Readers Poll Results

If you took our poll about why you visit the Zebra Pit, thank you. I wanted to see how closely aligned our stats/views are with what our dedicated followers come here for. There weren’t a lot of surprises, but there was one or two things that it helped me to understand more clearly about our readership.

Poll Results

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While the poll only captured a small sample size, my hope is that the majority of those who answered are dedicated readers who are invested in what gets written about on the Zebra Pit. Knowing a bit about who those readers are will help me focus on the right things. That’s why I asked for information about primary diagnoses and major secondary comorbid conditions, as well as what topics you find the most value in that we currently write about. This will help me to know what conditions I need to focus on more rather than using my own healthcare needs and interests alone to guide me.

Our recent poll revealed some very interesting trends. For example, it turns out what most of you come here to learn more about also happens to be what I love to write about the most. Lucky me! This is largely in line with what I was already planning on concentrating on now that I don’t have as much time to devote to the development of new Zebra Pit content. Like I said, there were a few things I was unsure about, so I wanted to make sure that my own interests were in line with my readers. Stats don’t always tell the full story and what is popular isn’t necessarily representative of what my loyal readers value most.

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Poll-Conditions

The things that ranked highest on the poll are right in line with the things I hoped to spend the bulk of my time on; condition-specific articles, treatments and remedies, and safe exercise; spoonie health and wellness will remain our focus. Given the information revealed about the conditions our readers have, I’m going to attempt to focus some of this writing more on all the spoonie conditions that are well represented by this poll instead of letting whatever condition is driving me the craziest lead the way.

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The one area I was planning on discontinuing until I saw how highly it ranked on the poll are my mental health and PTSD posts. This subject ranked as high as safe exercise on the poll. My thought was initially to move away from mental health, but perhaps I need to revisit this. I know there are a lot of spoonies trying to deal with the psychological effects of our illnesses and circumstances and while I feel I am far from the authority on this topic, I may be one of only a few braving the subject. It’s certainly not easy to find professionals who are actually qualified to help us in our unique positions. I’m not having any luck finding the right space for myself to get adequate counseling or even the right testing. More on that later.

Saying Goodbye to Old Friends

One thing I noticed with some relief, is that not too many people are interested in the topics of beauty and fashion. Many seem perfectly happy to do without FasciaBlasting and the recipes section, too. The beauty thing is something I tried briefly, but with MCAS, it’s definitely not the right genre for me. I can’t play with my health like that. I may from time to time share products that work for me, but I won’t be trying anything just so I can write about it. For now, I’ve eschewed all makeup and haircare because it was just too hard to find products that work.

FasciaBlasting will always be an essential part of my healthcare, but I probably share about a post a year on it, so we’re good there. When it comes to recipes, I’m well aware my boring-ass, highly restrictive combo diet of low FODMAP/low histamine is highly specific and weird and doesn’t lend to creating great recipes. I really feel like defending myself by talking about the diabolical cuisine I used to create, but there’s really no point. I know it all sucks and everyone who eats like me agrees. I will probably continue to post those that I come up with that I really like, though. Not that many people have to eat like me, but the few who do appreciate my concoctions and since low FODMAP and low histamine diets are so hard to make work, we can use all the help we can get. However, I won’t be writing much dietary advice anymore. If people aren’t interested in hearing it, I’m not about wasting my time and both the survey and my stats say it’s just not going over.

commentI’m a little sad to be saying goodbye to one section I’ve very much enjoyed writing; the my hero interview series. My intention with it was to highlight people with disabilities who are contributing to improving the lives of other people with disabilities. Advocacy is a big part of my life, I believe in its power to change, heal and influence people and I wanted to promote and celebrate it. The way it’s coming across to some people is that I’m pushing inspiration porn that creates unreasonable expectations around what disabled people should be able to accomplish. If telling people about good deeds and great products and services (some of which were free) you can get from people like yourself and support them in the process is participating in inspiration porn, then I guess I feel like the message has gotten confused. But I don’t want to be that person, or be perceived as being that person based on snap judgements, so January’s post will be the last one. Congratulations, PC police. You’ve won.

