Heads up, this post is very syok sendiri. If you start rolling your eyes, please share this article with our official hashtag #ihatecilisos.
Anyway! When we turned 2 in late April 2016, we ran a survey. I mean, it’s about time right? 2 years ago, we were a team of four cikupeks working from our Ed’s house with about 250k monthly page views, making sure he doesn’t scold us for using too much toilet paper when we shishi (Editor’s Note: “yes this is true.”)
Today, we’re in a proper office in Kelana Jaya bringing in about 700k pvs, still getting scolded for using too much toilet paper when we shishi. (Editor’s Note: “Still true.”)
So wanting to get some perspective on our readers, we launched a survey to know more about them, what they wanna know, what type of people they’re like… and it would be a waste if we didn’t share it with ugaiz. This is what we found out 🙂
1. Thankfully, 94.9% of our readers think our bad Photoshop is hilarious.
If you know CILISOS, you know we abuse the living crap out of our Adobe Photoshop.
When we started CILISOS, we knew that humour was going to be a BIG part of what we do. And that’s important too, cos if you’re gonna be talking about current events and politics and the economy and dengue and all that, what better way to serve it than with a dose of humour? Plus, we’re LITERALLY getting paid to draw stars and circles! Who dowan?!
2. 26% were offended that we asked them about their race
In one of our questions, we asked our readers to select their race. In the next question, we asked if they were offended that we asked them for their race.
There’s a growing dissent against race categorisation in Malaysia, with urbanites calling themselves Malaysians first, <insert race> second. In fact, in West Malaysia, it’s not as simple as Melayu-Cina-India-dan-lain-lain. There are more than 40 distinct ethnic groups in Sarawak and 32 officially recognized ones in Sabah. This isn’t including the mixed kids and Eurasians!
“As a media house that works with a lot with data, having race filled in can be handy for us to make decisions sometimes.
But as manusia biasa, we’re actually quite glad to know that we have a lot of progressive readers that put Malaysian as their identities before anything else ” – MK, SOSCILI.MY Editor
FYI: SOSCILI.MY is our sister site, but in BM. Check it out!
3. NOBODY thinks the government pays us
Well, with headlines and stories like these (see above), why would ANYONE think we’re being paid by BN?! And just to be clear, we’re also not getting paid by the opposition yea. We’re paid by CILISOS Sugar Daddy™, and you’ll know that if you Googled us a lil bit more.
But to be honest, we’re not in the business of tearing down the government and bringing up the opposition. There are good guys, bad guys and even dumb guys on both sides of the divide, which is why we’re just trying be the voice of moderation.
In fact, we’ve discussed whether would Malaysia really be better if the opposition had won GE13. We’ve explored why BN crushed the opposition in the recent Sarawak Elections. And we’ve talked endlessly about the prime topic on everyone’s tongues: who the freak is Malaysian Official 1?
4. 33% thought we would’ve closed down by now
Not sure if it’s because they think we couldn’t sustain our finances or if MCMC would shut us down, but our instinct tells us that it’s the latter.
“Eeyer. Y U Faith No More? I think our content tries as hard as possible to remove bias, so that’s what keeps people from both sides coming back (of course one side maybe a liiiitle bit more than the other).
We’ve written articles that pat the authorities on the back and others that ask them to do better. So I think they also confused how to categorise us . As for sustainability, please keep supporting our sponsored content k ugaiz?” – Chak, CILISOS.MY Editor-in-Chief
And at this point, seriously guys, when you share our stuff, do say something about it! Sharing alone is great, but we’re sure your friends would wanna know what you think about our articles (us too!).
5. 55% of our readers said they wouldn’t pay to read our site
People always ask us how we actually make money to sustain our site. All our articles are free! How to pay salary la? See, every website needs to make a living. Some do it with banner ads, some with advertorials, some by selling your data, some by sponsored content, and some by charging readers a subscription fee.
While we’ll talk about the business in a separate point, we were curious to know if people would pay to read our content on a subscription basis, kinda like how Malaysiakini or the New York Times sustains themselves. (Y’know, if push comes to shove.)
As expected, most of them said no. We’re not surprised la, we’re not everyone’s cup of tea and frankly speaking, asking someone to part with their money is not an achievable task. (Even we ourselves can be super kiamsiap: Lydia and Jolyn have a habit of bringing their water bottles out to lunch cos they don’t wanna pay 50 sen for Cina Teh Ais.)
