It’s that time of year again when we can look back and ponder what was, so I’ve been taking a quick look at what’s been popular on our websites, especially on our two biggest sites, Te Ara and its sister site, NZHistory. It’s interesting to see where they overlap and where some of the differences are.
On Te Ara, we’ve seen a huge increase in views of our Auckland places entry, helped in large part by a lot of US visitors coming via googleusercontent.com, a Google CDN. It’s slightly mystifying but one message is clear: Google likes our content. Other popular content included our entry on Matariki, perhaps a positive sign that we’re starting to develop more local traditions and customs. And in typical fashion, interest in this list of Rugby World Cup winners peaked in October. Finally, in another sign of the power of Google, Dame Whina Cooper’s biography attracted a lot of visitors after she featured in the Google Doodle on her birthday in December.
Over on NZHistory, the perennially popular 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know was top of the list. And then the war stepped in with lots of visitors to our Gallipoli campaign and Anzac Day features. Also, as you might guess, there was a lot of interest in Flags of New Zealand (which we’ll need to update soon regardless of which way the referendum goes). I think we have to admit that from popular pages we can hear the bells of cultural identity, maybe even nationhood, ringing.
From a quick look at the search terms people are using (both on the websites and external search engines like Google) we can see some interesting themes emerging:
- Anzac and Anzac Day
- Cave Creek
- Dame Whina Cooper
- Dawn raids
- First World War
- Gallipoli and the campaign
- Māori, Māori history and Māori weapons
- New Zealand history
- New Zealand wars
- Springbok Tour
- The Treaty of Waitangi
- Types of erosion, magma and soil erosion
- Wahine and whanau
And because it’s the end of the year, here’s a word cloud. (These never go out of style, amiright?)
The high level of interest in the treaty bodes well for our forthcoming project, Te Taiwhakaea – Treaty settlement stories.
Finally, I mentioned the war earlier and it’s fair to say the First World War centenary programme brought a lot of traffic to all our sites this year, with major spikes on NZHistory, 28 Māori Battalion and WW100. I’ll leave you with a graph to ponder what happened around April this year.