Monday, 13 December 2010

More Pilot Project stuff. The lessons we learn...

It’s fascinating how people use website information. We’ve had the Pilot Project site up for coming up on four weeks as I write this.

We’ve just added a new link – you can now email to

I’ve been monitoring usage with Google Analytics. It’s telling us all sorts of stuff about where people are tapping into the site from.  But the nice story I have to tell today is that, placed at the very bottom of the Advisors page, accessed off the About page, is a small paragraph thanking some of the people who went above and beyond the call of duty in offering comments and advice. You kind of have to dig to get down to this section. But people have been digging. 

Mike Davies is a long-standing West Midlands Music journalist. He was down to be an advisor, but had to withdraw from our first shot for personal reasons. But happily, towards the end of our first curatorial period, he was showering us with ideas, which were most welcome. Yesterday Mike dropped me a note, because a band he worked with back in the day had been digging deep into the site, and turned his name up way down at the bottom of the Advisors page. And emailed him.

Not what I planned. But very nice to hear about. It shows how something like the Pilot Project , which is pretty damn well connected up, due to its fab team of advisors, can turn up even more connections. We saw a lot of synergies on launch night, and there have been more since then.

Another piece of news smacked me round the head this morning. I’d been double checking a couple of details on the site, and found out that the really excellent Senses, from Coventry, have called it quits. Sad for their followers, and it represents another tiny milestone for the Project.

Any site that takes a snapshot of 'now' is going to have to deal with change. Our approach this time around? We note that fact that with regret, the Senses are no more… and keep their music online for the time being. If there is any justice, the talented individuals from that band will go on to do other things, and if and when they achieve some success, it’s a nice to think that some of their earlier excellent work will have been archived for posterity. In a way that is the whole point of the Pilot Project. In the meantime, I’m racking up more feedback to evaluate as the Pilot Project progresses…

I mentioned some stats, didn’t I? Well, now... 

We have an average of well over four minutes on site per visitor. That means a helluva lot of people are sticking around for rather longer. Even at average durations, that means more than one track being checked out by each visitor. Not at all bad in these days of dysfunctional site surfing. 

Most popular page once you get past the home page? Well, it’s the Artists page. But the next most visited page is a surprise: it's the About page, which covers the whys and wherefores of the whole project.   

At the start of the site’s life, two thirds of visitors were from the West Midlands. Now it’s about 50%, which tells us that the site is rippling out across the world wide web rather nicely. And initially, most of the traffic came from Facebook and Twitter and blog plugs. Now we can see a small but growing slice of interest directly from Search Engines.

I could go on. I will, next time….  

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