What you looked at on Te Ara in 2011

Canadians have a strange obsession with dirt and worms, a lot of people received smartphones for Christmas and, on average, people spent 6 milliseconds longer on each page of Te Ara in 2011 than in 2010.

A typical retrospective would look at everything that Te Ara accomplished in 2011, such as publishing 121 new stories. Instead I thought I’d look at our site statistics and see what our millions of users looked at in 2011.

New Zealand

New Zealanders’ three favourite stories were Historic earthquakes, Earthquakes and Active faults, all obviously influenced by the earthquakes in Christchurch, and probably the Japanese earthquake as well. Similarly, two of the top three images were also related to earthquakes:a map of fault lines and a photo of the extinct volcanoes that formed Banks Peninsula. Possibly a sign of the recession: the third most viewed image was a job advertisement used as an example of rural language.

If New Zealanders were looking at those stories and images, what about the rest of the world? (Or at least the five countries that view Te Ara the most.) I’ll leave it to you to consider why these particular stories and images were of interest to visitors from those countries.

United States of America

Favourite stories: Estuaries, Deep-sea creatures and Geothermal energy

Favourite images:

The Blobfish

The blobfish

Photosynthesis and chemosynthesis

Photosynthesis and chemosynthesis

Estuary food web

Estuary food web

Australia

Favourite stories: Historic earthquakes, Tsunamis and Farm dogs

Favourite images:

Active faults

Active faults

The Blobfish

The blobfish

A day at the races

A day at the races

United Kingdom

Favourite stories: Earthquakes, Coastal fish and Sandflies and mosquitoes

Favourite images:

Active faults

Active faults

Plate boundary

Plate boundary

Comparative sizes of whales

Comparative sizes of whales

Canada

Favourite stories: Papatūānuku – the land, Soils and Earthworms

Favourite images:

Earthworm life cycle

Earthworm life cycle

Comparative sizes of whales

Comparative sizes of whales

Arrow, giant and colossal squid

Arrow, giant and colossal squid

India

Favourite stories: Earthquakes, Dairying and dairy products, and Conservation – a history.

Favourite images:

The brain drain

The brain drain

Earthworm life cycle

Earthworm life cycle

Earthquake-resistant building

Earthquake-resistant building

Other traffic

It’s always interesting looking at Te Ara’s traffic for the year. You can clearly see events such as the Christchurch earthquake in February, school holidays and the redesign in October.

Overall traffic

Despite our overall traffic going down over December (see above) due largely to school holidays, traffic from mobile devices (smart-phones and tablets) increased (see below).

Traffic from mobile devices

Mobile traffic started increasing dramatically after Christmas. Were a lot of mobile gadgets under the Christmas tree? In 2010 mobile devices only accounted for 1% of Te Ara’s traffic, in 2011 it raised to 3% but since Christmas it’s grown to 8.6%.

Coming up in 2012

Hopefully in 2012 we’ll see fewer natural disasters, so New Zealanders can read less dramatic stories such as Pets, Childhood and our story on our favourite not-that-creepy crawly the Peripatus. Perhaps some of this year’s most popular stories will come from the new stories being added to the Government and Nation theme. Stories on the Second World War, money, the royal family, Kingitanga and New Zealand’s identity will surely spark people’s interest.

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