This morning I managed to sort out a long running tech problem with the Pageabode sites and took the opportunity to catch up on Anarchist Writers visitor states through AW Stats, the Facebook fan page and google analytics. I've summarised some of the findings here including the additional information coming from Facebook which lets us know the gender, age and location of our Facebook fans.
The first image (above) shows the number of unique visitors coming to the site in the first four months of this year. From google analytics it looks like around 33% of these are regular visitors who keep coming back with the other 2/3s being people who visited once. Some 10% of our visitors in a two month period came back to the site 9 or more times suggesting we have quite a large regular and loyal readership, a particularly welcome result. 15% of visitors looked at four or more pages on a visit again suggesting that the content is of interest to people.
On average people are spending about two minutes 30 seconds on the site suggesting that many of them are reading the articles they visit, I checked some of the longer articles like my recent on on Haiti and for those the average times on page climb to nearly nine minutes. This BTW is the strength of google analytics, it confirms that your content is being read and not simply being surfed through. I looked at the stats for March in more detail, from these google is as you would expect head of the field of search engines bringing people to the site accounting for 2/3rds of the 40% of our traffic that comes from search engines. The amount of traffic coming from Stumpleupon is substantial, thanks to our readers who use the Add This button under the articles to refer useful articles to that service.
A slightly greater proportion of our traffic (around 42%) is coming from pages linking to the site. Facebook tops these which is no surprise as today we will almost certainly get the 4000th fan for our Facebook Anarchist Writers page. At this moment we have 3971 fans, its been climbing fast this week due to a fresh round of friend invites I triggered earlier in the week. It seemed that this resulted in 840 total visits via Facebook in March although I have a suspicion this number could be higher due to FB caching pages. The other thing of interest for this is the number of visits generated by Anarchist Writers hosting the Anarchist FAQ, some 350 between Wikipedia and Infoshop. Facebook fans you can probably help with these numbers by liking or commenting on articles as well as sharing the articles to your profile and inviting your friends to like Anarchist Writers. As it stands I'm posting every new blog and article post to the fan page (this amounts to 3-5 posts per week on average) although I don't post the many book pages that have been added as that would generate a lot of repetitive content in quite brief periods.
The country list is curious for the high placement occupied by Russia. We have no Russian language material and while its possible this is due to our relatively large amount of Russian historical material related to the Russian revolution I suspect at least some of this traffic may be down to probes by spambots looking for a way in (there are none). I'm involved in maintaining a number of sites where it is possible for visitors to create accounts and the number of fake ones set up from Russian IP addresses make me suspicious of the traffic number here. Neither Russia nor Russian cities show up in the Facebook fan list which tends towards confirming that suspicion (although I have no idea what Facebook penetration is in Russia so I could be way off.
I can't remember exactly when I set up the Facebook fan page, some months back. Once you get a large enough number of fans for the date Facebook gathers to be anonymous admins of Fan pages can access some interesting stats gathered from the profile pages of their fans. This gives you access to data which would not normally be accessible, for instance the gender and age of your fans. This does not of course give you very accurate information on actual visitors to the site for two reasons, firstly some people do not maintain accurate FB profiles and secondly fan's may or may not visit the site at all. But with this cavetits still interesting to look at this data.
The sample is from when we had 3682 fans which is a number that is probably slightly representative of Facebook using anarchists but obviously strongly skewed towards English speakers as our content is in English (with a few exceptions). You will note that despite this Athens still manages to top the city list. The gender imbalance here is very interesting (note the percentages do not add up to 100% though, 5% didn't want to give FB that information or didn't fit into the male/female binary). What figures I could find for Facebook as a whole make it clear that all other things being equal there should be a higher percentage of women rather than a much lower one. The actual breakdown isn't far off the sort of breakdown you commonly observe in the anarchist movement, other possible speculations might be the nature of our content or perhaps most obviously that only 1 of our 6 semi regular writers is a women. I don't reproduce it here as the sample size is too small to be significant but the breakdown of who interacts with the fan page is considerable more unbalanced.
The last thing of interest is the fan pages listing of where people are located. Again I presume this is generated from the location information they enter (although FB would also know where they normally log on from), if its the first it may not be that accurate. The breakdown does seem fairly logical though as its either countries where English is the main language spoken or countries where it isn't but where there is a large anarchist movement. The inclusion of Indonesia at position 7 may seem strange to some but I know from maintaining a large FB page for an anarchist group that there are a lot of Indonesian anarchists, mostly appearing to come from the anarchist punk / animal rights end of the spectrum. What is also of some interest in this list is the languages. These it is reasonable to assume are the languages people view Facebook in (there are 16 in English (pirate) which tends to confirm that). These tend to confirm the data from the country list that our readers come from the English speaking countries followed by the countries where there is a strong anarchist movement. Spanish of course like English is more complicated as it is also a transnational language although as only Chile appears in the country list (with just under 20% of Spain's figure) it is probable that many of these readers are in the Spanish state. Again it's important to remember that this is a sample of anarchists on Facebook who probably understand at least some English, countries where the internet is not all that accessible to people for whatever reason will obviously be under represented.
Till the next visitor update..
Like most sites we have a major problem with bots trying to post spam into the comments section. While looking for a better solution we are reduced to only on turning on the ability to anonymously comment for brief periods around the posting of new articles. But if you are a regular visitor you can comment at any time by creating an account on the site and logging in before posting. But the Spammers also set up accounts so to reduce the workload of deleting those we only turn on the ability to create accounts for brief periods which we announce on our Twitter & Facebook accounts so follow those to hear when we have that turned on. We do want you to be able to engage with us via the comments and we are very sorry for the fact that we can't find a better way of dealing with spam.