State of the Site – Year One

Today, October 25th, 2006 is the one-year anniversary of For those of you reading this site regularly, I thank you for doing so. This is the longest running project that I have ever led, and I wouldn rsquo;t be keeping this running if I didn rsquo;t see the growth in traffic, comments, and interaction in general.

Anthropology, as you may know, is an important discipline. It accomplishes a lot by helping us understand all aspects of our past and present, from our bodies to our families and societies. This site tries to bring this level of understanding out of the college classrooms and scientific journals, and into our living rooms and collective minds hellip; and I think we have done an excellent job at that so far.

See, in the course of 365 days we have generated well over 1,200 pages of content in the form of blogs, forum posts, and wiki pages. We have around 2,300 comments as well. That makes an average of 3 posts and 6 comments a day. We also now have around 900 registered users, and on any given day we get from 2,000 to 6,000 unique visitors. As of right now we are ranked #20 for the search query lsquo;anthropology rsquo; under Google. It has taken some institutions a decade to get to where we are on that ranking scale. That is phenomenal, for a grassroot project like this.

We are a very diverse group of people, and generate a lot of international traffic. While the site tracks various demographic statistics, I think the most important and valuable one for an academic site like this is the educational background of our user base. Here rsquo;s some basic stats on us:

  • Around 10% of us have completed a PhD
  • About 15% of us have finished Master rsquo;s degree
  • There are ~8% of us who are currently in graduate school or have done some graduate coursework.
  • Around 30% of us have at least a Bachelor rsquo;s degree.

In total, 63% of us have some form of higher education. That speaks volumes to who we are and where we are going. I wonder if these stats will remain the same next year?

You should note that most of us are not professional science writers or sit-at-home nerds. Lots of us are actively working in the field, going to class or teach classes, or conducting research. We may run our own personal blogs, but we turn what free time we have, to build this community. And for that, I rsquo;m humbled.

But that rsquo;s not to say we don rsquo;t value the other 37% of us who either did not indicate their level of education or did not pursue higher education. I say that because, we run this site because we want to bring anthropology to everyone. For this reason alone, I feel that this site has become so successful and so full of potential.

Of course, only time will tell, how much of an impact we make hellip; but I am hopeful. I have seen an exponential increase in registered users, comments, and forum posts in the course of this year. It has motivated me to continue to work on developing content as well as trying (as hard as it maybe) to streamline the site to make it work better. Sure there are bugs here and there, but we are all working on it.

In the future, you can expect to see the same growth, if not more. I am working on creating a news feature, where users can submit news and the community can vote it up or down, to get it featured on our front page. This will create a more dynamic page, hopefully making it easier for news and content to get disseminated. Keep your eyes out for another new feature, I plan to start up a podcast within the next two or three months. So far, the podcast will be formatted as a phone interview with various anthropologists from around the world but I would like something more than that. Anyone have any suggestions or things they rsquo;d like to see from an anthropology podcast? I rsquo;m open to any suggestions.

Again, I thank you, very much. I will cut this message here, because I have to work on our first ever anthropology blog carnival, but I appreciate the commitment everyone has shown. Keep it up!


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