Some random thoughts on ATQ's growing community

Thanks to all of you out there who have made visiting ATQ a daily (or hourly) part of your routine, the community has seen a significant jump in numbers over the past few months. Jared and I had speculated last month that our record number of visitors were driven by a LeGarrette Blount effect.  However, not only were those numbers maintained this month, but they were surpassed.  For some more (rambling) thoughts, follow the jump.

One of the primary reasons that I joined ATQ (besides Dave's great writing) was because of the community of fans that was developed at other SBN sites that I follow.  The SBN network and blogs offer, in my opinion, a somewhat unique opportunity to foster a community of fans through the ability of visitors to participate and post their own their thoughts through fan shots, fan posts and comments.  However, way back then, there was very little active community for the blog.  But, I was confident that Dave's posts would attract that community given enough time.  Developing a community of loyal readers from the ground up is the hardest thing for a blog to do -- it takes some combination of mechanisms that will steer first time visitors to the site (e.g., word-of-mouth, luck, search results, being a part of the SBN network, etc.) and then interesting, frequent and original content to keep the readers coming back.  Dave was clearly successful in this regard and deserves all the credit for developing a community from scratch.

 

Over the past few years, the community has been growing pretty steadily.  In May of this year, we had our 1,000,000th page view, and our 500,000th site visit followed a few months later.  Both of these were pretty remarkable milestones and a testament to the passion of Oregon fans looking for an outlet online to discuss everything Oregon-related.  Those numbers were nothing compared to what we have seen the last two months.   The huge spike in traffic began last month with the start of the football season.   In the days following the Boise State game, the blog would be closing in on setting monthly records for page views and visits -- only one week into the month.  As I mentioned in the intro, Jared and I both were sure this was driven by the Blount incident and that traffic would slow down once we were a few weeks removed from the incident.  It didn't.  In September of this month, we smashed all our previous records for traffic at ATQ, more than doubling the number of page views and visits that we saw during September of last year.  And, this month we not only beat those numbers, but we beat them in the first 30 days of the month without including the numbers from the Halloween game day.  For those of you interested in the numbers, in September/October of last year, we averaged 69,000 page views and 30,500 visits.  This year, those numbers are approximately 171,500 and 71,500.

What does this mean?  After taking 2 1/2 years to reach the 1,000,000 and 500,000 milestones, it is entirely conceivable that we could smash through the 2,000,000 and 1,000,000 marks in January or February -- only six to seven months after reaching the first marks.  That just boggles my mind. More important than simply the spikes in traffic, we have seen the addition of many posters over the last year who now comment regularly and have become great additions to the vocal community here ATQ that provide their own insight, ranting and humor. 

Anyway, the purpose of this post is basically to say "Thank you" to all of you who make the ATQ community great.  Oh yeah, Go Ducks!

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