Thursday, March 15, 2007

Inside the Mighty Stillwater Tribune: A Look At Our Reader Demographics

By William Prendergast

This week we give you a fascinating peek into “the kind of person” that reads the Stillwater Tribune. That’s right—this column is ALL ABOUT YOU!

The Stillwater Tribune marketing department has issued its findings, and these give us a remarkable “racio-ethno-sexo-graphic” picture of our regular readers. Amazing new web technology gives us the opportunity to “peer through the Web to the other side of your computer screen” to tell us exactly who our audience is!

Now, don’t get scared. We don’t “send out cookies and spyware” or anything like that, and we can’t actually “see” you when you’re reading this (though the guy out in Colorado who’s tuning in right now should zip up his fly—“Ensign Johnson reports a breach on the lower deck, sir!” Heh heh heh. Just kidding.)

But, no, seriously, we can’t see you--and we can’t see your real names or addresses or credit card transactions or see through your underwear or anything weird like that. What we do have access to is all this “data” from the web hosting service—colorful little pie charts that tell us what countries our readers live in, how many readers a day we have, the shape of their heads--that kind of vague, general sort of thing.

For example, did you know that a significant number of our regular readers live in China? I’ll bet that took you by surprise, it did me. Why the hell would a Chinese want to know what’s going on with Michele Bachmann? But these are the facts, and we’re stuck with them. We will try to beef up the Chinese content from now on; but til then: “Zhing-dao, huang di!”

The most amazing thing is that if you know how to read the raw data, you can extrapolate and make other reliable conclusions via deduction. For example, if we know that X per cent of our readers are from China, we can deduce that they are short of quality hair care products, and we can adjust our advertising pitches accordingly.

Based on my deductions from all this raw data, I can confidently state the following about our readership. If you are a male who reads the Stillwater Tribune regularly, you are probably between the ages of 16 and 75, your peers consider you exceptionally handsome and value your judgment on important issues, but you could probably use a little “sprucing up” in the wardrobe department. (Lose that old shirt you like so much, it’s not working.) You are tough but compassionate, a good man to have around in a tight spot, but your singing along to popular songs on the radio sometimes gets on people’s nerves.

If you are female and a regular reader of the Stillwater Tribune, it doesn’t matter what age you actually are, you’ll always be as pretty as you were at eighteen to us. You’re not “boy-crazy” (but they’re crazy about you!) You like long walks on the beach, the sound of falling rain, and poetry. You are also a delightful conversationalist, well-informed about public affairs, and all your friends wish they could be more like you.

There. Wasn’t that fascinating? If you’d like to hear more about yourself, send money.

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