Token Skeptic Podcast – Listener Survey Results!

Token Skeptic Podcast – Listener Survey Results! October 18, 2012

A few results from the podcast I run over at!

Firstly, my listeners are mostly men – which doesn’t surprise me too much, the occasional feedback I get indicates more men than women. Although in the later responses about content, there’s an indication that listeners like episodes about topics like feminism and social issues as much as science and skepticism, which is cool to know.

General Demographics:

Male – 130 (58%)

Female – 79 (35%)

Other / Prefer Not To Say – 15 (7%)

Total: 224

Average Age:  31-40 (20.6%)

Where do my listeners come from? 50% USA, 20% Australia, 14.7% Europe and 8% UK and a mixture of other places.

What number of episodes do listeners listen to?

Ten or under episodes – 26.5%
Twenty or under episodes – 26.5%
About 17 have heard less than five episodes, so respondents to the survey are at least getting a taste of the show.

One of the things about my podcast is that I try to keep interviews around the thirty-minute mark, with the occasional double or triple-interview show just under an hour.

Length of show preferences?

Prefer Current Format (over 30 minutes / under 30 minutes) – 43.8%

A few responses indicated that they prefer around the 30 minute mark – a smaller number of people (8) suggested smaller shows, around ten to twenty, which I’ll look into.

What do people prefer listening to?

Interviews – 89.3%

Lectures (e.g. Recorded Presentations / Lectures taped at conferences) – 60.7%

Vodcasts – 10.7%

News Reports – 39.3%

On Site Reports (e.g. chatting at conferences) – 35.7%

Spoken Word Essays – 46.4%

Token Skeptic Reviews – 46.4%

What have people enjoyed on the show?

There’s a fair range, but some episodes came up a few times as particular favourites:

#136 – Atheist Books 101 With Embiggen Books
#133 – On Science And Skepticism – Talk By Dr Steve Novella At QEDCon
#129 – On Confessions of an Ex-Mormon Ex-Polygamist Ex-Wife – It’s Not About The Sex (My Ass!) With Joanne Hanks and Steve Cuno
#127 – On The Sex Myth – Interview With Dr Brooke Magnanti
#123 – On Not So A.C.E – Jonny Scaramanga
#118 – On The Self Illusion – Interview With Prof. Bruce M Hood
#115 – On Myths and Makeup – Pseudoscience and Cosmetics

And a mixture of shows:

Little Sugar Pills, On Tribal Science, Godless parenting chat, On Stanislaw Burszynski, Streisand Effects And Standing Up For Skeptical Bloggers – Andy Lewis of Quackometer,Philosophy for Children, Atheist books Most of them! Pamela Gay, Rhys Morgan, Merseyside Skeptics, Steve Novella, Lawrence Leung, women in science, homeopathics.

Big thanks to the person who wrote “Any which has an Australian female host”.

My YouTube Channel?

62% didn’t know I had one, which is fine – still figuring out if I want to do much with it after all the travel journals I’ve done at conferences, etc.

A mixture of responses for people I should interview next

Organizing effective responses against anti-science, anti-reason community voices” came up and a few popular names like Ben Goldacre. I’ll see what I can do! I only got about ten responses for this question, so it didn’t seem as if people were that fussed about who I interview. Maybe I should rework that kind of question.

Anything else I should feature? Not many responses:

* Some kind of game or shorter regular feature.
* More of your own views on skeptical topics
* Some segments with the Young Australian Skeptics podcast?
* topic: marketing atheism, interview a marketing professional and highlight what atheists are doing right or wrong.
* climate change, minority groups (including – or not – women) in the atheist/skeptical movements, taking stock of religion in Australia (is it becoming more religious? more polarised? etc.), how our politics affects our ability to reason
* some more episodes on local, Australian events like WA Astronomy
* I’d like to see a focus on Buddhism. As a religion I think it’s one of the more positive ones, but the heavy reliance on the idea of previous lives and reincarnation is a big sticking point with me. I was recently listening to a talk in which the speaker declared there was undeniable proof of reincarnation in things like child prodigies and people remembering past lives.
* more on philosophy in schools and some basic guides and audio essays
* how to be skeptical about stuff skeptics want to be true. I thiought of this after the news about * GM corn and tumors in rats. It seems the knee jerk resposne from some skeptics is “GM = science = good = true”, perhaps due to confirmation bias (or it’s opposite which is….? maybe “opposition bias”
* Interviews at events usually provide some interesting personal details about speakers.and panel participants.

Merchandise, anyone?

Mostly “might do” kind of responses; a few people don’t have much money on them at the moment (I know what you mean!) and one very nice: “I generally don’t buy things like T-shirts and coffee mugs with logos. I am, however, considering buying your book“. Yay!

As for advertising? 70% don’t mind and the main view was as long it was ‘unobtrusive and related to the show’.

Final words?

* Segments last too long. It would be better to break up the show into smaller bite-sized pieces.
* I absolutely love this show. It’s really nice to have a global perspective on science and reason.
* Can we have more episodes on unknown and up and coming people in skepticism? We need to find more new voices; some of the cult figures really are obnoxious and it’s tough being heard.
* keep up the good work, we need more good programs for positive atheism.
* I’ve only started listening recently, but I am amazed at the breadth of topics that you’ve covered and people you have interviewed. The podcasts are very well organised and a good length.
* Debunking classic trivia? I have a book that declares that “a duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and NO ONE KNOWS WHY.” I am a sound engineer, and I do know that a duck’s quack echoes, and I can tell you why. I believe there are trivia books full of this sort of stuff, some of which is very easy to prove wrong.
* I particularly like interviews with former believers. Thanks Kylie!
* good job!
* I love your voice.
* I think the show is unique and really interesting with the wide variety of guests and topics, just keep it up
* Is there an audiobook of the book?

Yes – it’s the Token Skeptic and you can read along with the book The Scope of Skepticism. Thanks for the responses, everyone!

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