Of Magazines and Metrics

While there are lots of ways to measure the vitality of a magazine, one of the best is the letters to the editor column.

A healthy publication will generate a substantial volume of correspondence. By this measure, Quality Progress is exceptionally strong. This month we have even more letters than usual, including several about Six Sigma and ASQ's involvement with it (see p. 13).

It's not unusual for a magazine to receive many more negative letters than positive ones. That's only human nature, as readers are more likely to take the trouble to write when they are disturbed than when they are satisfied. No one likes to be criticized, but QP welcomes opposing points of view because we think there is much to be gained by encouraging an active give-and-take.

While we try to publish as many letters as we can, we often run out of room. To remedy this problem, we have decided to adopt a new policy of publishing all letters as part of the QP Forum, which can be found on My ASQ, the members only portion of the Society's Internet site. As in the print edition, we will reserve the right to edit letters, primarily for clarity.

By using the Internet in this way, we are trying to stimulate debate and discussion of quality topics, which is an important part of QP's mission. We also hope to generate even more reader feedback, to use in our continuous improvement efforts.

New online survey

This is just one of several steps we are taking to expand the ways we gauge customer satisfaction. One of the most exciting of these is a new online survey. The survey will take just a few minutes to complete, and as an incentive we are offering readers a chance to win a Quality Press gift certificate.

Another new mechanism we are introducing is a reader panel, which will be made up of volunteers who agree to critique a number of issues during the course of the year. In contrast to the online survey, which we hope will draw large numbers of responses from a changing group of readers, the panel approach is intended to provide a more focused reaction  from a fixed set of readers.

If you would like to serve on this panel, please contact me by e-mail at mmaguire@asq.org, and I will send you more information.

26073PG6 MAGUIRE, M. tiff
  Miles Maguire

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