Finding Spirithome’s Demographics

Earlier this year, I was at a conference and two on-line market researchers overheard me saying I only have vague ideas about who uses the Spirithome site. I knew more about what it was five years ago, but not now. Each offered to send some free data that comes ‘off the sides’ when they measured general market conditions. (Not stealing someone else’s data, but rather digging into the unused stuff.)

The first report came in last month. It said that Spirithome’s US audience had some clear characteristics :

The US was 82% of the site’s users.
The gender/age group which used it most (proportionate to the Net population) was females between 35 and 55.
African-Americans used the site at triple their Net rate — with a sharp gender difference, in that males only used it at a proportionate rate.
The users were mostly working-class, with household incomes $50,000 – $80,000.
The average degree was a BA.
About 75% of the site’s users are visitors, not regular users.
About 25% were not members of any local congregation.
About 10% said they were something other than Christian, most of those being agnostic. (The Ns were a bit too low for me to be comfortable with that as a stat.)
Of those who were college students (any level), that rate rises to about 20%. (The Ns were a bit too low for me to be comfortable with that as a stat.)
Of those who claimed a particular Christian belief, 40% were Catholic, 35% Pentecostal. (That doesn’t leave much for mainline Protestants, Evangelicals, and Orthodox.)

Then a week or so ago, I received a report sheet on Australia and New Zealand. All these Ns are low, so it’s best to use them only for general impressions. ( I say that. The researcher said otherwise. They always overestimate a data set’s accuracy. Remember that when you see a poll on TV or on line.)

The main picture resembles that of the US usership : 30-45 year old working-class women with some kind of college degree. Pentecostalists were the largest group, followed closely by Catholics and Protestants (in this case, I suspect the latter were mostly Anglicans). Non-Christians were almost one in five, mostly of “Asian religions”. There was also a side note, from a survey from India, and based on Google Analytics, it’s no surprise : the site showed up in a survey on belief in the paranormal, for use of the hypnosis page.

I’m thankful for the information. It tells me I’m not quite getting the audience I seek. And I will have to do some thinking as to why, and how to change it. But I don’t live on the data — in the end, it is just data. The more important thing is to tell the honest truth as clearly as I can.


a month off… whoa! too long.

I’ve been so busy with my own woes and those of others that I haven’t posted in 6 weeks. Ouch!

I haven’t forgotten. I’m coming!

Much of that time has been dedicated to my finances. Mine are a bit messy. (Like a lot of folks.) I’ll have to find a new revenue stream to better support my lifestyle. (Living in a cubicle apartment, minimized expenses, no luxuries.) And, of course, it was tax season, when America’s average blood pressure rises by about 15%. Some of the time left over was in the interminable search for a woman to love. And the first week or so of my ‘break’ was decompressing from the trip to California. No, I didn’t see a single celebrity. (Rick Warren doesn’t count…:) ) Nor did I get any job offers. But it was great being with my father’s side of the family.

Not much was done with the site in the past month. Some duplicate content was removed. Only two pages took big drops during that time. One of those is seasonal — angels.html, which drops down search lists when baseball season starts due to the sites related to the Los Angeles Angels team. The other is a puzzler, prayersp.html, which is the main page on prayer. (The other prayer pages are doing quite well.) I’ll be doing an emailing in a few weeks to those who asked for it. And there are a few new word definitions, most notably on atonement, expiation, and propitiation.

Please keep me in prayer — I’ll need all of the divine attention I can get.

New pages on Spirithome

On, I’ve been able to start adding new pages that would be a help to anyone trying to understand each of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23, as well as several other matters of Christian character. The new pages (so far) are :


There’s more to come, eventually, as well as more changes in the main page on spiritual fruit. And each of these pages will be added to along the way, in the same fashion as with the rest of the site : a bit here, a bit there, always evolving. Give the newbies a try!

A review of an Idea of North show

If you ever (if *I* ever) get a chance to see them, take it!!

By the way, my WUSB listeners have given lots of great feedback on their Unfortunate Tale. The last verse is lost on them (it’s veddy British), but otherwise so fun.

More assorted notes

(1) Still sore over missing TARCon :(. Sounds like the TARFlies had a blast. Well, there’s still Amazing Race 12 this fall unless CBS does something weird. I did pick the winner right in a March blog here : Eric and Danielle. Just about everyone else in the late going (poss. excepting Charla) showed some sign of serious fatigue. Even Dustin & Kandice (their little fight, and their struggle with the last task). Oswald and Danny were hit the worst, with all the classic signs : arguing, disorientation, bleary eyes, and bungling tedious tasks. Heck, even Phil looked a bit weary.

(2) I’m still getting good feedback on the singing groups special, especially the Alvin Chea interview. Take 6 fans a re coming out of the woodwork. See below, April for a played-list. Acappella fans should know that while the Fall WUSB ‘thon will probably generate a different show (on ethereal music), I’m still hoping for an acappella jam show on one of my regular shows in September/October. But I’m going to need a lot of groups to show up. So if you’re in a Metro NY, Jersey, or Connecticut bandless band, leave me word here as to availability and contact. And keep checking here for further developments — they will be posted.

(3) Revamped many of the word definitions on the site. That includes clearer sections on homiletics and “deliverance ministries“. If you’re a student of religion or of Christianity, or you’re a news reporter or talk show producer searching for information on a topic on Christianity, is what you’re looking for. There’s no end to what you can find there.

(end of shameless plug for my own site….)

(4) I still can’t get over those who keep calling the expression of religious belief in the public and political realms “dangerous”. The Constitution specifically protects religious practice. Christian religious practice is based on loving one’s neighbor, and being of help even to those who don’t hold our beliefs. This is often unavoidably public, and sometimes unavoidably political. If I can’t fully follow through on that, then I am not free to practice my faith. The Founders of the US understood that. Yet some writers, mostly but not exclusively on the Left, just don’t get it, mainly because some religious person says something they oppose, and they (sometimes rightly) fear that the advocates are tyrants in disguise. But that’s irrelevant; you fight them by opposing their viewpoint on the subject matter, not by telling them to shut up like O’Reilly does. You’re free to oppose. Just don’t even try to cut off the social space for the public parts of religious practice. You’ll have me in your face. For your own good. For our freedom to speak is also yours, and if we don’t have it, you also won’t have it before long.

That said, some Christians should learn when to speak and when to listen. Listening, too, is part of loving one’s neighbor.

audio devotionals for Lent

There are now 3 audio devotionals for Lent : Third Sunday in Lent, Fourth Midweek, and Fifth Sunday. The sound quality is good, especially for using a computer’s built-in mic. (I guess I’m learning how to fix overmod.) Give ’em a listen, and spread the word.

(Oh — don’t forget the written versions, Midweek and Sunday each week, for example Third Midweek of Lent.)

You Don’t Know Until You Try

In this case, it’s trying to make all sorts of little improvements to a 240-page-big website in time for the Lenten surge. In this case, it’s CSS-ing the pages, validating the HTML, checking for readability, sending out to correct others’ links to the site, and making the subject index actually easy to use. (You can check the subject index out for yourself — comments, please?) That’s 3 days’ work. Like I can use more social isolation…. But it has to be ready for Lent, when usage jumps 3-fold. And the overhaul is overdue by a few years. Picture what it would be like if I didn’t “keep it simple”.

Feedback would be much appreciated.