Over the past year, Conflict Antiquities has received more than 10,000 visits [and many syndicated views]. This is just a brief summary of the interests and sources of readers.
In terms of looting, (16 posts on) the antiquities trade in Greece attracted more than 29% of all visits, and (11 posts on) the antiquities trade in Africa attracted nearly 19% of all visits; so, international readers’ interest is almost perfectly evenly spread.(1)
Issues that directly or indirectly affect the antiquities trade also appealed to readers: material on Turkish nationalism, Armenian Genocide denialism and laws against incitement to racial hatred drew nearly 15%; destruction in social unrest in Greece attracted more than 10%. And more than 5% of visitors read a post about the sex trade at abandoned cultural heritage sites in Cyprus; but the search terms suggest that they were not looking for cultural heritage sites…
The ten most interesting posts have been:
- photos of the 77 artefacts stolen from the Olympic Museum, Olympia, Greece
- descriptions of the 77 artefacts stolen from the Olympic Museum, Olympia, Greece
- ‘unprecedented’ damage and destruction in protests, riots in Greece, 12th February 2012
- sex trafficking and sex slavery at cultural heritage sites in Cyprus: Karavostasi/Gemikonağı
- Don’t mention the feet! I mentioned them once, but I think I got away with it. Cambodia looting and academic collusion
- French intelligence blacklists Turkish diaspora nationalist movements as Turkish state agents provocateurs?
- Cultural Heritage Work in Cyprus: DPhil thesis – electronic publication
- German archaeologists refute allegations of looting Nok culture in Nigeria
- German archaeologists looting Nigerian archaeological sites, or rescuing them?
- looting, the subsistence digging economy in Mali; and stemming the flow of looted antiquities from Mali to the USA
Few visitors came via social media. About 12% seemed to follow this blog actively: more than 7% via Facebook (or NetworkedBlogs) [who clicked through to view the site directly]; nearly 3% via Twitter; and more than 2% via blog aggregators and e-mail readers [who clicked through to view the site directly]. Another 12% came via links from other websites (ranging from organisations’ and colleagues’ blogs to community forums). 0.5% came via Academia.Edu and LinkedIn.com.
Update on syndicated views (29th August 2012)
Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t include syndicated views (in feed readers) in its visit counts (only in individual posts’ stats, then not counted separately from direct views); and I didn’t go through and recalculate everything.
Syndicated views are not simply proportional to direct views. For example, the photos of the objects stolen from the Olympic museum got 527 direct views and only 30 syndicated views; and the descriptions of those objects got 340 direct views and only 32 syndicated views; but the post on academic collusion in the Cambodian illicit antiquities trade got 303 direct views and 104 syndicated views (so it was actually more popular than the descriptions).
Similarly, the post on subsistence digging in Mali got 241 views in total, not 169; and the post on African countries’ vulnerability to looting got 268 views in total, not 168 (so it was more popular than the post about Mali). This may just be a quirk, but it may be a reflection of readership and access: as WordPress explain, ‘[i]f you are on slower internet connection, you don’t have to visit multiple blogs and load all of their information individually’. So, I have a larger readership than the basic stats suggest; and I may have a far larger readership in developing countries.
Indeed, in the three days I have hosted an online-readable PDF of my thesis, it has had 35 direct views, but 160 syndicated views.
1: I excluded the archives (because WordPress didn’t identify the archival posts), home page and about page, and my CV and publications pages.
There are nearly 6 million internet users in Greece, and nearly 140 million internet users in Africa, so posts on African cultural heritage might be expected to be more popular. However, regional readers constitute less than 10% of visitors to this blog (evenly split between Greece and Africa), so it’s impossible to comment conclusively on local interest. Also, even if it were possible to confirm Greek internet users’ greater relative attention to cultural heritage, it would be reasonable to assume that African internet users had far more urgent matters to find out about.
One post on the antiquities trade in Cambodia attracted more than 5% of visits; but it was a one-off, so it’s impossible to use for comparison.
[This was updated on the 29th of August 2012, to reflect the syndicated views of the blog.]