Tag Archives: survey

549 survey responses donated to the Bruce Springsteen special collection

One of the questions in my 7-Question Springsteen Fan Survey asked respondents:

Why Bruce Springsteen? That is, what is it about Bruce Springsteen (the man and/or his music) that makes you a Springsteen fan. Please limit your response to 1500 characters. If you prefer, you may answer in a language other than English.

After completing that question, respondents were asked to choose if they wanted their response donated to the Friends of the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection. I’m excited to announce that this evening I emailed Melanie Paggioli, Executive Director of the Friends, a document containing 549 responses to the question (178 respondents declined to have their response donated). The responses total 231,308 characters (without spaces), 54,609 words, 3,450 lines, over 85 pages. In other words, this is a robust contribution composed by fans.

According to their web site, “The Friends of the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection is a ‘by fans for fans’ organization that came together ten years ago, when we recognized that much of the written history of Bruce and his bands was in danger of being lost. From the original donations of 850 publications in 2001 we’ve created a world-class repository of books, magazines, tour books, song books, fanzines and other documents covering the entire history of Bruce Springsteen and his bands. Thanks to our current Friends membership, the Collection has grown to over 17,000 items.”

The responses are passionate, emotional, often funny, and quite revealing into just what makes someone a fan of Bruce Springsteen. A few are in foreign languages. Here’s a Wordle of the responses (top 500 words, “Bruce” and “Springsteen” removed):

Wordle of the responsesAs you can see, for most it’s about the music (mentioned 619 times). I’m curious to learn more about the life (298 times)-long love (159 times) affair these fans have, and how often it’s tied to concert (231 times) experiences.

The responses will eventually be located in the collection currently housed at Monmouth University alongside the many other wonderful texts, artifacts, and memorabilia archived there. They will become part of the permanent collection, adding to the rich legacy of Springsteen and the impact he’s had on fans as individuals and the culture at large. Future researchers and fans will be able to look these words and learn more about why Springsteen has been important as a musician and a human being. I hope these will be just the first in a growing body of fan-specific documents housed in the collection.

It is an honor to have been trusted with these thoughts about Bruce Springsteen and I am proud to donate them on the respondents’ behalf.

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Initial Results from The 7-Question Springsteen Fan Survey

Note: I am writing this post in Markdown using StackEdit. Markdown is a stripped-down computer language which provides writers with the ability to render a certain text in a variety of formats (.html, .pdf, and so on—I’ve been learning that converting is not as easy as it seems, especially if you want an editor that works across platforms). So, if there are editing issues with this, forgive me as I’m experimenting with this new format.

Okay, now on with the survey stats. . . .

I created a custom URL using bit.ly for the link to the 7-Question Springsteen Fan Survey so I could track how often it was being clicked: j.mp/7-q-s. According to bit.ly, that link was clicked 2,464 times, with 1,616 clicks coming from Twitter, 580 coming from Facebook, and 268 from other sources. These results are instructive because I never posted the link on Facebook (I don’t have a Facebook account), though I know that Blogness on the Edge of Town did (as did Bruce Funds [updated 8/30, 11:13am). It’s not possible to see where those links specifically originated. According to bit.ly, other links that have a Twitter signature also point to the survey, though I haven’t had the time to go through each of those links just yet.

The overwhelming majority of clicks, 1680, came on the first day the survey was released. This result is consistent with other online fan community results I have seen where the first 24 hours generate the most responses.

The survey was seen by fans around the globe:

screenshot of map of clicks to the survey

These results generally match the results of the survey overall.

I should also note that my tweets were retweeted quite often, though I don’t have a detailed count right now. I’m hoping to get a tweet reach calculation so I can see how Twitter users might have actually seen the tweets.

Initial Survey Data

Of the 779 Springsteen fans who chose to decided to answer the first question—“By clicking Yes below you are giving your Informed Consent to participate in the following 7-question survey. If you do not wish to participate, click No. You must be 18 years of age or older to complete the survey.”—737 or 95% said, Yes.

I’m only able to provide statistical data for 3 of the 7 questions. It is too soon to provide any information on the essay question because it has not yet been analyzed and I’m not sure which fans have provided permissions. I’ll list of the question and provide a screenshot of the results.

How many Bruce Springsteen concerts (with and without the E Street Band) have you seen live in your life?

screenshot of total concerts fans have attended. 21 - 50 had the most responses: 140 or 22%

How many Bruce Springsteen concerts have you seen live on the 2012 – 2013 Wrecking Ball tour?

screenshot of total concerts fans have attended. 2 had the most responses: 127 or 19%

Here is a crosstab of the above two questions:

screenshot of a crosstab of total concerts versus Wrecking Ball tour concerts

Did you tweet about any 2012 – 2013 Wrecking Ball concert? This includes tweeting about pre-concert activities (buying tickets, tailgating, waiting in line to get into the pit, and so on), during concert activities, post-concert activities, as well as retweeting another’s tweet.

screenshot of whether respondents tweeted about a concert: 422 or 57% responded Yes

The breakdowns for where respondents lived were somewhat surprising: 46% indicated they were from the United States and 45% indicated they were from Europe. (Note: there was an error when the survey was first released that resulted in Australia being left off the list.)

Brief Thoughts

Right now, there isn’t much to be gleaned from this data. I am most surprised by the tweet to non-tweet ratio. I thought there would be considerably more people who tweeted than who didn’t. Also interesting is that more Europeans (232) than Americans (155) indicated that they tweeted about a concert.

Most of the insights are going to come with analyzing the question, “Why Bruce Springsteen? That is, what is it about Bruce Springsteen (the man and/or his music) that makes you a Springsteen fan. Please limit your response to 1500 characters,” as well as from the follow-up interviews. I’m looking forward to getting started on that work some time in September.

Thanks, again, to all who submitted responses!

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