Tuesday, September 1, 2015

School starts, audience doubles

It shouldn't come as a shock that students make up the majority of visitors to theorion.com website. How big a part of the audience is evident by this chart provided through the Awstats program available from the paper's web hosting service, BlueHost.

Average daily page views for the month of Augest were 8,976, but the average for the first week of classes 12,090. Big difference!

Compared to the first week of classes last fall, though, The Orion audience was tiny:
F2014 first-week page views: 139,628
F2015 first-week page views: 60,448

It's impossible to know why there was twice as much traffic on the site as the same week a year ago, but my best guess is that last fall's staff hit the ground running and was actually posting news online the week BEFORE school started, including stories about a fire at a frat house, a benefit for a student who had drowned over the summer and a plea in a fatal hit-and-run case involving students.

Here are the top theorion.com stories from last week:
HIV the Second Generation, Part 2 (a column that ran last May) - 3,409 views
Chico State Faculty, Staff Hit the Ground Running (a feature story from March) - 3,388 views

No other stories cracked the Top 25 viewed pages. Lots of people were looking at the website, though,, expecting to find new content. The home page had 52,325 visits. The 12th through 25th most viewed pages were section pages for news, sports, features, etc.

The lesson here is that The Orion audience is ready for campus news long before the first issue of the paper comes out on the first Wednesday of the semester. Keep your fingers crossed that not finding what they want won't keep them from coming back now that the semester is in full swing.

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