May Poll Results: The Future of the Generations Journal

Text reads 'Our poll. Your Voice. Results'Last month, we asked for your help to develop a new Generations journal that works for you. This poll received more responses than any past ones, which shows just how much you care about the journal. Thank you to all who responded.

The Current Journal

We first asked you to share your thoughts on the current journal. This is the monthly email that you’ve received while MGS was between Editors.

What elements of the current journal do you like?

The majority of you (81%) said you enjoyed getting updates about the teams at MGS. These articles outline progress by volunteers in different departments, including the Library, Research, and Project teams. Those leading these teams will certainly be happy to hear this!

71% said they liked knowing about upcoming society events and knowing what was new on-site. 52% said they enjoyed the Manitobans Remembered series being included in the journal as well.

About one-third said they liked knowing which services were available at MGS.

In terms of frequency, 61% said they liked the monthly frequency. Now, the frequency of the journal itself might change in the future. But rest assured that we will still keep you informed on a monthly basis about upcoming events and key articles.

When you open the monthly email, what are you most likely to click on?

The results here show that most readers are interested in reading articles and similar long-form content. 58% said they were most likely to click on articles, 52% said they were most likely to click on upcoming events, and 45% said society updates were most likely for them.

When we look to the new journal, we’ll make sure that the content there is substantial and interesting. However, the website will still have regular article updates as well, which you can browse here.

The Future Journal

We then asked your opinion on what the future Generations journal could look like.

What current elements would you want in the future journal?

  • 87% – Update from the MGS teams
  • 73% – Links to new articles on the website
  • 67% – Upcoming society events
  • 53% – Manitobans Remembered
  • 30% – Available services

Half also said they would like to see the monthly frequency retained.

Two people also wrote that they would prefer content be written in the journal rather than linked out. “I would like to see less links and more actual content in the Journal. I find going out to all the links distracting and at times I miss things.”

Which of the following options for the future journal sound best to you?

While this question was unfortunately confusing for some, the majority of respondents (37%) said they would like to receive a quarterly PDF journal alongside a monthly email that could update them on events and new content. 17% said they’d like the journal to be monthly and yet another 17% said they’d like to keep the format as is.

The next question asked about format, and 63% said they’d prefer a PDF journal while the others said they’d prefer all content in an email.

With these results in mind, we’re going to trial:

  • A monthly updates email for all subscribers. This will keep you informed about upcoming events and updates each month.
  • A quarterly PDF journal for members only.

So, if you are a member, you will still receive monthly updates, and four times per year, you will also receive a PDF journal only available to members.

What kind of content would you like to see in the new journal?

  • 94% – A featured article related to family history
  • 87% -How-to information for genealogical research
  • 71% – Additional articles exclusive to the journal and MGS members
  • 55% – Interviews (with authors, researchers, volunteers, etc.).
  • 19% – Activities (crosswords, word searches, family history puzzles, etc.)

We then gave respondents the option to add any additional thoughts. Here are some of their entries:

“I’d like a quarterly journal like we used to get on PDF. I like updates on the happenings at MGS each month.”

“I find that sometimes the current newsletter with links to the online content gets lost in all of my emails. I am also fairly busy, so a quarterly digital journal in a pdf format that allows me to save it to my computer for reading later would work best for me.”

“A pdf version can become too long and some content can become hidden by too much other stuff and some readers will never scroll to the end. The best format I feel is pdf with a set maximum length of 25 pages which is not to be exceeded. The old journal was typically 40 pages … far too much.”

“A pdf is able to be saved for future reference – a web page isn’t easily kept.”

“I enjoyed and used the past PDF Generations more, but I realize that it would take more of the valuable and precious volunteer contribution. Thank you for the current Generations!”

What’s next?

I’m busy at work creating a new Generations journal, which will be shared with members in July. We value feedback from both members and general subscribers going forward, so please email Sheena at to share your thoughts at any time.

Keep an eye out for changes coming soon!

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