Now is a good time to summarize all of my aggregated usage data. I am transitioning p4 from how I ran it while being funded by the Posner Fine Arts Foundation to how I will be running it under a Small Undergraduate Research Grant. This post is functionally a quarterly report for this project. I will present the overall channel data rather than post or video-specific because I am more interested in the impact of the project as a whole.
YouTube provides its aggregated data in four ways: summary, total number of views, overall popularity, and demographics.
p4PoetryandProse YouTube Channel, Summary
I will talk about the elements on the summary individually, but the most important number (to me) in these 4 charts is located on the summary page. The number of times videos from p4PoetryandProse are watched each day is the heartbeat of this project. The demographics, popularity and views are its other vital indicators (circulation, temperature, blood pressure), but the number of views is the most important number is paramount because it provides a clear indication of the usefulness of p4’s content.
p4PoetryandProse YouTube Channel, Views
I am fascinated by the relationship of individual users (the yellow line on the graph on the left) to total views (the green line). If I understand correctly, this means that most individual user watches my videos more than once. Cool. I am of course delighted by the geographical spread of my views, but more on that in Popularity. I am not surprised that Sonnet 116 is the most popular sonnet by far, it is quite popular, but I would not have bet on Sonnet 147 to get second place.
p4PoetryandProse YouTube Channel, Popularity
On the popularity data, I of course would love if my channel were the most popular on YouTube–I would also love to go to grad-school for free. Neither is likely to happen. However this data is my favorite of the bunch, because it lists the countries where my channel is most popular. Moldova, South Africa, the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong SAR China, Greece. If you had asked me in September what countries I hoped p4 would effectively reach, Ireland, Moldova and the UAE would not have entered my mind. This is so cool!
p4PoetryandProse YouTube Channel, Demographics
I am pretty surprised by the age spread. Given the neatness of the numbers (35% and 65%) I kind of wonder how many samples were involved. I find it concerning that over 40% of my audience is over 45, especially now I am trying to provide and educational resource for school-children) but the educator in me can’t help but be pleased at anyone watching my videos.
Based on this data, my goals for the next statistical check-in (late April) are clear:
- Work to increase the proportion of my viewers who are under 24
- Discover why p4PoetryandProse is so popular in Africa and the Middle East and work to better serve those populations
- Generally increase viewership
On this third point, I would like to make it a goal to have 50 views a day on the channel. Currently the average is around 15. Based on my experience with viewership growth on my blog, I believe this goal is aggressive but possible.
I am interested in 5 dimensions of the data which WordPress collects: views, categories, and most clicks, search terms, and popular posts.
Views (Day, Week, Month)
p4 Statistics: Views by day
p4 Statistics: Views by week
p4 Statistics: Views by month
Given that I did not post for over a month, I am ok with the views by day. The progression of user views by week shows the typical wave formation (ok, it is typical for the websites I manage). I am encouraged that in the month of December (when I did not post at all) this site had 320 hits. I am not truly happy with these statistics, but they will improve with regular posting and linking.
p4 Statistics: Categories
I wanted to include the current post categories for historical reference more than anything else. I believe by the end of this semester this list will look quite different.
Clicks (web referrals)
p4 Statistics: Clicks
I am unsurprised by p4’s web referrals (or, clicks). As I expected, the audition form was quite popular. After that, it appears that the Posner collection’s website has been the primary beneficiary of p4’s referral traffic, which is perfectly fine. I expect this to change quite a bit n the next few months.
p4 Statistics: Search Terms
Though post view data is quite helpful, I find the search term aggregation tells me the most about who uses pfour and what they use it for. Generally, users reach pfour looking for help interpreting sonnets. I assume most of those searching “sonnet 130 interpretation” are students needing help with research. Over time I would like to generate more traffic from educators, but I have no problem directly serving students.
Most Popular Posts
p4 Statistics: Top Posts
Finally, the most popular posts on p4 are also the geekiest. That is, posts which deal in loving detail with literary interpretation and modern uses. I assume that the popularity of the search term “beautiful sonnets” is the reason why the post “Beautiful Sonnets, Beautiful Settings” is so popular. It also seems that the administrativia of p4 (“What is p4?”, “Time Table for p4”, “Auditions are this week!”) are popular. I suspect their popularity is a result of reader’s wanting to know more about the project, or simply seeking examples of audition sheets, time tables, and project proposals.
Note on Data
Unlike YouTube, WordPress does not collect demographic data. As a privacy conscious user, I support this decision. However it does leave me guessing as to who uses p4 and why. Therefore my only action item based on the above data is that I would like to increase the average number of post views for p4 to around 50 per day. I am currently getting around 10 (see Views by day).
Overall, I am happy with how p4 has done in the past four months. Based on these statistics and the richness of the resources I am seeking to provide, I believe this project has solid growth potential. In April I will measure success in the terms used here. This project is not about numbers, or page views, or clicks. It is about spreading knowledge. However, I find significant value in the pairing of empirical data with softer data. This is a little bit of a reality check.
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