No, not a trailer for your super soaraway Lib Dem Voice on Sunday, but a quick quirk-alert on reader figures at our site this week.
It’s one of my jobs at Lib Dem Voice to keep an eye on the stats, including visitor numbers, popular posts, search terms and lots of other data.
These give us blogging ideas, help us to plan (and sometimes crow), and are another strand of audience feedback – alongside the comments threads, survey responses, emails and phonecalls, and of course the articles themselves that people submit.
So I thought I’d briefly share a surprising finding from my latest analysis of the reader figures at LDV:
The busiest days for a political website are always the day after an election. That’s the same for political party sites, whether local or national, and it’s certainly true for Lib Dem Voice.
In “peacetime” our visitor numbers ebb and flow throughout the week, and predicting this helps us to schedule posts appropriately.
On Fridays, visitor numbers normally taper off slightly, but yesterday they spiked.
I’ve rechecked the stats: the only other examples of this site’s hits increasing at all on a Friday have been the day after the 2010 General Election, the local elections and referendum in May, and the day after Westminster by-elections such as Oldham East & Saddleworth, Barnsley Central, and (modestly) after Inverclyde last week. The morning after the election night before, readers come to find out the results and comment on them.
Earlier today, Lib Dem blogger Mark Thompson mused on Twitter:
I’m starting to wonder if the fallout from #notw scandal could be more momentous for political culture in the UK than most general elections
Now on Thursday of course, the biggest news wasn’t an election, but the announcement that the News of the World is to close. This announcement, and the public interest in it, has big implications for politics, journalism and business.
So are this week’s revelations and fallout the Press’s equivalent of the MPs’ expenses scandal?
And will the reading (and blogging) public, who have long seen democracy in a headlock from certain media outlets, look back on this week as a turning point?