Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mobile app reaches 1,000 downloads

The Orion's public relations team has achieved one of its most important goals this fall: 1,000 downloads of the paper's mobile app.

Taylor Sinclair's group relied mostly on social media -- primarily Twitter -- to encourage students to download the app. They convinced almost 400 people to put the app on their Apple and Android phones in three months.

Not surprisingly, traffic on the app increased right along with the number of users.

The number of page views rose to almost 5,000, with a predictable dip over Thanksgiving break. Connectivity problems affected the number of updates starting in the middle of the month or traffic probably would have been even stronger.

Those same problems also depressed the number of visitors, visits and page views to theorion.com main website last month.

After a healthy October, the various problems on the site drove the number of page views below 300,000 and eventually kept people from even navigating to the site (or turned them away when they attempted to arrive via social media). The new Orion staff is going to have to work extra hard to raise its number of unique visitors from 26,000 in November to a more typical 40,000 per month.

One change that should help was the student management team's decision just before Thanksgiving break to switch to a new web hosting system. The website has a new look and, I hope, a more reliable platform.

The new version of theorion.com was unveiled Monday. 

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