unfortunately, we once again lost our world-gigs guide. These guides were maintained in collaboration with Frank Blades of Ents24, but unfortunately the company's policy towards providing 'free' (as in non-profitable) information has changed over the years and only the UK&Ireland gig guide remains.
We'll get back to this point further on.
With our move to DPRP.net, these so-called 'dead' sections will no longer be proper sub-pages, but more a part of the DPRP archives.
Favourite Band Page
With the departure of Jan-Jaap de Haan early 2002, more than half of our bandpages came to a halt. Nonetheless 41% of the respondents say they still visit the bandpages and they still are the 8th most visited section of the site. Overall the band pages received an average rating of 7.7.
The Pendragon and Kayak pages have been deleted and their sections moved to the Specials page. The same will happen with the interviews and reviews on the Arena, Spock's Beard and Jadis pages, as these are not updated anymore.
This is an overview of how many of the poll participants visit these pages:
|Band Page||Votes||% Visitors 2002||% Visitors 2001|
|IQ (Lush Attic)||147||32.2%||30.1%|
|Spock's Beard (Gibberish)||122||26.7%||18.8%|
|Arena (Medusa's Web)||67||14.7%||9.9%|
|No Specific Page/No Vote||222||48.6%||16.4%|
Last Year's Wish List
Last year we asked the participants what should be improved or changed about DPRP. The most mentioned remarks were:
- More (Regular) News
- More CD Reviews
- Earlier CD Reviews
- More Counting Out Time
- More Up-to-date Releases Page
In 2002 News editor Derk has maintained an output of a News update almost each and every week. The increase in the appreciation for that particular sub-page and the fact that it was only mentioned twice in this year's poll proves that this particular item has been solved.
The same goes for Counting Out Time, which has been re-launched by Bob and saw 10 new articles written in 2002. Although we still do not have the time resources to warrant weekly or even bi-weekly updates again, we do intend to keep on adding articles to the Counting Out Time archive gradually.
The Releases page is another one we'd hoped to update more often in 2002, but this wasn't to be. In 2003 we have already had a few updates of this section, but it is in fact one of the vacancies we have open.
The one we plead guilty to is the CD Reviews. 2002 saw a steep decrease in the total number of reviews we published (26% less than 2001, yet 41% more than in 1999), however, it must be borne in mind that we also received less albums from bands and labels. As said above, with a new and fresh review team, we intend try to get the output up to par again and make the total number of reviews in 2003 equal or higher to that of 2001. This should also reduce the individual pipeline reviewers have and reviews should appear quicker. Some bands and labels are also supporting this by sending us the albums before their release date, so we can publish the review in the week of release.
At the same time we can also repeat some of the comments we wrote down last year:
The reason for some reviews missing in our column are explained in the DPRP FAQ and is basically
the same reason why several reviews are often delayed when they finally appear. Since DPRP depends highly
on what bands and labels send us, we don't always receive releases on time, and for some bands we
don't receive promo copies at all because the concerned label probably doesn't consider DPRP
important enough (or whatever). In those cases we depend on the own personal purchases of the reviewers,
and you'll understand that our budgets are as limited as any average prog fan. ;-)
Apart from extending our working relationship with long-time partners such as InsideOut, Suburban, F2 Records, Tempus Fugit, Musea, Cyclops, and numerous smaller labels who have always been sending us their latest releases, we are also proud to have established a good working relationship with large labels such as EMI, Sony and Marillion's Racket Records.
Other labels however still fail to see the potential in the Internet, or, in the case of US-prog giant Magna Carta, the European market, whereas again other well-known prog labels have the unfortunate habit of sending their review copies only once or twice a year, making the reviews for those albums long overdue.
Nevertheless, if you think a specific album should be reviewed on DPRP, feel free to drop the concerned band or label an e-mail and suggest that they send us a promo copy. Under normal circumstances we should
be able to review the album within 2 months (which also includes postal lead times of distributing the
albums among our international team).
This year the participants in the DPRPoll 2002 mentioned the following things most often as potential areas for improvement.
- More CD Reviews (mentioned 21 x)
- The content of CD Reviews (mentioned 19 x)
- Earlier CD Reviews (mentioned 15 x)
- The content of the site in general (mentioned 11 x)
- More updates of the releases page (mentioned 11 x)
- More gig guides (mentioned 11 x)
- Shorter Reviews (mentioned 8 x)
The amount of CD reviews and the time frame in which they appear on DPRP, as well as the comments on the Releases page, have been thoroughly discussed above. We intend to improve this, but please bear with us.
The content of the CD reviews was mentioned in various ways as well. Some people say we focus too much on so-called neo-prog, others feel we are too much inclined towards prog metal, whereas still others feel we shouldn't include bands that linger more on the borders of prog, like Coldplay or Alan Parsons, and again others feel we are too narrow-minded in our definitions of prog. You just can't win 'm all, can you?
Within the team we have a very broad and diverse taste and between us we pretty much have the widest definition of prog one can imagine.
One remark about the CD reviews we received quite a few times was that we review too many albums that are difficult to get by (mentioned 7 times). This struck us as a bit strange, as we always include a link to the website or e-mail of that band, and that is precisely where you can find all the information about where and how to obtain such album.
As some of you may have noticed prog isn't really the type of music you easily find in shops, so selling them through the Internet is pretty much the only way forward for the majority of independent bands.
As for the general content of the site, a fair amount of participants mentioned we should pay (even) more attention to prog-metal. About half the team will disagree with them, as they feel we receive more and more prog-metal for review, but our readers who aren't satisfied yet will be delighted to hear that we have aquired three reviewers who will deal mainly with the stream of prog-metal we are currently receiving.
Sorry for the ones who actually mentioned they'd like to see less prog-metal on our site... :-)
Some people also mentioned our lay-out. Yes, we are aware that the layout barely hasn't changed since 1999, but then again, it is still functional, right? Personally, I'm not all that keen on sites that have a complete change-over every year or so, and all your favourite sections are impossible to find all of a sudden. When we move to DPRP.net we will change the lay-out slightly, to make the pages load faster and make updating easier for ourselves. Just don't expect anything too radical, we feel we can spend our time on better things than to change and restyle all the 2000+ pages that is DPRP. :-)
Many people mentioned that they'd like to see more international gig guides, like the USA (5x), France or Scandinavia (both 2x). The reason for the disappearance of the many international gig guides we had has been explained above.
As for the length of reviews, these normally vary with the enthusiasm of the reviewer. If one is very enthusiastic he/she may be inclined to write a longer review than when he isn't all that keen on an album. Although we partly agree that a whole column full of these enthusiastic reviews can be a tedious read, we also feel that our in-depthness of many reviews is what sets us apart from many other websites and especially magazines. The high-rating of the section, the amount of visitors we get per month and the many positive reactions we receive throughout the year seem to confirm this.
As a final note, it must be pointed out that of the total number of participants by far the largest part (56.4%) refrained from mentioning anything they'd like to see to improve DPRP, meaning that they're either very happy, or very lazy :-)
From the people that did the majority (137 people, or 44.5%) felt that there isn't anything we should change. With this in mind it remains to be seen whether the above points are representative for the majority of our readers, yet we do take each and every one of them seriously and intend to improve them in 2003.
If you'd like to see the full list of comments we received, these can be found here. We tried to include feedback on these comments as well, so skim through the comments to find the one you posted, so you can read our response! Some people who raised certain interesting or divergent points have been contacted personally.
Click here if you want to return to the DPRPoll index.
You can also check out what the DPRP Team voted for themselves.
Click here if you also want to see the list of prizes and winners.
For comments about the poll, please e-mail The DPRP Team.