Who is Prosebox? Your survey results in Site Updates

  • June 14, 2019, 8:48 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

Hey everyone,

I wanted to share some of the results that came out of the survey I posted a few weeks ago. There were 512 responses, which is REALLY impressive!! Thanks so much to those of you that filled it out (and a special thanks to those of you that helped with survey typos, ha). I was surprised by some of what came back, and as someone that does user research for a living, that’s always a wonderful feeling. I hope you all enjoy reading through these as much as I did.


alt text

alt text

It’s really great to see this line up with the demographics data I get via analytics. You never know how accurate that stuff actually is!

PB and OD
alt text

alt text

alt text

This really surprised me!! I knew based on what I’ve heard from everyone that the vast majority were former OD members, but 93%!!! That’s an overwhelming number of you. And for so many of you to be PB members since the start? That’s great. I’m so glad you found a home here.

Writing habits

alt text

alt text

alt text

alt text

This is really interesting as well. The vast majority of you have been writing for a long period of time, and you tend to favor comments. That is to say, your prime motivation for visiting Prosebox isn’t necessarily to share, it’s to interact with others. Fascinating. This makes me feel really good about launching comment editing last year!

Overall satisfaction
alt text

Now, this just made me smile. Many of you said in your written feedback that you were happy with how (mostly) stable things have been in the past year (!) since I stepped in, and that you love the site for what it is today. That’s a wonderful testament to what SM built, and makes all of the work I’ve put in feel really rewarding. Love you guys.

And now, my favorite part. Some of these responses were so moving to me, and really made me feel like the work I do is so, so worth doing. Others were really funny! Writers really are the best at this.

Why do you use Prosebox?

“It’s my means of keeping my memories alive, even as I forget them.”

“Writing helps me process my feelings. Connecting with people all over the world is wonderful and makes you feel like we are all so much the same dealing with the same sorts of things just in different places. Some of my best friends are my PB friends.”

“Because if I didn’t my words would be stuck up in my head…or be blurted out, usually at inopportune times”

“I’ve been writing my life in a series of these little white boxes since I was 13… at this point, even though I suck at doing it with any kind of consistency, NOT being able to (or to have this community) would feel like a part of me had stopped breathing.”

“Because it’s cheaper than therapy and easier to access. Because writing helps me process my thoughts and figure out what I really think. Because I like connecting with like-minded strangers, in a way that feels safe. It’s the perspective you can’t get from your real world friends.”

What’s the best thing you’ve gotten out of Prosebox?

“Writing for audience to read without compromising my privacy. Reading about people’s authentic stories – everyone is a good writer when it comes to writing about what they care about the most.”

“Reading about other people’s lives puts my own troubles in perspective.”

“Friendship. I have never met a Prosebox friend in real life, so I sometimes feel as if I have imaginary friends. Imaginary or not, my friends here offer me support when I need it.”

“Continued connection with some of the closest people in my life in a private, supportive environment.”

“It’s a sense of belonging… a safe place, almost like a little internet ‘home’, where you can always come back, no matter how long it’s been. It’s been a way for me to capture my story and keep my memories of different times in my life recorded.

What’s next?

Ugh, who put all of this dust in here? I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING.

So, okay. What will I do with all of this? I have pictures!

alt text

Yep, that’s what I look like.

What’s with all the paper?

I’m doing what I do at my dayjob.

I’ve printed out all of your text responses (all two thousand of them!), cut them out, and put them up on foamboard so I can start synthesizing them into trends and insights. Once that’s completed, I’ll use those insights to help guide my decision making when it comes to features and how I interact with all of you going forward. There’s SO MUCH DATA TO WORK WITH and I’m having a ton of fun.

And so is Mochi:
alt text

More soon.


Last updated June 15, 2019

TellTaleHeart June 14, 2019

Ok, but now I want to see an actual picture of your actual face. Preferably with Mochi too.

josh TellTaleHeart ⋅ June 14, 2019

That is my actual face

rhizome josh ⋅ June 14, 2019

you're so handsome, josh

In D Major josh ⋅ June 14, 2019

You look exactly how I imagined.

Witchy Woman June 14, 2019

Josh is a walking emoji! 😂

Thank you for all your hard work. I'm glad you seem to be having fun with it.

Firebabe June 14, 2019

Trigger warning man - that first pic gave me Agile/Scrum planning flashbacks. I woke up on the floor in my office with a fistful of post-it-notes and marker all over my face. o.O

Mochi looks veeeeeery interested in what he's reading. Can't wait to see what comes out of everyone's input!

