posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 09:07 PM
Our 2006 survey of members and visitors has concluded with an amazing 2,350 respondents in one week of polling. This was the first demographic and
psychographic survey we've done in which we also invited unregistered guests to also participate. And there are some interesting surprises.
First up, we asked our users: "How often do you visit ATS?"
As you can see, the single-largest group are those responding this is their first time visiting ATS with 670 users or 28.5%. However, if we combine
the users who responded "every day" and "several times a day", we have 889 respondents (38%) who are daily visitors.
Next, we asked our users: "What is your age?"
This was a significant surprise. In past surveys of members, the 18-25 age group was by far the largest single group on ATS, however, now the older
25-35 group makes up the majority of users at 584 or 25%. And an additional surprise was the decline of the "under 18" group, which now represents
our smallest at 237 respondents or 10%. While it's clear from comments in our discussion forums that many members assume a dominance of younger
users, these numbers contradict that assumption and paint a picture of a much older audience than was assumed.
We asked our users: "What is your education?"
Following the older skew of question two, the responses here followed by showing a high level of education that in past surveys. 1,691 respondents
(72%) indicate they are either in college, or have graduated with degrees as high as Doctorate (3%). Past surveys of members have shown a reasonably
impressive number of college-eduated users, but the responses to this question indicate an even high level of education.
Next, we begin to ask our users questions related to ATS and our topics with: "How long have you been interested in the topics covered by the
discussions on ATS?"
This was the first time we asked such a question, and the response is eye-opening. 1,010 users (43%) responded they have been interested in ATS topics
for as long as they can remember. But 364 (our second highest group at 15.5%) indicated that this was their first exposure to our topics (we hope we
were gentle)... that means that about half of our first-time visitors have some degree of "conspiracy or alternative topics experience".
And now for the biggest surprise of the entire survey as asked our users: "Which of our topics interests you the most?"
The hands-down winner by a significant margin was Aliens &UFO's, followed by Government & Military secrets, followed by "Other", followed by
Religion & Paranormal, and followed by Science, followed by 9/11 conspiracies. Only 8% of you selected 9/11 Conspiracies as the topic that
interests you the most, placing it 6th out of 10! I was personally astounded, flabbergasted, bemused, befuddled, and generally confused. If we observe
the quantity and frequency of discussions surrounding the possible conspiracies related to the attacks of 9/11, we would certainly draw a very
different conclusion that the results of this question.
And the surprise continued as we asked our users: "Which other topics are you most interested in?" (Respondents were encouraged to pick all
Even when given the opportunity to select 9/11 conspiracy topics as a secondary or tertiary interest, our respondents still kept that topic in the
sixth overall position. Government & MIlitary Secrets won the day in this question, with Science and Religion & Paranormal following closely
Now it's time to see what people think of us as we asked our users: "Please rank your overall opinion of the topics and discussion on
An overwhelming majority of 1,077 picked "very good", followed by an impressive 607 indicating "the best on the Internet." These numbers combine
for 1,684 (72%) responding that our members are either very good, or the best their is. Excellent work.
Next, we asked our users: "When not on AboveTopSecret, what else do you do online?" (Respondents were encouraged to pick all that apply.)
There are not many surprises here as the responses generally jive with nearly every other online survey of user habits and trends. However, there is a
slight skew where our users tend to be more likely to be active on other discussion boards, and a startling 2.6% who indicate there is nothing else
they do online other than visit ATS.
Now we asked a few conspiracy-related questions: "Do you agree with this statement: There have been and continue to be deep government
conspiracies and cover-ups?"
A significant majority of 82% agreed with that statement, and only 3% disagreed. This would seem to be a reasonable distribution given that other
sources and anecdotal data indicates that most people believe in some level of government conspiracies.
Our next conspiracy-related question asked: "Do you agree with this statement: The popular mainstream media has been hijacked as a means to
control and influence thoughts, opinions, and knowledge of the general public?"
A surprising 71% majority agrees with this statement, while only 8% disagree. This is a rather strong conspiracy-related statement, and it is somewhat
of a surprise to see such strong agreement, especially given that in this survey, we have the input of a large number of first-time site visitors.
Our final question asked: "Do you agree with this statement: A conspiracy exists in which the U.S. two-party political system has been
systematically manipulated to created an environment of automated attacks of the "other side" over mundane issues as a means to deflect serious
discussion away from important topics?"
Again, a very strong conspiracy-centric question resulted in a heavy-skew in favor of belief in the statement. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of
respondents agreed with that sweepingly deep conspiracy statement, while those disagreeing are in the "single digits" at 9%. Also, a large number,
28%, indicate they're not certain which shows this is our most difficult question.
This survey was by no means a scientific analysis of general opinion as it is a completely voluntary poll of visitors to AboveTopSecret.com during a
one-week period in July of 2006. However, the sampling of users is our broadest yet with 29% of respondents reporting their first visit to ATS and 16%
reporting it was their very first exposure to conspiracy-related topics. Because of the broad base of respondents, some interesting findings have
9/11 Topics Are Not Important to Our Visitors
Topics related to 9/11 conspiracies ranked sixth overall in both topics that most interest visitors, and secondary topics that also attract interest.
This quite literally an earth-shattering surprise for us. Given the volume of topics and frequency of new topics, we expected a very different result.
This indicates that the users interested 9/11 Conspiracies are either a very vocal small group, our our users are growing tired of that particular
ATS Visitors are Well Educated
This is by no means a dig at our current members, but it has long been assumed that our user-base is heavily skewed toward high-school aged users.
However, our survey indicates an overwhelming number of users with some college or college degree. In fact, more than half of all users report have
attained some type of degree.
(more conclusions coming later, I wanted to get the data up)
As of Novement 1, 2006, a total of 49,172 people took this survey, but there has been no significant change in the ratios presented above.
[edit on 1-11-2006 by SkepticOverlord]