Within the limits of our budget and our subsequently constrained technological capacities, we at the Washington Monthly actually do think a lot about how to improve this website and your reading experience. But we are often know a lot less than we need to know about reader perceptions and needs.

To give you an important example, Political Animal is what is known in the trade as a “news-cycle blog,” designed to help guide you through the day with information, links, mental stimulation, and even some entertainment. So I crank up the machine as early as I reasonably can in the early-morning darkness of the West Coast and keep blogging until COB EDT. But I obviously notice that commenting activity and traffic slack off in the afternoons. Is that because you don’t want to read blogs in the afternoon, or because the machine’s quality has eroded (I don’t think so, since I am regularly frustrated by the experience of writing some of my best stuff late in the day and watching it disappear without a trace)? Would the same material be more interesting if posted earlier in the day or perhaps in the evening? I can guess about these things, but don’t really know, and so that’s why we try now and then to survey readers.

Please take just a few moments and click here to take a brief and anonymous survey about your reading habits and your perceptions of various features of this website. We’re not using this information for anything other than our own site planning purposes. And we’ll do our best to make improvements that optimize the time you spend here. Thanks!

And while you take the survey, Iron Butterfly will entertain you.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.