Traffic is really picking up on the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank. Already this week we’ve had more visitors to the site than in the entire month of June. Some of that traffic is the natural result of more interest in Katrina one year later that is being generated by pretty constant news coverage of the anniversary.
But a large part of that traffic is being generated by concerted effort on our part to drive traffic to the site. Along with our partners at the University of New Orleans, we’ve been beating pretty much every bush we can–local media, national media, our friends, relatives, colleagues, and students. We’ve managed to get some free advertising from Google, but thus far the click throughs from those Google ads have been less than we had hoped–they are running only slightly ahead of the traffic we are getting from the blog GrannyVibe. Go figure.
The largest numbers of referrals to the site come from four sources. At the top of the list are click throughs from our September 11 Digital Archive site, which features a link to the HDMB front and center on its home page. This ealier project is responsible for almost 38% of our traffic in August. Second on the list is the Daily Kos, which is sending us 16% of our traffic for August.
Third is hamsterwatch.com, a fan site for the CBS reality show Big Brother 7. The owner of the site devoted a good deal of her time to Katrina last year, so I contacted her last week and she graciously agreed to give us a link on her site and that link has already generated 5% of the traffic for the month–in just two days. The lesson here is that when promoting a site, one should ask everyone for help–and if the person you ask is somehow tied to a television show with hundreds of thousands of viewers, the likelihood of generating lots of traffic goes way up.
Finally, the Wikipedia entry on Katrina is generating about 3% of our traffic. Add this all up, and four websites are sending us almost two-thirds of our traffic.
It will be very interesting to see what happens during this, the anniversary week. Will the traffic diversify? Or will we remain largely dependent on a small number of sites? Stay tuned…