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Short-run milestone

In a previous blog post more than a year ago, I’d put out a list of possible success measures to indicate that the subject wikis have arrived. One of these success measures was first achieved for Groupprops about two months ago: “a single day with more than 1000 pageviews for a subject wiki.” In fact, there have been over 37000 pageviews over the last 31 days, with the highest ever being 1500+ on one day. Even restricting to “unique” pageviews (i.e., not counting multiple pageviews by the same visitor on the same day), on most weekdays over the past month this number has exceeded 1000.

Note that the visit and pageview numbers are based on Google Analytics aggregation, and attempt to exclude all bot accesses. So, these should mostly reflect human pageviews.

Secular trend in Groupprops

The overall secular trend in both visits and pageviews over the last two years has been that of somewhat more than doubling every 12 months. A great deal of weekly and seasonal variation (see here) masks the secular trend in the short run, but any comparison between a date and another date 364 days ago (so that it’s the same time of year and the same day of week) reveals a robust more-than-doubling. For instance, here are total visits and total pageviews over 30-day periods:

  • October 5, 2008 to November 4, 2008: 1322 visits, 4101 pageviews, 3.10 pages/visit.

  • October 4, 2009 to November 3, 2009: 6888 visits, 16469 pageviews, 2.39 pages/visit.

  • October 3, 2010 to November 2, 2010: 16272 visits, 37142 pageviews, 2.28 pages/visit.

Despite the secular trend in growth, usage patterns remain fairly similar. The number of pages per visit is going down, but visits at all levels of depth are increasing in absolute numbers. For instance, if we consider only visits that have 5 or more pageviews, then the situation is:

  • October 4, 2009 to November 3, 2009: 785 visits, 7248 pageviews, 9.23 pages/visit.

  • October 3, 2010 to November 2, 2010: 1683 pageviews, 14865 pageviews, 8.83 pages/visit.

Thus, even at this high depth, the numbers are doubling.

The growth is not completely uniform across pages — the greatest growth has been in pages about specific groups, that have considerably expanded and improved over the last year. For instance, symmetric group:S4 saw 1576 pageviews over the last 31 days, as opposed to 518 a year ago, while symmetric group:S3 saw 1704 pageviews over the last 31 days, as opposed to 836 a year ago. Although for most individual pages, the growth has been less than a doubling, the expansion in the number of pages more than makes up for this.

Other wikis

One explanation for the rapid increase in the case of Groupprops is the expansion of content, as well as growing site visibility. The picture is more mixed for other wikis. The topology wiki, which has not changed much over the last year, has also enjoyed a more-than-doubling in visits and pageviews, albeit starting from a much smaller base. The total pageviews for the last 31 days were 3030, which gives an average of slightly less than 100 pageviews per day, while the total pageviews for a similar time interval last year was 1444. The market wiki has quadrupled over the last year, albeit from a very small base: from 147 visits and 204 pageviews to 651 visits and 837 pageviews. The classical mechanics wiki has grown by a factor of infinity — it had almost no content and precisely no visits last year in this time period, and now has 99 visits and 122 pageviews over a 31-day period.

For most other wikis, such as the commutative algebra wiki, the pageview growth has been near zero, and is much less visible than random fluctuation.