by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

March 15, 2009

Survey Results Part 1

This is the first of a series of posts about the results of the user survey we recently put up. They are prepared by Isabel Walcott Hilborn, Spotworks’ Business Manager. As I’ve mentioned before, we are embarking on a new plan to try to make the Electric Sheep self-sustaining. The survey results are shaping our strategy. We want to keep the Electric Sheep free for everybody who can’t afford to support the system, including me. -Spot

Hi all,

We learned a lot asking our users what they know about the Electric Sheep. We had 836 respondents and a very high participation rate, and 98% of you said you would recommend the Electric Sheep Screensaver to your friends. Thank you! Nearly everybody knows the designs are called “sheep”, you can vote for sheep you like, and that your computer renders sheep in the background while it’s playing the screensaver. But only 1/5th of you knew you could buy the Spotworks DVD to get some cool sheep with music, and other funky visuals made by Spot. At least 38% of you knew that serious art collectors can buy high-resolution, museum-quality artwork made with the Electric Sheep.

We could do a better job of communicating some of the features and options on the Electric Sheep screensaver. Only about two-thirds of you knew that new sheep are created by mating the sheep which got “yes” votes, and a slightly smaller percentage knew that you can download software like Apophysis, Qosmic and Oxidizer – programs based on Scott Draves’ algorithms – to design your own sheep. 90% of you did not know that we limit user-submitted designs to one per day to make it fair so nobody dominates. Almost nobody knew that we limit people to 4 votes a day, to prevent any one person from having undue influence on sheep reproduction, including by accident.

Our marketing needs work! Over half of you did not know that you can go to and browse archives. of every single sheep that’s ever been born. There you can see its family tree, who worked on rendering it, who created its genome, and more. The majority of you did not know about the Electric Sheep forums or our email lists where you can get updates about the sheep and chat with other users.

There are a bunch of options in the configuration panel that many people have never heard of. Only a third of you knew that you can change the speed at which your sheep play back (go to the frame-rate setting). To the people who asked, yes there is already a way to lock in the loop of your favorite sheep: use the scroll lock key. To rewind and see what you just missed, you can press the left arrow. But these commands only work in demo mode, which means you can move the mouse or click keys without exiting, choose it from the configuration panel. There are a bunch of other things you can change if you delve into the settings, most of which are documented online. Some of these features are only available to Windows 2.6 users at this time.

More soon! –Isabel

You can comment on the forum since comments on my blog have been disabled due to spam attack lately. Posted by spot at March 15, 2009 07:43 PM

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