Analytics and content

Patrick Thornton, the Journalism Iconoclast, writes about the importance of analytics for news sites at BeatBlogging.

Here’s a key quote:

The timing of posts are important, as I noted last week. In general, after lunch and after work are the two peak times for Web traffic. This, however, is not universal, and detailed Web analytics will allow content producers to know the peak times to release content of their Web sites. In fact, different beat blogs at the same paper might have different peak traffic times.

This is an important thing to understand, and yet most college newspapers still post their materials after the print deadline is over. And blogging – at least at the Daily Eastern News – gets similar treatment.

I don’t know of an easy solution to changing that situation. One thing that will be good about the 5.0 version of College Publisher is the promised greater granularity of analytics available. Whether editors pay attention to those figures is another thing entirely.

Perhaps if editors thought of the website as a way to provide an “afternoon edition,” posting some materials in early evening, then others after the print deadline?