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Moving Forward

My goal is to try to broaden things a bit despite spending less time on content. I plan to write some more condition-specific articles on things I haven’t covered yet and to update some of the ones I have, such as on EDS which I haven’t touched since the new definitions came out. It’s a fault of mine, hating to cover the same thing every other health blogger covers, and therefore sometimes letting the bigger stuff go by. I’m just not the type of person who thinks “it hasn’t been done until it’s been done on my site.” Maybe I actually need a bigger ego in that respect.

Really at this point, it’s mostly going to be about filling in missing information and updating old posts with new discoveries and information. For the most part, the Zebra Pit is becoming less a blog and more a spoonie wiki, I suppose.

If you didn’t get a chance to weigh in, or there’s a topic you’d like to see us delve into that wasn’t on the poll, feel free to leave a comment with your suggestion. I don’t take them all, but I’m always willing to consider anything. I’m also always happy to have others bring their knowledge to the Zebra Pit through a guest post! Contact us if you’re interested.

Readers Poll Results Pin

 

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4 thoughts on “Readers Poll Results

  1. It’s great some of the popular areas are in line with what you love to write and want to focus more on, too, but it’s a shame to get rid of some categories if you enjoy writing about them. I’m really sad about the hero series too. Is it really coming across to people that positive, affirming posts are like ‘inspiration porn’? It doesn’t read like that to me, surely it can’t to that many people.. I think it’s great you’re taking on board your readers’ opinions and looking at trends to try to produce more of what people want to read, but I would just say that this is your blog, it needs to be just as much (or more, really) about what you want, what you think is important to write about and what you enjoy sharing. Just my thoughts anyway. I think you rock regardless of what you post when you do so with passion & authenticity as you do! 🙂
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you agree that it isn’t inspiration porn. I probably should have expounded on the issue further, but I didn’t want to turn my post into a rant about snap judgements and hurting people’s reputations. The problem is that people who don’t actually take the time to see what the series is about attack me on Twitter or Facebook. Then everyone who sees their vitriol assumes they’re right because no one wants to take the time to read and use 5heir own judgment, but they’re more than happy to pile on and attack the “self-hating spoonie” who’s “pushing misconceptions about chronic illness and making us all look bad.” I don’t know how many potential readers I lose when it happens, but it’s usually a no win situation I’m painted into. Every time I publish one, I cringe waiting for the blowback. I detest confrontation and I’m tired of defending myself all the time to try to do a little good. These people, and dealing with situations like these are the primary reason I’ve decided blogging really isn’t for me. I also get harassed about my holistic methods. I’m tired of fighting the very people I’m trying to help. It’s put a really bad taste in my mouth for the whole thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so sorry you’ve had those kinds of reactions, that’s awful. I still don’t quite get it. I don’t see how those sorts of posts make you a ‘self-hating spoonie’ or how it ‘pushes misconceptions about chronic illness’. Surely they do the opposite. When it comes to any holistic methods, I get that those aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But that’s absolutely no reason others should harass or be negative. The old adage of ‘if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all’ should really apply in that situation. If you didn’t have comments to deal with, and you simply posted, how would you feel about blogging then? Would you enjoy writing, sharing your thoughts and experience and suggestions? That’s what it should be about. It’s awful you’ve had such awful feedback and blowback on what you write, that’s really not on. xx

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        1. Wouldn’t it be nice if the world actually operated on such rules? The US seems to be permanently ruled by mob mentality anymore. I’d get it if I were promoting hate speech or whatever. Someone told me recently that algorithms are even designed to show people a certain percentage of oppositional inflammatory content on SM so they will be more inclined to react and comment. I don’t know if it’s true, but it feels about right based on my own feeds. I’d very much enjoy it without all the opposition and social pressure. I belong in the last century with books, newspapers and authors who get to remain largely anonymous. It’s fine though, really. I’m not the only one putting out the information I do. No one will suffer for me scaling back or ending the Zebra Pit. They’ll just have to look elsewhere. And scaling back will hopefully give me the time to find work and work on my creative work. I have no idea if my cognitive issues have improved enough for me to work on creative works of length, but I aim to find out, terrifying as it may be to me. Hopefully it will be exactly what I need. Xx

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