A week ago we launched a survey of Evanston Now readers to ask about certain aspect of the site, and a lot of our most dedicated readers responded.

In response to the feedback we plan to make some changes to Evanston Now over the next few weeks.

Readers were split about whether people posting content or comments should post under their real names.

Here are the results for the two key questions:

1. Assuming you had something you wished to post to the site, would you prefer to have the posted item display:

47.0 % – Your real name.
30.3% – A pseudonym or “handle” that you used consistently on the site.
22.7% – Nothing that indicates your identity.

2. When you read what others post on the site, do you prefer that they:
43.3% – Use their real name.
3.0% – Use a pseudonym.
0.0% – Post anonymously.
53.7% – Post using whichever option they are most comfortable with.

Right now Evanston Now requires users to post most types of content using their real names, but permits users to comment on stories anonymously.

As a result of the survey we plan to add a third option — to let people create a pseudonym that they would use consistently on the site. We think this will let readers gradually come to “know” those who post using a pseudonym and be able to better evaluate their comments based on what they’ve said before — while still letting people who are shy about commenting under their real names express their thoughts.

Under the new model, people who use their real name will have broader access to post more types of content without advance screening than people who use a pseudonym, who in turn will have broader posting rights than those who choose to be anonymous.

If you have further thoughts about this, please drop us a note using the feedback form.

We also asked readers how highly they value certain types of content we might add to Evanston Now. Adding discussion boards or forums to the site drew the highest score, and we plan to add discussion boards soon.

Thanks to all those who took the time to respond to the survey. We appreciate your interest in Evanston Now.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.