Thank you, all those visitors to JancisRobinson.com who are not Purple pagers but took the trouble to complete our recent online survey about what you most like and dislike about this site.
The range of suggestions and appreciations was both stimulating and heartening and we are still digesting how best to respond to the many concrete proposals.
Not surprisingly, the most common complaint from non-members was that they could not access Purple pages. Several wondered whether the number of members could possibly be increasing (it is, very healthily, thank you). Some suggested we should have different sorts of membership, one for amateurs and one for professionals and really serious wine lovers. This, alas, would require a complete restructuring of the site. But many of you suggested a short-term membership to allow wine lovers a chance to see Purple pages without having to make a commitment to a full 12 months' access. One possibility we are currently working on is a new monthly membership rate that we hope will go some way to addressing some of these concerns.
We promised to donate £100 to Room to Read in the name of each of the five most helpful respondents so that, with similar donations on the part of the five best contributions from members (see Members' survey – the winners), we are giving a total of £1,000 to this excellent organisation providing education to those who most need it in the developing world – enough to provide a girl with six years' schooling in a country such as South Africa, India or Vietnam.
Those visitors in whose name a donation of £100 is being made to Room to Read are listed below.
Sally Prosser suggested, 'a more succinct and benefits-led summary of what you get by subscribing to the Purple pages. I follow Jancis on Twitter and her tweets are amusing but it would be good if she flagged up new things when they appear on the site.' That would be opening the floodgates, I think, Sally, since we publish an average of three new articles on this site every day. Though perhaps you would not consider tweeting about these three articles each day a flood..? I will tweet about this particular article just for you.
J Morton put an enormous amount of effort into his very detailed responses, urging us to define our market, and work harder on identifying what should be given away and what visitors should justifiably be asked to pay for. (JR.com really does need a sales and marketing division; most of us concentrate far too hard on the production line.)
Gareth Morgan also put a lot of thought into his responses, which covered such varied topics as the format of our emails, how we distinguish free from members' material and how we communicate what can be reproduced from the site. All good practical suggestions.
Paul Jacobson of New Zealand suggested more information on our books: which are in print, which out of print, which we are currently working on. The books section of this website is one of the oldest and therefore most neglected. Mea culpa. Although books, arguably and regrettably, hardly represent the future.
And I was personally gratified by Curtis Cable, who complained 'sometimes, in my opinion, Ms Robinson waxes poetically a bit much for my tastes'. I particularly – possibly perversely – appreciated this because I always think my writing is so unappetisingly prosaic.