Here are the results of the 5th Annual Independent Survey Of Elvis Websites done by Elvis Central International during November and December 2003.
We like to thanks all those who took the time to vote for us and the other Elvis sites.
A standard survey questionnaire was used. It was issued by email to 313 fan club presidents, webmasters and other identities in the Elvis world. Of the 313 surveys distributed, 38 came back marked ‘return to sender’. Six (6) of these were able to be resent meaning a potential response of 281.
In the list of Favorite Web Sites we are only listing sites that received at least 5 votes ie. Sites a reasonable number of respondents were familiar with and preferred. Again, this avoids the introduction of bias due to very small numbers. In the First Annual Survey we only listed sites with a minimum of 10 votes and 7 votes in the Second Annual Survey. All sites receiving at least 1 vote or mention are listed in the Appendix.
One hundred and twenty (120) valid surveys were returned, a 43% response rate (this compares to a 36% response rate in both the First and Second Surveys; 34% for the 3rd Survey and 40% for the 4th Survey). This increase in the response rate was pleasing and provides a statistically valid sample. Typical mail responses rates are between 40% and 60% and recent internet based surveys have returned a 30% to 50% response rate.
On a geographic basis responses from the USA were steady this year. There was an increase in the number of responses from the EC and Australasian regions.
A large number of responses were disregarded during the poll analysis. These related to unsolicited returns resulting from the poll being circulated on a number of email distribution groups. The researchers could not include these responses as they would have clearly skewed the results and invalidated the poll as satisfying the requirement it involve a representative sample.
The Fifth Annual Survey of Elvis Web Sites resulted in a total of 37 sites (down one from last year’s 38, markedly down from 64 in the 3rd Annual Survey) receiving at least one vote or mention. There was a polarization of votes toward the top four sites. A number of respondents mentioned more than one favorite or best site in different categories.
Positive Site Attributes
The three attributes most preferred were:
* Regular site updates of news and information
* Good design
* Merchandise available to buy online
Negative Site Attributes
The issues mentioned replicated findings in last year's survey. The issue of sites that are slow to download* was, for the fifth year in a row, the major ‘negative’ issue mentioned by respondents. The second biggest issue of concern was a perceived trend to sites losing their news and information emphasis and becoming shop sites.
‘Splash’ pages were also disliked by a majority of respondents.
* the researchers record that this finding is a function of several variables eg. searcher’s computer efficiency and large/many pictures or file content size on different sites.
Favorite Sites Based on Number of Votes Received
Five sites performed significantly better than all other sites (last year's votes in brackets):
#5: Elvis News Network/Jordan's Elvis World -14 votes (3)
#4: Official Elvis site - 33 votes (40)
#3: For Elvis CD Collectors - 43 votes (53)
#2: Elvis Information Network - 51 votes (29)
#1: ElvisNews.com - 56 votes (51)
No other sites received more than 5 votes.
Respondent comments for the top four ranked sites
‘can't be beaten as the source of the latest news’
"Elvisnews gives me my daily dose of Elvis!"
‘basic design very good, but I still dislike having to click back to get to other news’
Elvis Information Network
‘they have improved the regularity of their updates’
‘the best site for articles, reviews and interviews’
‘EIN's writers are the best going round"
For Elvis CD Collectors Only
‘they've slipped this year, news updates are infrequent’
‘easily the best messageboard’
Official Elvis Site (Graceland)
‘a great, well designed site’
‘The King lives at EPE!’
What site has the best news?
This question turned into a two way tussle between Elvis News and Jordan's Elvis World. The winner (by a margin of 24 votes) was:
#1: www.ElvisNews.com (67 votes)
(Ed. The daily news on Jordans Elvis World / Elvis news Network is provided by ElvisNews.com)
What site has the best articles?
A range of sites were nominated with the top three being:
#3: www.geocities.com/elvissymposium (22 votes)
#2: EP Gold (23 votes)
#1: www.elvis.com.au (Elvis Information Network) – 54 votes
What site has the best interviews?
After a three way tussle between For Elvis CD Collectors Only, Elvis Information Network and EP Gold, the winner was:
www.elvis.com.au (Elvis Information Network)
What site has the best design?
This question was widely contested with a dozen sites being nominated and four sites receiving at least five votes. They were:
#4: Elvis Information Network (14 votes)
#3: elvis.com (15 votes)
#2: Elvis In Norway (21 votes)
#1: Elvis News (27 votes)
What Elvis site has the best audio?
What Elvis site has the best video?
What site has the best search facility?
The clear favorite was Elvis Find
What site has the best online Elvis shop?
Excluding third party shops (amazon, ebay), the preffered online shops were:
#4: www.elvisnews.com (23 votes)
#3: www.elvislyyours.com (26 votes)
#2: www.elvis.com.au (31 votes)
#1: www.elvis.com (52 votes)
What is the best Elvis messageboard?
While alt.elvis.king and www.elvissecondtonone.com obtained more than five votes, the preferred messageboard (by a very wide margin) was For Elvis CD Collectors Only with 63 votes.
Health of the Elvis World
As is the nature of research there are tangential findings that point to the health of the sector/subject being researched. ‘Sore thumb*’ votes often offer an insight into the ‘motivations’ of respondents and politics’ of the subject area.
As a bit of fun the researchers very loosely (and we stress - VERY LOOSELY) analyzed the responses to ascertain how ‘healthy’ the Elvis world is.
In the researchers opinion, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being terminal and 10 being immortal) the Elvis world has a ‘health’ rating of: 3.0 (a substantial 25.0% deterioration on last year’s rating of 4.0, and half the rating (6.0) in the 3rd Annual Survey).
Many respondees cited the public bickering in 2003 between several prominent sites as the main area of contention.
*’Sore thumb’ votes are those that stand out as being significantly different in degree of magnitude and/or affiliation to the material vote trend or qualitative response. There are two ways of assessing ‘sore thumb’ votes. Firstly, the level of ‘negative’ qualitative response relative to the full qualitative response can be assessed (in simple terms the number and strength/vigor of negative comments compared to the number and strength/vigor of positive comments).
Secondly, in a sample of 100, if 95 respondents rate item X as 9 out of 10 and the remaining 5 rate item X as 2 out of 10 it raises a clear research question: is the strong disparity reflective of respondent bias or respondent preference? Secondary analysis can often reveal which of these is in operation.
Analysis of ‘sore thumb’ votes is used widely in motivational and attitudinal research.
Several respondents queried the need for our survey given existing web ring polls. It was because of these existing polls that we introduced our survey. The web ring polls have no statistical validity. They a