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This week in web: 4 February 2011

By: Dr Lynda Kelly, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 04 Feb 2011

Stats are in for January 2011: web page views totalled 843,780 with 266,616 visits, 30% of visits from Sydney. 207 new members signed up, with 1,990 active users for the month. What else happened?

Our stats have again showed an increasing trend in mobile devices being used to access our site: 7% of all visitors accessed us this way, mostly via iPhone/iPad and iPod (15,818 visits). Interestingly, the largest referring site this month was cracked.com, a video sharing site, which illustrates another online trend – the increasing demand for video content. We are currently working with several local organisations to improve our video offer.

This week saw, yet again, more devastation in the state of Queensland, this time via Cyclone Yasi. The Museum runs the Lizard Island Research Station just off the coast of Cairns which was potentially right in the cyclone’s path. Once we sourced a variety of information about what was happening, I wrote a quick a blog post – Lizard Island and Cyclone Yasi – which merely cut and pasted a series of emails going around the Museum (repurposing content!). What proved interesting were the page stats. Over the two days of cyclone activity this post was viewed 573 times, with an average time spent on the page of over two minutes. While most referrals were via Google (with keyword searches “lizard island cyclone” and “lizard island cyclone yasi”), 59 views came via Facebook, 15 from buzzbox and 5 from Twitter.

This demonstrated several things: it is easy to post information quickly and, therefore, provide a valuable public service. And, as we know, cutting and pasting links across social media sites (which takes less than one minute!) works, reinforcing the idea that we need to go where our audiences are. This week also demonstrated, again, the power of social media in reporting, providing information and building community around key global events – the role of Facebook and Twitter in Cyclone Yasi (with it’s own impressive Facebook page - read their Info page to see how they've set themselves up) and the unrest in Egypt are cases in point. As I have said many times before, we ignore these trends at our peril!

By the way, the Lizard Island Research Station Facebook group is worth supporting, and check out their blog life at lizard island. More on Museum blogs next week…