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 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
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.
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.