Friday, May 16, 2014

Keeping web traffic consistent

The traffic analytics for at the middle of May show a positive trend for the website: visitors have been retrained to expect new content on the site most days of the week.

That's a real change from a year ago, when readers figured out that The Orion editors would do a big data dump when the print newspaper was published on Wednesdays. OrionDay is still the busiest day of the week at, but as the numbers above demonstrate, traffic really only dips significantly on weekends.

That's one of the reasons traffic overall has been growing. For this half-month, the numbers are:
8,019 unique visitors
21,581 visits
284,431 page views (a little over 13 pages per visit, on average)

The top stories, so far, for May:
• Student by day, stripper by night - 1,686
• Wildcat store could be outsourced to private company - 684
• Chico State files lawsuit against PG&E - 550

Sunday, May 4, 2014

1st place for general excellence in California contest

Current Editor-in-Chief Katrina Cameron shows The Orion's 1st place plaque

The Orion has won first place for general excellence among four-year colleges in the 2013 California Newspaper Publishers Association better newspapers contest. The awards were announced Saturday in San Jose.

Orion reporters, writers and photographers were among the individual contest winners:
• Nick Woodard, Sports Story, 1st place (Sights Set on Rio)
• Jessica Barber, Feature Story, 2nd place (Fire-spinning Student)
• Logan Missner, Sports Photo, 2nd place (Big Air)
• Bill Hall, Best Writing, finalist (Chico Trying to Balance Budget)
• Risa Johnson, Feature Story, finalist (Party Patrol)
• Dan Reidel, Best Photo, finalist (Sidewalk Deadlock)

Two other Chico newspapers won awards in their circulation categories.

The Chico Enterprise-Record won first place for photo essays and second place for columns.

The Chico News & Review took a first for layout and design for tabloid-size newspapers, a second for education coverage and a second for special sections.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Check out this multimedia story from Western Kentucky

Multiplatform News Adviser Carrie Pratt at the College Heights Herald, the student paper at Western Kentucky University, this week posted a link to her staff's story about a swimming coach achieving a milestone.

Lots of people worked on the project. Take a look and tell me if you think The Orion could do something similar.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April numbers for WOW!

Hey, Orion staff!

All that hard work you did last month really paid off. April was by far the best month ever for Here are the numbers:
Unique visitors - 20,004
Visits - 53,073
Page views - 687,672 (an amazing 13.44 pages per visit!)
A little more than 10,000 of the visits came from Facebook links. 

Three of the most-viewed individual stories were breaking news:
Bare-chested bandit detained on Ivy Street - 4,341 views (Oh the power of a good headline!)
Associated Students candidates - 1,701
Chico State employees face workplace bullying - 1,463

Those might not end up being the most popular stories, though. The last day of April (yesterday) had the heaviest traffic of the month, 34,884 page views. The three front page Orion stories from Wednesday and Veronica De La Cruz's column about the Faded social app will continue to draw traffic this week.

It's clear to me that your readers have figured out they can depend on The Orion to cover breaking news and stories that matter to them, and that the news will be available while it's still news on You've set a high bar for the Orionites who will follow you next year!