Libcom.org traffic analysis: up 40% in 2011

People reading libcom

Statistics on libcom.org's readership and users in 2011 - both of which have increased significantly compared with 2010.

Here are our reader and user stats from 20111. HIn summary, our reader figures have increased around 40% on 2010. A large chunk of this increase is from increased direct traffic (i.e. people typing libcom's address into their browser) and increased referrals from social networking websites, predominantly Facebook and Twitter.

We have also had the largest number of new articles ever posted, and the largest number of active users contributing articles.

Traffic

Average monthly visits (annual change)
2009 - 130,585 2
2010 - 145,176 (+11%)
2011 - 207,856 (+43%)

Average monthly page views
2009 - 399,156
2010 - 425,007 (+6.5%)
2011 - 594,372 (+40%)

Average monthly unique visitors
2009 - 88,731
2010 - 95,862 (+8%)
2011 - 131,108 (+37%)

Traffic sources
For the first year ever, search engine referrals have dipped to 45% of total traffic (down from 53% last year). In absolute numbers this is still higher than previous years. The percentage is lower due to a massively increased direct traffic - 32% (up from 20%). In relative terms referral traffic fell to 22.6% (from 27%).

The biggest referring sites (excluding search engines) last year were, in descending order, with annual change in brackets:
Facebook (+ 174% including a 1480% increase from mobile Facebook)
Wikipedia (-11%)
Reddit.com (+225%)
StumbleUpon.com (+8%)
Twitter (+400%)

This reflects changes in Wikipedia deleting more articles and restricting ability to edit articles (and possibly reduced traffic to Wikipedia), and also our increased use of Facebook and Twitter in the past few months.

Content

For the second year running, we have surpassed the largest number of new articles posted ever on libcom.

New articles per year
Articles posted 2011: over 2167 3
Articles posted 2010: over 1896
Articles posted 2009: 1558
Articles posted 2008: 1017
Articles posted 2007: 1225
Articles posted 2006: 1991 4
Articles posted 2005: 1867 5
Articles posted 2004: 75

Total users who've ever posted one or more comments:
4533 (up from 3765 last year)

Total number of users who've posted articles
481 (380)

Number of users who have posted articles per year:
2011: 196
2010: 180
2009: 133
2008: 158
2007: 73
2006: 70
2005: 67
2004: 14

Total articles:
11881

Total comments:
433663

User comments posted per year:
Comments in 2011: 45945
Comments in 2010: 48802
Comments in 2009: 45728
Comments in 2008: 59144
Comments in 2007: 98942
Comments in 2006: 80823
Comments in 2005: 42210
Comments in 2004: 11267

Social networking

Facebook likes
end 2010 ~10006
end 2011 4373

Twitter followers
end 2010 ~8007
end 2011 2050

We hope that our readers find some of this information useful.

Thanks very much to all of our readers, to those who have shared libcom articles on other websites, and especially to our users who have contributed content.

We hope to do some comparative analysis with other radical websites shortly.

If there is anything else people would like to know about the figures please ask in the comment section below.

Happy New Year everyone!

  • 1. Different stats systems measure traffic in very different ways. So two different systems can give wildly different results. Our system excludes all bots, and only counts real visits by people.
  • 2. This is the first year comparable statistics were available
  • 3. Counted on December 28
  • 4. CPE + Endpage + copying over articles from news + history that weren't imported into Drupal
  • 5. same as 2006, also we might have added the old news around then
  • 6. Not an exact figure but an estimate. The last exact figure was 1500 in May 2010
  • 7. Not an exact figure but a figure from memory

Posted By

libcom
Dec 30 2011 16:36

Share

Attached files

Comments

bulmer
Dec 31 2011 00:05

Brilliant and I'm sure this trend will continue. Well done to all those who've put the hard and work in and I hope I can contribute more in the future too!

Cooked
Dec 31 2011 00:56

Wow, those are some freaky articles per year numbers! Have to say it's a bit perverse to pour all that work into bbcode and "hide" it in an unportable database.

Impressive none the less! Great work everyone.

Steven.
Dec 31 2011 02:00

Cheers guys. But cooked, what do you mean by this?

