I get a report that tracks which articles on EncoreMichigan.com visitors go to once they reach the home page. It also tells me where the traffic comes from. The data is presented as a three-month rolling cumulative, and I find it educational to review this information on a regular basis.
The results, of course, are fascinating for data wonks like me. Plus, it's instructive to figure out why some articles attract thousands of hits while others only a few hundred.
But something I saw recently got me wondering: Why are we getting a few hundred hits from a gambling Web site based in Russia? Is someone taking bets on which shows in Michigan are going to be top sellers and which aren't?
Some of the data doesn't surprise me, though. Want to know which story has gotten the most hits over the last three months? Our review of Little Shop of Horrors at Performance Network. (The fact that the show's been extended a few times seems to go hand in hand with our data.)
In fact, reviews are - by far - the most popular "hits" on EncoreMichigan.com. It Came from Mars (Performance Network & Williamston Theatre), Two Point Oh (Detroit Rep) and [title of show] (The Ringwald) are also among the Top 5 stories of the past three months.
The most popular interview of the period ranks as #8 - A Few Minutes with: John Manfredi. In fact, that interview has had more readers than any other over the past several months. (This series is quite popular, which is why we plan to expand the series over the next few weeks.)
There are other interesting facts that can be learned by pouring over the data - such as which days of the week we receive the most hits and what times of the day are the busiest.
But one fact stands out above the rest: Traffic on EncoreMichigan.com has jumped 40% since the start of the year, which means more and more people are coming to us for their professional theater news. And while last year we received more than 1.4 million hits, 2010 is on track to easily pass 2 million some time later this year. Maybe THAT's what those Russians are gambling on!