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Media release: records 15m unique users across Europe in first quarter

May 22nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism, Traffic

In a press release issued yesterday the BBC announced the latest traffic statistics for, which was said to have recorded 15 million unique users across Europe in the first quarter of the year.

Figures relating to accessing BBC news on mobile devices were also reported, with visits of “around 8.5 million users” across the world visiting the BBC News websites and apps on mobiles or tablets “in an average month”.

See the full release.

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Mike Rawlins on how Pits n Pots offers ‘a proper good pub discussion’ around politics online

May 10th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Hyperlocal, Traffic

Mike Rawlins, founder of the Stoke-based political hyperlocal site Pits n Pots spoke at the regional Society of Editors meeting today, on the site’s origins and where it plans to move to in the future.

Born out of a desire to “see the city improve”, Rawlins argued that the site aimed to cater for a what he felt was a need for more discussion around local politics, adding that the site’s highly active comment threads today are like a “a proper good pub discussion”.

Pits n Pots holds a simple ethos:

  • no editing in audio interviews
  • no editing of video interviews
  • no spinning stories: it’s always just straight down the line
  • any political parties get to use the platform

As Pits n Pots is run by enthusiasts, rather than journalists, it focusses on providing the information, and allows the community to read into it. Not editing interviews also minimises the need for technical expertise.

The site has seen a rapid growth in traffic, moving from around 1,900 unique visitors a day, with 6,000 pageviews in December 2009, up to approximately 12,000 unique visitors and 30,000 pageviews a day in April and May of 2011 as the site provided far more comprehensive coverage of the local elections than the local press. Other successes for the site include providing live coverage of a Stoke on Trent EDL rally, and posting videos from their coverage of the day which resulted in them being the 2nd highest news channel on YouTube globally for two days.

Now supported by the Journalism Foundation, April 2012 saw Pits n Pots attempt a print format, produced by the journalism students at Staffordshire University, printing 50,000 copies. reported that this one-off print edition, which was created as a marketing tool, helped to double Pits n Pots web traffic.

Rawlins says that the site will never be a full time job for him, but he hopes to employ a journalist in the future to progress the site, to facilitate better use of data, more investigative content, and allow better scrutiny of the local council.

He concluded that hyperlocal sites like Pits n Pots would never replace the local paper, and that they can coexist.

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App of the week for journalists: AnalyticsPro

App of the week: AnalyticsPro

Devices: iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch

Cost: £3.99

What is it? An app to track Google Analytics.

How is it of use to journalists? If you have an iOS device and regularly use Google Analytics to track visitors to your news site or blog you should get this app.

It is well worth the £3.99 fee as once you are logged into your Google account you can check stats and dig deep into the visitors, traffic sources, and content of your site.


Do you have a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for’s app of the week for journalists.


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#Tip of the day from – how to measure the impact of Google+

April 25th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists, Traffic

Daniel Waisberg, founder and editor of Online Behavior, has written a guide to Google+ analytics.

He states that he will be updating the article as Google releases new features.

The detailed guide is at this link.


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#Tip of the day from – capturing the value of social media using Google Analytics

March 26th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists, Traffic

Google Analytics has added several new reports to allow you to measure social impact.

The Analytics blog has a guide advising how to use the reports, including one which allows you to find out how visitors from different sources behave.

There’s also a new report showing sharing activity from social buttons such as Twitter’s share button.

Tipster: Sarah Marshall

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.


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#jpod: How news organisations are using Pinterest

Pinterest has overtaken Twitter as a traffic driver to websites, according to research by Shareaholic, a company that creates content sharing tools for publishers.

This podcast takes a look at how news organisations are using the online pinboard and social network for collating and sharing links.

It hears from Emily Steel, a social media editor at the Wall Street Journal, Carla Buzasi, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post UK and Janet Aronica, head of marketing for Shareaholic.

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.

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Social predicted to overtake search as Guardian traffic driver

The Guardian’s Facebook app has been downloaded eight million times since it was launched six months ago, seeing around 40,000 downloads a day.