Cooked wrote:
Wow, those are some freaky articles per year numbers! Have to say it's a bit perverse to pour all that work into bbcode and "hide" it in an unportable database.
Cooked
Dec 31 2011 12:38
Steven. wrote:
Cheers guys. But cooked, what do you mean by this?
Cooked wrote:
Wow, those are some freaky articles per year numbers! Have to say it's a bit perverse to pour all that work into bbcode and "hide" it in an unportable database.

First of all I have to apologise to Croydonian...

Using bbcode makes it very laborious to input documents into the library. You cannot easily export pdf's, word documents etc into bbcode, there is a lot of manual work involved. Equally there is a lot of work involved in turning the bbcode or the resulting html into a proper printed document again. The information is not suitable for reuse, mainly because the documents lack structure (headings as h1, h2 etc.) which means you can't use styles in your layout/word processing/e-reading software to easily control the appearance. If all library items were inputted as say very simple html documents or even markdown you could produce 100 pages of some subsection of the library for e-readers, print, pdf etc in no time, all with consistency and reasonable typography.

The downside to storing the library *only* in a database are similar to the issues above. The information becomes less portable and flexible. If the library existed as files in a reasonable format (html?) you could distribute the whole library for *backup* and usage. The main thing is that you can then just zip up all the rocker texts and send them to someone for their kindle, create a book with a selection of texts etc. etc.

I realise that the above is not a priority for you guys but the work of say typing up a text would become much more valuable in the long run if the quality of the document format was better and if the collection of documents was accessible as files. The thing is I guess that much of the text exist as more structured data on peoples hard drives.

Again I wouldn't worry about it but perhaps keep it in the back of your minds if the moment comes for some changes.

Mike Harman
Dec 31 2011 13:50
Cooked wrote:

Using bbcode makes it very laborious to input documents into the library.

You can use 'some HTML allowed' and ignore bbcode when adding stuff to the library.

I'd be up for adding markdown at some point, it's much nicer than bbcode, but bear in mind the current database was originally inherited from a forum c.2003 when markdown was considerably less established, so we have to keep it around.

Exporting the library to various formats is something that's been requested before, it'll likely happen at some point.

Cooked
Dec 31 2011 14:15
Mike Harman wrote:
...bear in mind the current database was originally inherited from a forum c.2003 when markdown was considerably less established, so we have to keep it around.

Sure, I also noticed that a few documents actually use the bbcode header tags. It's just very rare. I guess my suggestion would require separating the forum from the library (back end wise). Stuff like ikiwiki could do both I guess (don't be afraid of the visuals) but prolly smaller feature set.

Mike Harman wrote:
Exporting the library to various formats is something that's been requested before, it'll likely happen at some point.

The books "Printer friendly version" is quite clean. Outputting that to files would be great.

The site is great as it is, my comments are pretty theoretical. Converting that one Aufheben text scared the shit out of me, the tools and workflows are not what I'd use. But people are happily doing amazing work adding stuff to the library so no reason to fret I guess.

Steven.
Dec 31 2011 16:50

Converting stuff into BB code the library takes a huge amount of time though- some texts have probably taken me upwards of 40 hours to format, so if there is a more efficient way we could do it that would be excellent. We should start a new thread for this though, any ideas you had would be very useful

Harrison
Jan 1 2012 15:29

depends on what you are converting from, but there might be a script someone has written that parses your format to BBcode

Steven.
Jan 11 2012 18:38

Just a small bump because I added figures about our social networking presences which I intend to keep track of in future years as well

lettersjournal
Jan 29 2012 05:25
Quote:
Comments in 2011: 45945
Comments in 2010: 48802
Comments in 2009: 45728
Comments in 2008: 59144
Comments in 2007: 98942
Comments in 2006: 80823
Comments in 2005: 42210
Comments in 2004: 11267

According to these numbers, there were less than half as many comments in 2011 as in 2007, and the number has been going down every year for four years (after going up by significant margins from 2004 to 2007).

It would be more interesting to look at the qualitative shifts in the site, rather than usage statistics, but just going by the statistics it seems the message-board function of the site is in serious decline (not only have the number of comments dropped significantly, a larger portion of them seem to be inane internet meme images and one-liners).

Chilli Sauce
Jan 29 2012 10:36
Quote:
not only have the number of comments dropped significantly, a larger portion of them seem to be inane internet meme images and one-liners

Clearly, you don't know the old libcom.

