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See previous post for how I’ve been picking these (with tons and tons of help from the p4 participants!).

Currently assigned:

If I were a Man” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

(The wikipedia page for Charlotte Perkins Gilman is quite good.)

The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde

Birches” and “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot

(Mostly assigned)

Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie

Currently unassigned:

Making a Change” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

How the Alphabet was Made” by Rudyard Kipling

Horray, we’re coalescing!

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Below are some of the texts I would like to record this semester.

Making a Change” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

If I were a Man” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The wikipedia page for Charlotte Perkins Gilman is quite good.

The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde

How the Alphabet was Made” by Rudyard Kipling

Birches” by Robert Frost
More than individual pieces, I have selected authors based on the following criteria: they are commonly assigned; they are short enough to be read aloud in 10-30 minutes; they sound good read aloud. We will not necessary record all of these, and may record other pieces by these authors.

Another important reason why I chose each of these stories is that I like them. Of these 6, all but “The Happy Prince” have been my favorites since I was a preteen. And when I read “The Happy Prince” last night, I nearly cried it was so sad and good (it was recommended by a good friend with good taste).

Think “The Giving Tree” but by Oscar Wilde.
I allow my own likes and dislikes to enter into the decision of which pieces to pick, not only because I believe I have good taste in children’s books, but also because I will probably spend around 10 hours working to record, edit, makes movies of and promote these works, and I will not do that well for pieces I do not feel passionately about.

Another important factor, thinking about this today, is that all of these pieces are childhood appropriate and still meaningful for adults. Like Bugs Bunny cartoons, there are stories for children to enjoy and jokes for the adults minding them to enjoy. Here’s a famous example of Bugs Bunny playing to two audiences. I know when I was little, I loved that Elmer Fudd had a funny accent, and that Bugs was dressed as a woman to avoid Elmer Fudd.

Now as a minor in Vocal Performance, I love the opera spoofing–so good!

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In no particular order,

  1. Practice one-session production–do not leave making movies to the end of the semester. Related to this, I would like to put out a movie once every two weeks.
  2. Organization (1 folder per person with images and soundfiles all in the same place) was good, but because of CMU’s limits on student server space, I wasted a lot of time retaking photographs and rerecording audio. Fix: I will be buying an external harddrive
  3. Having a theme (like storytelling) helped me more in the editing process then in my show-opening speech
  4. I over-estimated my ability to get people to read for me, and the importance of the Facebook group
  5. I under-estimated the commitment of non-drama majors and my performer’s abilities. Thank guys,  cuz, wow.
  6. I also under-estimated the amount of time it would take me to learn software (Logic Pro, Adobe Photoshop, iMovie)
  7. I did not expect to find so many similiar projects on YouTube

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Sonnet 128 by William Shakespeare, read by Julia Sheehy.

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Sonnet 145 by William Shakespeare, read by Julia Sheehy.

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Sonnet 4 by William Shakespeare read by Julia Sheehy

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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.

YouTube Channel Data

Summary

p4PoetryandProse YouTube Channel, Summary

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.

Views

p4PoetryandProse YouTube Channel, Views

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.

Popularity

p4PoetryandProse YouTube Channel, Popularity

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!

Demographic

p4PoetryandProse YouTube Channel, Demographics

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:

  1. Work to increase the proportion of my viewers who are under 24
  2. Discover why p4PoetryandProse is so popular in Africa and the Middle East and work to better serve those populations
  3. 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.

Website Data

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)

Views by day

p4 Statistics: Views by day

Views by week

p4 Statistics: Views by week

Views by month

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.

Categories

Categories

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)

Clicks

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.

Search Terms

Search Terms

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

Top 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).

Final Summary

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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