Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Who goes there?

Our executive editor, Elaine Shein, wrote a blog post recently asking readers of this blog and our CapitalPress.com website to give us some feedback on what we are doing or to join our readers' advisory panel.

In the post she said, "As we write our blogs, we often wonder who is our audience: where do they live, what do they do, what draws them to our website in the first place?"

I certainly don't know the answers to all those things, but we can tell, from our site statistics some details about when people come and where their Internet service providers are located, which answers a couple of those questions. But I thought I would share with all of you some of the things our readers where searching for, using various search engines, that brought them to the Blogriculture site. It may offer some insight as to how the topics we've written about and the things people search for intersect.

So, here are some of the search terms used by some of the 50 recent visitors were looking for that brought them here.

Pendleton Round-Up wild horse race
Pendleton Round-Up champion cowboy
Can we control climate change
U.S. farm bill
Schelske Aumsville, Oregon
Justin Boots
Barrel racing
MySpace Let 'er buck
hops jobs Yakima
Mark Boultinghouse Rodeo
Scott Montague
Linzie Walker barrel
Linzie Walker
Rodeo blog(s) (three searchers used this term)
extinct species in the Northwest
Levi Wisness
Cowboys score today
Britt Williams the team roper
Cookson Beecher
Sara Evans
Calf roper Joe Beaver
Blogriculture blog

One thing that caught me by surprise is that there are not a lot of purely agriculture-related searches there. There's one related to the farm bill, one related to hops and one for the name of a Capital Press staff writer, Cookson Beecher.

There are a fair number of rodeo related searches there that are still drawing people in. Words like rodeo and Pendleton Round-Up show up as do the names of rodeo contestants like Joe Beaver, Britt Williams, Levi Wisness, Linzie Walker and Mark Boultinghouse and an event name, barrel racing. There are also a couple of searches related to country singer Sara Evans, who is currently appearing on the TV show "Dancing with the Stars." One of those searches relates to Evans' husband's name, Craig Schelske.

There are also a couple of environment-related searches, one on climate change and one on extinct species in the Northwest.

What can we infer from this information? Well, perhaps looking at what brought the last 50 people here in the last few days when there have been about 2,400 visits since this spring could be a skewed result. One thing we've seen lately though is that people are finding this blog via searches more now. Up until the last month or so most of our traffic was coming here from links from our main Capital Press website.

I also see a lot of searches for people's names in there. A former publisher I used to work for in Coos Bay, Ore., the late Don Brown, once told me the best newspaper columns used lots of people's names in them. He said the best newspaper column would be one that listed nothing but people's names in it. I didn't believe him at the time. A list of names? That wouldn't even include complete sentences? How would you punctuate that? There would be no contest to tell who these people were or why you were printing their names. But maybe he was onto something.

So, I'm thinking that keys to making this blog the next viral site online may be to start going through the phone book and running lists of names. Well, maybe going through celebrity names in the gossip magazines might do more for readership. Either that, or maybe I should start a rodeo blog.

How's this for a headline?: Rodeo cowboy Joe Beaver debates Tom Cruise on benefits of organic agriculture on counteracting climate change on Oprah Winfrey show

Agriculture schmagriculture!

1 comment:

threecollie said...

Say it isn't so! Agriculture is what brought me here, or rather a search for "dairy farm blog" that showed up on my site meter on my dairy farm blog, Northview Diary. I was delighted to find your site, because of its agricultural theme and because my daughter runs a rodeo blog, Buckin' Junction.
I bookmarked you so I can come back and read more when it isn't time to milk the cows here in upstate NY. So far I really like it. Thanks

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