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TT TRAFFIC REPORT … no, not what’s happening with car mauls on Macquarie Street or Elphin Road but on good old Tasmanian Times (TT). TT has access to some fancy statistical tools that analyse traffic to our website. The number crunchers have been busy and dug out a beautiful set of numbers.

First, a cautionary note. There is lots of debate over how website traffic is measured, with different tools getting different results for the same site. So the numbers below should be taken with a pinch of salt but the trend lines are still interesting.

Between September 2006 the end of 2009 the monthly average “unique visitors” has grown by 56% to just over 20,000. (A unique visitor is measured by tracking the IP address see Wikipedia article for more details.) Over the same period the number of “visits” has grown by 82% and the number of pages served has grown by 133%. (While website “hits” is often referred to in news commentary on websites, it is the largest and least useful statistic, so we haven’t used it here).

2009 was a year of tremendous growth for TT. Unique visitors grew by 23%, the number of visits by 33% and the number of pages served by 84%.

And 2010 is already off to a flying start. Most years, January is a quiet month with many people away on holidays. This year has been different. January 2010 has been TT’s second best month ever, up 46% and 45% respectively on the number of unique visitors and visits. The number of pages served is up 84% on the same time last year.

Where do TT readers come from? Google Analytics, which has been collecting data on TT’s site traffic since mid-May 2009, tells us that just over half the readers are from Hobart, then Melbourne, Sydney Launceston and Brisbane. On other benchmark statistics—the average time on the site, the number of pages accessed per visit, the percentage of returning visitors—TT performs well.

What the statistics don’t show is that TT has an impact beyond its audience. We know that TT is read by many Tasmanian journalists regularly and some of Bartlett’s inner sanctum. Even Braddon Labor backbencher, Brenton Best, has been known to while away some time keeping an eye on comments on the site.

Brenton, you are welcome anytime. For this is an open and free debating chamber; still true to its statement of intent of the first edition, October 2002:  “Tasmanian Times is a forum of discussion and dissent - a cheeky, irreverent challenge to the mass media’s obsession with popularity, superficiality and celebrity. Balance is appeasement. Fairness is truth.”

We remain proudly, in the words of former Premier Paul Lennon: “F…in useless” In Richard Guilliat’s profile of Paul Lennon, HERE

Use the Achives, Luke: Readers frustrated by the rapid turnover of stories can short-circuit their story search by clicking Archives in the Masthead. And don’t forget the cute new Next Page Bar at the bottom of the main page.

And: TT’s aim is to give absolute value to every email and every comment; however apparently insignificant and disdained in the world of mainstream media. Sometimes we miss mails or misjudge comments. Sorry for that, it is not intentional. You, Reader, are valued above all.