Man, it the days when libcommunity ruled, you'd be in a world of pain.

All the said, I agree that there have been some qualitative shifts and I think the blogs becoming more important to the site than libcommunity is definitely a very good thing.

Juan Conatz
Jan 29 2012 10:27

Yeah, I'd have to agree with chili, you've actually been engaged in a serious manner on this site. This just would not have happened 3-4 years ago.

In any case, you're just crying because this isn't your turf, when people have taken you on on other sites (Infoshop for example), you've resorted to writing lenghty troll articles as a response, so quit being so naive.

Chilli Sauce
Jan 29 2012 10:38

Good god, if you can't get traction for your ideas on Infoshop...

Juan! WTF are you doing awake!? Go to sleep.

Steven.
Jan 29 2012 12:40

An admin note: be polite to letters journal everyone.

lettersjournal wrote:
Quote:
Comments in 2011: 45945
Comments in 2010: 48802
Comments in 2009: 45728
Comments in 2008: 59144
Comments in 2007: 98942
Comments in 2006: 80823
Comments in 2005: 42210
Comments in 2004: 11267

According to these numbers, there were less than half as many comments in 2011 as in 2007, and the number has been going down every year for four years (after going up by significant margins from 2004 to 2007).

It would be more interesting to look at the qualitative shifts in the site, rather than usage statistics, but just going by the statistics it seems the message-board function of the site is in serious decline (not only have the number of comments dropped significantly, a larger portion of them seem to be inane internet meme images and one-liners).

you obviously weren't about on the site much back in those days!

There were lots more comments back then, because the forums were a much bigger part of the site, and will mostly taken up with huge rows, including lots of flaming and lots of stupid joke comments and memes. (The proportion of comments like that today is minute compared to back in the day, as you can see if you look back through the archives)

there was a big drop from 2007-8, which basically coincided with large groups leaving libcom en masse basically due to consistently losing arguments on here around things like national liberation and the unions. The platformists pretty much stopped posting here, and set up ABC instead, and other groups like Class War left as well.

When we set up the libcommunity board and banned flaming in all the other forums it reduced further the amount of comments - as that makes up a large chunk of any internet forum content. Since then even stricter moderation has further restricted the amount of discussion (stopping derailing, etc, binning and locking aggressive bun fights, etc). We also took other efforts to deemphasise the forums compared to other parts of the site, including removing formerly the most popular part of the forum (libcommunity) from the site tracker.

We can't get quantitative data, but at least my impression is that while the number of posts has gone down, the quality and length of them in general has gone up. User feedback in general echoes this.

Serge Forward
Jan 29 2012 14:33

Tis true. Libcom often did get a bit snowed under with all sorts of nastiness. It's much nicer since I've come back... er... so if the tone suddenly drops again... embarrassed

bastarx
Jan 29 2012 22:19

I feel like the overall quality of discussion on the forums has gone down. Or perhaps the range has narrowed. The real nastiness has largely gone but so has the highest quality stuff IMHO.

As much as I despise platformism having them around, especially the ones who could argue their case in a fairly intelligent manner allowed for intelligent opposition to their leftist positions. While we get a steady stream of new posters arguing for national liberation most of them are a bit crazy and/or naive and thus more easily dismissed.

Also most of the people who really knew their Marx/Marxists and wrote long posts about theory have either disappeared entirely or drastically reduced their posting and haven't really been replaced in this role by newer posters. I'm thinking of redtwister, Mikus, Dave C, Angelus Novus and revol68 here and probably a few others I've forgotten.

jef costello
Jan 29 2012 23:35

Libcom forums seemed to have a drop in postings as a large number of posters with huge numbers of posts significantly cut their posts, and as most of those were not political then that had an effect.
Steven. and Fallback used to have huge post counts (Steven reset his account and used at least two and still had 13000 when post counts were still displayed iirc) and nowadays they post in a month what they'd have posted in a day or two. People like myself have stop posting reams of shit and other posters have disappeared.
On the whole I think the good side of the libcom forums has declined, there doesn't seem to be a lot of new blood and the discussions don't seem to be as good. This is probably just me though. The non-political has massively dropped and most of that is not missed. I reckon it might be as much to do with people using facebook etc as libcom moderation. Which has admittedly improved.
It's good to see more people on here and more news, although I do wonder about the news. It's nice to have more personal and analysis pieces in there, as well as more prominence to the blogs but I do sometimes look at the news and think that these articles would have been bumped to forum posts a couple years back. (the wrong day to say this, there have been quite a few good stories.)
Peter is right about the missing posters (apart from Dave C, wasn't he gangster?) although I am not sure how much of this is a real loss. The number of long marx discussions has definitely decreased and the depth of them too, but whether that has affected the usefulness of the site is up for debate. Ultimately the numbers don't mean much in themselves, they're just a guideline, but it still looks good.
Well done to the admins and to the contributors.

