Anthropology.net’s One Year Anniversary on WordPress.com

Today is Anthropology.net’s one year anniversary on WordPress.com. I’ve been running this blog for more than one year but I decided to scrap some of the old site because of technical difficulties. It was a bittersweet decision. Initially, Anthropology.net lost a lot of readership. All the inbound links were broken, and that dropped the site’s page rank with the search engines.

Despite these losses, Anthropology.net has bounced back remarkably — even surpassing the readership it once had. One of the major successes I have seen is that Anthropology.net has had over half a million unique visitors to the site! That translates to an average of 1,400 visitors a day. My high school wasn’t even that large. To think that a population larger than my entire high school is visiting this niche site on a daily basis is amazing and humbling. The graph below documents the traffic growth per month for this last year.

But visits alone haven’t built Anthropology.net into what it has become. Commenting on the posts has also skyrocketed. Anthropology.net currently hosts over 1,350 of our comments. While I moved some of the old content last year, I could not migrate the comments at all. To think that you all are submitting your thoughtful comments everyday is a testament to dedicated and lively community behind this site.

This growth in traffic and commenting has all been because of the move to WordPress.com. The move relieved a lot of the system administration woes that bogged me down in the past. I remember having to deal with database backups, upgrades, and performance issues all the time. This took up time and energy from reading science papers and writing about them. I now have more time to read and write more thoroughly.

With these successes in mind, I really look forward to the future. I know I’ve made some massive mistakes on more occasions than I’d like to admit. I also know I frequently make smaller mistakes. I’m always catching my typos and grammatical mistakes after I hit the publish button, which is embarrassing. These are things I’ve been learning to improve on along the way… and I’m not deterred from continuing to blog here one bit.

One last thing… I’ve always been curious to know a bit more about Anthropology.net’s readers. I think it is important to know just to understand where people are coming from and at what levels Anthropology.net reaches. I know from the Facebook fanpage, which has 231 fans, that 65% of our readership are female. The majority of the fans are between the ages of 18-34. This is somewhat useful, but is limited to only those with Facebook accounts and subscribed as fans of Anthropology.net.

So to get a better break down, I’ve setup this short 10 question survey. Please fill it out honestly. The survey closes on Saturday, May 31st 2008 at midnight, Pacific Standard Time. I’ll share the results with everyone once it is done. If you don’t think the survey captures who you are, please comment in the thread below! I’m really interested in knowing more about y’all.

15 thoughts on “Anthropology.net’s One Year Anniversary on WordPress.com

  1. Congratulations, and happy birthday. The work and the quality of your information and writing is a great part of the one year old’s current success. Keep up the good work.

  2. I don’t know if I would have found this site if it weren’t for your B-day post. It’s a good idea.

    This looks like a very cool blog, I’ll subscribe & get up to speed here.

    The genomic stories make a refreshing perspective on our kind.

    Happy B-day; keep up the work!

  3. we’ve talked about this, but i betch you facebook isn’t representative. we’ll see how your survey pans out….

  4. Hey Marlin and Phil,

    Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you both enjoy the site — both as a long time reader and a newcomer.

    Razib,

    Yeah, I think my Facebook sample is only a slice of people on Facebook — which seems to be a lot of younger female adults… I’m also curious to see how the survey pans out.

    Kambiz

  5. I certainly don’t fit into the 18-34 age group, nor the female part. And congratulations on a great, informative site.

  6. Congratulations on your year anniversary at your new “home”. It’s really been a pleasure listening in on many of these conversations. As a layperson interested in comparative mythology, I find I am drawn to several multi-disciplinary discussions, and I thank you for it.

    I would be very curious how much of your readership are amateurs, and what disciplines fascinate them.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a small but significant portion of your readership is lay. The internet allow discussions such as these, that formally were only found at conferences and peer reviewed obscure publications, now be available to the general public.

    Thanks again. Congratulations and keep up the great work.

  7. Hi Anne,

    Haven’t heard from you in a while! Where have ya been?

    I’ve been running Anthropology.net for several years now. The old iteration of the site was as a community of blogs, forum, wiki, media library, etc. but it proved harder to manage. Furthermore people were only really interested in the blog.

    Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate your contributions to the site immensely,

    Kambiz

  8. Thanks Mark, I’ll be posting the demographics soon — so far the people who have taken the survey are much different from the Facebook Fans demographic.

    A total side note, I just wanna mention that I’ve gotten few to no advertising requests prior to this post. But since this post releases some of the analytics and statistics behind Anthropology.net, I’ve gotten over a dozen requests from advertising agencies to show ads on Anthropology.net. I wish they were a bit more coy and graceful with their enthusiasm in this site.

    Kambiz

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