Neuroanthropology.net reached 500,000 onsite visits this week. It’s a great milestone, so thanks to everyone who has come by!
We accomplished that in 22 months, or roughly 23,000 visits monthly. Since last December, we have averaged 31,700 visits a month. That’s good growth, especially since in our very first month we got 1267 visits.
Since starting Neuroanthropology.net in December 2007, we have written 827 posts, which gives an average of 605 visits per post. (Note: all these statistics are based on what WordPress provides.) Out of all of those, here are our Top Ten, with a brief reflection on what has made that post popular.
Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone (19,621 hits)
Our top post has excellent content and is written by a leading expert. It’s also accessible in the way it examines an important and often controversial issue. Finally, the post has been promoted in lots of different ways on the Internet, from StumbleUpon and Facebook to lots of smaller discussion board.
Wednesday Round Up #47: Obama Is A Neuroanthropologist! (10,079 hits)
This round up came out during his inauguration, so its initial success was driven by being both timely and comprehensive. Since then the big numbers have been through searchers for the image of Obama used in the post, which has been on the front page of Google Image results at times.
What do these enigmatic women want? (7,757 hits)
A comprehensive critique of a NY Times Magazine article, that also provided in-depth content while discussing sex and sexuality – always a good combination.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City (6,709 hits)
While this post has good content as the synthetic video game piece we’ve written, its success has come largely through searches for its accompanying Grand Theft Auto image.
Cultural Aspects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Thinking on Meaning and Risk (6,252 hits)
Once again, good content on an important and timely topic, given the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our Blessed Lady of the Cerebellum (6,123 hits)
This post shows the success of niche reporting, of taking on a story that resonates with a lot of people but that doesn’t quite hit the mainstream. It’s also a heartbreaking story, and we covered it in more depth than most other people.
The “Best of Anthro 2008” Prizes (5,287 hits)
Funny, comprehensive, and with links to lots of content that could be difficult to find elsewhere – a great combination for the internet.
Lose your shoes: Is barefoot better? (5,165 hits)
Niche reporting meets in-depth analysis. This post examines a rising cultural movement (barefoot running) with an understanding of how our bodies work. Lots of people were interested, and searches on “barefoot shoes” have helped this post continue to chug along.
Fear of Twitter: technophobia past 2 (5,044 hits)
A timely topic with in-depth analysis. A lot of the subsequent success has been driven through searches for “twitter”.
Synesthesia & metaphor: I’m not feeling it (4,731 hits)
A critical examination of a popular neuroscientist, on a narrow topic that nonetheless is followed by a large group of people. These types of posts help deliver the bread-and-butter of neuroanthropology.
Reflections on Success
For driving big numbers, content and images are king. Timeliness and controversy both help. Niche coverage and guides to internet content are also useful.
Put differently, as with traditional media, on the Internet content matters. The in-depth coverage and analysis provided here brings people back, especially to the posts that prove popular over the long-term. Being timely and targeting an issue that people care about also help to bring readers to a site.