Choccy
Jan 29 2012 23:57

Actually I think you have to take the 'rough' with the smooth, there's a case to be made that a lot of the libcommunity stuff brought people to the forums and many who were active in the non-political banter were also involved in those long drawn out arguments.

There used to be a massive variety of discussions on here - everything from Organise! v WSM on ireland, critiques of science and religion discussion, as well as all that Marx/Marxism stuff mentioned.

The blogs are defo great for comment on current events though and are probably the best part of the site currently.

Awesome Dude
Jan 30 2012 00:39

Looks like libcoms heading towards boring respectability. There use tobe a real "edge" to debates. If you "talked bollox" or advanced shit politics you would end up with a bloody nose. Now we have tobe nice to idiots and newbies...shocking!

bastarx
Jan 30 2012 03:02
jef costello wrote:
Peter is right about the missing posters (apart from Dave C, wasn't he gangster?) although I am not sure how much of this is a real loss. The number of long marx discussions has definitely decreased and the depth of them too, but whether that has affected the usefulness of the site is up for debate. Ultimately the numbers don't mean much in themselves, they're just a guideline, but it still looks good.
Well done to the admins and to the contributors.

I was confused there for a bit until I realised you meant gangster the person, not Dave C was an actual gangster. I've heard talk of this gangster person but I think he was from before my time here, I arrived in early 2006. Was he a Class War member? I think Dave C is American and one of/close to the Marxist-Humanists.

dave c
Jan 30 2012 07:08

This made me laugh. I first thought I was being described as a gangster of online Marxist discussions, which is hilarious. Now I realize the confusion: some poster named "gangster" was revealed to be a certain "Dave D" on some old thread I found. That has nothing to do with me, however. I've never had any other account here, though articles I've written are signed "David Adam." And I am in fact American.

Steven.
Mar 7 2012 17:33

Just a slight bump on this, our traffic is continuing to grow quite significantly, and in the last month we have passed quite a big milestone in that we had over 200,000 unique visitors, which is the highest we have had since we started collecting data in this way at the beginning of 2009

T La Palli
Mar 7 2012 17:59

Impressive.

Chilli Sauce
Mar 8 2012 18:33

I do believe one particular user starting blogging in the past month. A particular saucy blogger known for their spicy posts... cool

Just sayin'.

Steven.
Mar 8 2012 19:25

On a related note, this site which monitors blog buzz identified us as the second most influential politics blog last month, and third overall, which is pretty neat:
2nd in politics: http://labs.ebuzzing.co.uk/top-blogs/politics
3rd overall: http://labs.ebuzzing.co.uk/top-blogs

Chilli Sauce
Mar 8 2012 20:57

Pretty sweet.

Also, "On a related note"? More like "On a direct correlation". laugh out loud

Khawaga
Mar 9 2012 00:49
Quote:
I do believe one particular user starting blogging in the past month. A particular saucy blogger known for their spicy posts...

Just sayin'.

Who? Working class self-organization? wink

But anyway, those stats are very impressive!

mikail firtinaci
Mar 9 2012 05:33

thanks for this interesting report. Do you also have country statistics also in a comparative mode?

Steven.
Mar 9 2012 10:15
mikail firtinaci wrote:
thanks for this interesting report. Do you also have country statistics also in a comparative mode?

I'll try to dig some out for you. I guess you're interested in Turkey compared with elsewhere? We can get interesting country data from our Facebook likes now as well

Steven.
Mar 9 2012 10:55

Here you go:
So, in the last month we have had 291,000 visits. 1769 of these were from Turkey, which is 20th in our list of countries. On Facebook out of about 6300 likes, 73 are from Turkey