Here’s a question from a reader: I know what we do online is tracked one way or another but what does The Banner know about me?
We will answer this in the Big Questions section of the April 2022 issue. But we wanted to answer more fully here:
Compared to social media, not much. But like all publishing since Gutenberg’s Bible rolled off the press, we want your attention.
Part of my job involves The Banner, so I might be biased, but I’d compare The Banner to a good friend. You know, someone who tells you what you want to hear but also what you might need to hear. Social media, on the other hand, is more like that jealous guy who wants to be your only friend, so he tells you only what you want to hear—for his gain.
Sorry, back to the question.
As far as the print version of The Banner goes, we only know your name, address, and church affiliation. We don’t know if you read some or all of the magazine and whether or not you pass it on to your kids.
We did temporarily use a heat mapping utility for a bit to see if people found the “Related Articles” and “Editor’s Picks” links we added to the sidebar of articles helpful. And to get a feel for reader's use of the menus.
We gather the same amount of information from people getting our weekly e-newsletter (subscribe at thebanner.org/signup) but also who received the e-newsletter, opened it, and what article links they clicked.
What we do with this information is important. We’re curious, of course, what y’all seem to like to read and how that lines up with our periodic reader surveys, but we don’t let this information explicitly direct our plans for future content. Remember: what you want but also what you might need.