But thankfully, 32% of respondents said ‘maybe’, citing price as one of the main factors.
“If not too expensive why not. But if I’m paying I expect more than 1article a day and make sure all articles must maintain same quality of informative-ness and wittiness”
“Depends on the pricing and maybe you guys can have a loyalty reader price?:D”
“I’m willing to pay for a premium price if the number of contents are produced more than the concurrent rate (would really love 2 articles daily)”
To be honest, we don’t have any plans to start charging you guys for reading our site. We’re just sustaining ourselves with… sponsored content! Hang on to that term cos we’re gonna be using it extensively in a bit…
6. Thankfully, people enjoy our sponsored content!
Sponsored content is the most sensible way for us to make money. In short, it’s basically promoting a brand by crafting content around it.
“Think about it like this: who would click on an article that says “X ways brand XXX is the best product ever”? An ideal consumer, that is. And we all know that they only exist in Uranus.
So if you like the everyday stuff we do, do understand that sponsored content is what keeps us alive. Primarily, anyway.
Apart from being selective of the brands we choose to work with, our team also goes through great lengths to make sure we don’t sound like sellouts. How? By doing our best to give you interesting, valuable content that you’ll find useful in some way.” – Lydia, CILISOS.MY Managing Editor
Anyway, over the past few months we’ve been getting more and more opportunities to work with brands. While some of us were a bit worried of this sudden flurry, we were so relieved when 45% of respondents thought that our sponsored content were ‘entertaining/useful/informative/of value despite being ads’. Erm, and 30% didn’t know we did sponsored content, so they must still be delusional that banners can pay the bills (They can’t -_-“)
Of the remaining respondents, 6% of them said that they feel ‘cheated’ once they realise that they’re ads. That’s not too bad tho… but erm guys, if you like reading CILISOS, trust us that we ~need~ sponsored content. No clients, no salary, no CILISOS.
7. 50% of our readers want to read international news
If there’s one thing you can’t find on CILISOS, it’s international news. Even if you do, it’s about Malaysia still 🙂 From the angles, to the stories, and especially the language used, everything about our site is localised. In fact, we spell ‘la’ instead of ‘lah’… cos nobody pronounces the ‘h’ in real life unless they’re an angmoh trying to fit in.
Anyway, we were surprised that HALF of our readers wanted to read international news, but it’s not really the direction we’re planning to take anytime soon.
“The problem with international content… is that EVERYONE is doing it. What would we have to add to such a crowded space? Even when we started, we thought we’d run out of content ideas about Malaysia after a year.
But two years later, we have stories coming out of our ears. There’s so much about Malaysia we don’t know, and that’s what we’d like to keep finding out.” – Chak, CILISOS.MY Editor-in-Chief
8. People who wanna report us to IGP are not even pro-gomen
So we asked our readers if they’ve ever reported us to the IGP. While 94.6% said no, the remaining said they had thought of it. And when we looked closer, 70.6% of them were impartial to both sides of the political divide. In fact, 29.4% were pro-opposition. NONE OF THEM WERE PRO-BN!
“I can imagine that the pedasness of some of our stories would lead some readers to making a complaint to the authorities.
However, I would like to point out that whether you’re pro-BN, pro-Opposition, or pro-fessional trolls, ALL OF YOU ARE WRONG! You should actually be directing your complaints to the MCMC as they’re the ones with the authority over internet-related complaints. Unless it’s Twitter.
I’m kidding. Please don’t report us. We like our editor too much to see him going to jail.” – Uihua, CILISOS.MY writer
Well we have literally nothing else to say at this point, but to wonder… guys why you liddat? :'(
Thanks for the support for the past 2 years!
We’ve learned so much from the people we’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with, from stories we’ve put together, from feedback we’ve received, and definitely from the mistakes we’ve made along the way. It’s been such a ride throughout these coupla years, and we’re excited to see where the future takes us.
While we don’t intend to scale into something huge, we do hope to stay true to our primary principle: to make mundane things like news and current events entertaining and informative in equal measure. It’s been our goal all along to bring different views of what’s happening in Malaysia in a unique recipe that blends analysis + humour. So as we move on to our 3rd year, we hope to never let you down 🙂
And to help us do that, why donch ugaiz be sweeties and let us know how we can improve in the comments below 😉