ODSago June 14, 2019

Oh, I've had company and missed the request, Josh. Interesting info. Wonder how many are in my advanced age group? Would interest me. Just turned 78.

josh ODSago ⋅ June 15, 2019

I just updated the age table to include all results :)

ODSago josh ⋅ June 16, 2019

Oh...good news indeed. Thanks.

Park Row Fallout June 14, 2019

Dude... you put so much work into this place! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

DE_karabeara June 14, 2019

As a new PB user, it's fascinating to see who I'm joining. Thanks for the data download! 🤓

history of love June 14, 2019

I am the heart eyes emoji right now 😍

Adira June 14, 2019

Seriously, you are amazing. Thank you!

Camdengirl June 14, 2019

Very interesting!

Mochi looks less impressed with the data, reckon he wants a biscuit?

josh Camdengirl ⋅ June 15, 2019


aglow June 14, 2019

<333 I love this.
Thanks for being the RADDEST caretaker of this space.

GypsyWynd June 14, 2019

You look just the way I pictured you! 😉
I'm curious: How many users are 55+?
smoochies to Mochi.

josh GypsyWynd ⋅ June 15, 2019

Updated the table to include all of the results

GypsyWynd josh ⋅ June 15, 2019


Gangleri June 14, 2019


J.E. June 14, 2019


perfunctory June 14, 2019

You’re the best.

toddslife June 14, 2019


Deleted user June 14, 2019

This is so interesting ! Thank- you ! We appreciate you a bunch !

crystal butterfly June 15, 2019

I noticed that age from of many of those I follow here was left off. There are a lot of us in our 60-70+.

josh crystal butterfly ⋅ June 15, 2019

Updated the table to include all of the results

m.i.a. June 15, 2019

Awesome!!!! This was really cool to see, data analysis is fun. Thank you so much for keeping this place alive!

softea June 15, 2019 (edited June 15, 2019)


So cool to see you working through this data! I'm excited to see what you make of it and how it shapes the site moving forward

PseudoSuperhero June 15, 2019 (edited June 15, 2019)


Oh LAWD I never really thought about just exactly how much work goes into it. It's one thing to know it's a lot and quite another to SEE it's a lot. Thank you so much!

Tempestuous1 June 15, 2019

You rock!!

DE_Da_Bartender June 15, 2019

Fascinating stuff! It really shows the impact a home can have on the community, and on the landlord ;D

Jigger June 15, 2019

I think we’re all really glad to have you at the helm.

simple mind June 15, 2019

Wow, that is an impressive board.

josh simple mind ⋅ June 15, 2019

You should see the other side of the room..

Anit June 15, 2019

Holy crap, man! I absolutely do not envy you in having to process all this, but I can see that there is a certain fascination in it. So interesting to see the survey results! I'm in more of a majority than I thought, ha.

girl in recession June 15, 2019

Survey result were def not at all surprising whatsoever, besides the literal 19 people who rated it a 5 or below 🤔 Like, there are other sites out there, if you're that upset about PB you can easily get a diary somewhere else!

Also, you printed out 2000+ responses?! How much are you getting paid for this?! Because if its like nothing right, I'm curious about what you're interested in getting paid for it in the future. I mean, I'm a software engineer and not all of the work I do is directly for money but for the most part it pays off down the road...

josh girl in recession ⋅ June 15, 2019 (edited June 15, 2019)


I do this for the same reason comedians do the same routine hundreds of times and musicians play as many gigs as possible: to hone my craft. I'm good at what I do, but staying sharp is important.

That, and working on Prosebox is wayyy more relaxing than my incredibly stressful dayjob. Maybe it'll make money someday, but I really doubt it. Couldn't care less. The journey's a lot of fun and the users are great (and grateful!) which is rare in our industry.

girl in recession josh ⋅ June 15, 2019

I think that's phenomenal, and I can relate to the sentiment. I'd happily work for free on PB with no expectation of pay in the future.

Katren...In Conclusion June 15, 2019

Sorry to say, your inserted carts cannot be read by my "reading for the blind" program. I miss much of what you're saying.

Katren...In Conclusion June 15, 2019

Not "carts" but "charts

dancingstrawberry June 15, 2019


Well, first because my answers for "Why do you use Prosebox?" and "What’s the best thing you’ve gotten out of Prosebox?" both got featured hehehehe.

And then, I love seeing numbers as well!! I love the "broad pictures" that numbers afford us.

And lastly, thank you for all your effort!!