Speaking at the Guardian Changing Media Summit, Tanya Cordrey, director of digital development at Guardian News and Media, said the news outlet has been “blown away by the results”.

The “frictionless sharing” app works by readers opting in to share all articles they read with their Facebook friends, generating more traffic for the news site with “no editorial curation”.

She later explained that the Guardian has generated more money through ad revenue from the app than the news organisation spent on building it.

Six months ago Google provided 40 per cent of the Guardian’s traffic. The launch of the Facebook app resulted in a “seismic shift” with social exceeding search as a driver on several occasions in February (see above photograph).

Cordrey predicted:

It’s only a matter of time until social overtakes search for the Guardian.

She said that the audience becomes more global everyday, providing “an amazing opportunity to learn about this new audience”.

It’s the audience we want to learn about rather than the platform [Facebook]

Readers are in “habitual grazing mode”, Cordrey said, traffic peaking in “the middle of the afternoon”.

Addressing those who believe the app has implications for privacy, Cordrey said “we are acutely aware of the critics” but readers are not being driven away or removing content they have read from their Facebook timeline.

“Once people have it, they use it,” Cordrey said, explaining “only a tiny percentage of people” have taken up the option of hiding their reading habits.

Earlier in the day Karla Geci, strategic partner development for Facebook said that it would be “just weird and awkward to read a whole article inside of Facebook”, saying Facebook’s role is enabling “distribution and discovery” rather than taking traffic away from publishers.

Asking herself if frictionless sharing “is creepy”, Geci said:

People are quite interested in being an influencer in their circles. Sharing what you are reading is something you did any way.

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Huffington Post UK’s Facebook app clocks up 20,000 users

March 13th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging, Traffic

The Huffington Post UK has clocked up 20,000 users of its Facebook app.

The social reader app was added to all pages of the UK site a fortnight ago.

It follows the launch of the Guardian and Independent’s Facebook apps, released in September.

The Huffington Post has opted for an Independent-style Facebook app, which sits within the Huffington Post UK site rather than encouraging readers to access stories within Facebook, as favoured by the Guardian.

Those who sign up for the app and agree to share some of their Facebook details will see their reading habits shared with their Facebook friends.

Carla Buzasi, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post UK told that there is an option to opt out.

Every time you are on a story and you don’t want that to be shared there’s a delay and you can click and stop it sharing.

The Huffington Post, which launched a UK edition on 6 July, hopes that the app will increase traffic to the UK site, which reported 5.4 million unique views in January.

Buzasi said:

We’re obviously monitoring it quite carefully. It’s a little bit to early to say at the moment but Facebook does send us a significant amount of traffic already.

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The top 10 most-read stories on, 18-24 February

February 24th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in About us, Traffic

1. A Guardian hotel? Publisher says it is ‘exploring options’

2. How to: use Facebook Subscribe as a journalist

3. Former NOTW web journalist launches newsgathering tool

4. Tool of the week for journalists: Press Pass, to search for journalists on Twitter

5. Campaign launched to ‘save the Freedom of Information Act’

6. Johnston Press in consultation with senior executives

7. Emap understood to be seeking new London HQ

8. Ofcom: BBC news report breached girl’s privacy

9. More details emerging about Sun on Sunday launch

10. John Witherow: ‘Marie Colvin was an extraordinary figure’


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#Tip of the day from – bookmark Top 5 News

February 21st, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists, Traffic

Top 5 News is a website which lets you keep track on the top five stories on major UK news sites.

The a simple one-page site lists the top stories on the Guardian, BBC, Mail Online, the Sun, Telegraph, Independent and Financial Times.

Created by Benji Lanyado and Matt Andrews (who both work for the Guardian) and launched a couple of weeks ago as an “experiment”, Top 5 News is one that is worth bookmarking to keep tabs on popular news stories, plus potentially gain a few tips in what makes a good headline.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.


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