How Website Statistics Changed Our Programs

I’ve always had a hunch that our viewers never watched our 30 minute show all the way through. I told my leadership staff as much. I told them that your audience is more likely to watch an individual story than they are 30 minutes of content. Nevertheless, this year’s producers wanted to do what we always did, which was produce said 30 minute show, and put it up on our website, Westside Wired, via SchoolTube

According to SchoolTube, our first show had 250 views within the first 36 hours. As an experiment, I also posted a 1:30 feature story (which was also in the first show) about a student that has started a pottery business. In that same post, I also included an accompanying story from our newspaper about the same topic, but with a different angle.

After 36 hours, the pottery story had over 1500 views.

When I showed my producers that stat, plus some more analytics (both from Google Analytics as well as SchoolTube) from our website, it was clear to them – finally – that we needed to change how, and when, we produce stories.

Not surprisingly, photos and videos are our top clicks, but features and breaking news are consistently in our top 3.

Have we changed the way we cover stories? No. But I would definitively say that web analytics have been a motivator for my students. Not only that, but it’s been informative for them as to what appeals to their audience.

3 thoughts on “How Website Statistics Changed Our Programs

  • October 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm
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    Matt,

    This is great, as I’ve found them to be motivating as well. I’m curious how — and how often — your staff goes over the analytics. We try to do it monthly, but then it feels a bit too much like an overview. I’m definitely on the lookout for more meaningful ways to use analytics, so thanks!

    Michelle Balmeo
    Adviser, El Estoque
    Monta Vista HS

  • October 24, 2013 at 6:38 am
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    I like this nudge to talk to my students more about analytics. I get the reports, and then I sweep them under the carpet thinking I don’t have time to use them in class this week, or the next week, or the following week. I’m the biggest perpetrator of never having “the talk” with my students. Good post!

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