Marg June 15, 2019

These are really interesting - some surprising I must admit - but that wall - so impressive! Thank you for all the effort you put into this place!

my.halo.has.slipped June 15, 2019

Ooh. This was interesting. 93% of us OD refugees? It’s funny how that came back and nobody seems to have gone back.

Chic Chat June 15, 2019

So cool!

Sho June 15, 2019

You're a walking algorithm

josh Sho ⋅ June 15, 2019

01001101 01101111 01100011 01101000 01101001

Sho josh ⋅ June 15, 2019

01101001 00100000 01100001 01101101 00100000 01110010 01100001 01100010 01100010 01101001 01110100

BlueEyes418 June 15, 2019

Thank you so much for all of this work and effort, Josh. This is one of my favorite posts that I've ever read here. I've been in PB since the beginning, and wrote in Open Diary for...15 years, I think?
That picture of Mochi up close makes me dearly want to kiss that cute little nose. :)

Lil June 15, 2019

Qualitative data analysis is my favorite!

Yours For Now... June 15, 2019

I love this!! Boards like that speak to me as well.
A few updates ago, a noter mentioned that they were having issues staying logged in on their mobile device. Now I'm having that same issue. I log in, select remember me, and it never does. Super weird. I didn't know if anyone else is having that situation too.

DE_amberisthecolorofyourenergy June 16, 2019

This is so neat to see!

Luna Leanne 🌈 June 16, 2019

Cool beans.

Just Molly June 17, 2019

Very cool. Thank you for sharing!

kmh. June 17, 2019

Thank you so much, Josh. It really means a huge amount to all of us that you not only jumped on board when we needed someone, but that you care so much and put in so much effort to keep things running smoothly and to make improvements :) I'll be forever grateful to SM for making Prosebox, and to you for taking the reigns now.

precious butterflies June 17, 2019

You're so awesome!! I appreciate you! Thank you! :)

Oui! C'est ma Vie! June 17, 2019

Hey josh, thanks for all!
I have request with the write new entry page,
is it possible to make the last created book the default for new entries? please? for me it'd make a pretty journaling change!
Thanks a bunch, bisous a Moshii

cricket_factor June 17, 2019

Why couldn't you have been Bruce with Open Diary - look how much work you're putting into this! We would have never had to leave and delete our diaries and download them somewhere else. It was so interesting to read the survey results!

Mochi, look how hard your dad is working!

colour of water June 18, 2019

Thanks for sharing this! It's a shame I missed the survey. I haven't been here for ages and I don't get to write nearly half as often as I once did. I too was on OD and have been here since the start - and I too am super happy with Prosebox! :)

colojojo June 18, 2019

<3 thank you for your continuous hardwork and dedication to all of us <3

Mrs. Peebs June 18, 2019

This is so neat to see. Thank you for compiling all the data. And you look exactly how I feel on a daily basis with migraine! Fascinating. lol

Starbaby June 18, 2019

This was really cool to read.. thanks for sharing! That foam board is impressive...

LachrymoseBeauty June 19, 2019

This is awesome. I'm sorry I missed it, but it looks like I fit right in with the rest of the group here

the perfectly imperfect girl June 20, 2019

Wow! :D

Small Town Girl June 22, 2019

All those little printed and cut up papers! Thank you for your dedication to this site and all of its users! I/we really appreciate your hard work. :)

Reigna July 01, 2019

Interesting! I was never on open diary but a similar site.

AppleGirl July 03, 2019

Nice! I'm sorry I missed the survey, but I fit into most of the major categories, came from OD, wrote there for over 10 years, started here at the very beginning, and 42 years old.
I write for therapy, for sure.


Jlynnaz 🌸 July 21, 2019 (edited July 21, 2019)


Aw, I missed the survey, too. <3
But to add to it:
I came over from OD and was on that until I was 18 or something like that and have been writing about things in my life for as long as I can remember. I've been here since the beginning, too.

What I like about it here , is it's simplicity. There is no worry about having your html perfect on your frontpage or your entries( I may have dabbed in that a bit. Even after not html-ing for more than a decade, I still remember some codes. The mouseover color changing code was my fav) and the community here. It feels more of an "adult" journaling place, where people write about "real life things", rather than posting surveys and whatnot. There are people you can connect with here.

MageB July 30, 2019

I didn't know about this or I would be here, I'm another old one of 77, who began writing as a teen. I was in OD from the start as I was here from the start. My main reason for writing here was to stay in touch with the friends from OD>

You must be logged in to comment. Please sign in or join Prosebox to leave a comment.