Our Loyal Readers. by Russ
February 4, 2009, 11:11 am
Filed under: Russ | Tags: , , ,

The bad news is that we don’t appear to have much of a readership. The stats can be viewed at googleanalytics.com by logging in with the Observer’s gmail creds.

In the past month, we’ve had 1,900 +/- visits to inews.americanobserver.net, which I suppose for a publication that only minimally publicizes itself is not bad. But delving just a bit deeper, we can see that the most popular page was the user login – suggesting the most regular visitors to our site are… ourselves editing and publishing new issues.

Site stats for the last month

Site stats for the last month

Our most popular piece of content was Kat Aaron’s piece on “From Slavery to History” in the Jan. 21 issue. It got 129 page views, 68 unique. 

Our visitors come mainly from Virginia (northern, Arlington, most specifically) and then the District. No visitors from many states in the Union, and in the last month, none from outside the U.S.

It’s dangerous to get too wrapped up in the numbers – analyzing specific instances of popularity for an article can create the false impression of a trend, and with site stats this low, it almost certainly is false.

There are also strange flukes, maybe best not explained – like how at least two users searching Google for what turned out to be a hardcore porn Web site were directed to the Observer. Their stays were very brief. We apparently did not offer what they were looking for.

But, we should pay more regular attention to these numbers. There are interesting things to be found. For instance, if perhaps we had been more aware, we would’ve seen that while almost nobody visited our Transition Tracker Web site last semester, a sizable portion of the traffic we did receive was directed from the New York Times.

Odd. But a little detective work, (ie, a search of the Times Web site) shows that the nation’s newspaper of record listed AU’s Transition Tracker on their transition home page as a resource for it’s readers (right there between the government resources and the blog by the IBM Center for the Business of Governments.)

Between Nov. 1 and today, 41 percent of Transition Tracker’s traffic came from the Times. Bad news – the average reader who came that route only stayed for about 2:41. They didn’t think much of what we had.

For those of us who worked on Transition Tracker last semester and found ourselves struggling to update the site among all the other responsibilities we had, wondering whether anyone was reading this, the answer was: yes. Knowing this information then might have motivated us and while the site turned out okay, it could’ve been an opportunity to raise our profile and that of the  AU SOC. 

Bummer.

Cross-posted at Blog/19 and AmericanObserved.

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