There’s a somewhat manufactured rivalry in the DTLT bullpen between the old gold blogging platform UMW Blogs and the young upstart UMW Domains. Ryan and I stand on the side of tried and true tradition, while Tim and Martha are into the new and shiny. Andy is still waiting for both to come out in HD 🙂
The rivalry is mostly imagined because we all see the value and need for both, and the fact that one developed out the other illustrates the spectrum of thought these approaches represent. Domain of One’s Own is, as I’ve said before, the apotheosis of UMW Blogs. With UWM Domains anyone can run their own UMW Blogs system if they wanted. That’s the real push behinds domains, it enables an entire campus community to take control of their own innovation toolkit.
THinking through this yesterday, I wanted to see how the first year of UMW Domains might have effected the traffic on UMW Blogs. I understand this is cursory, and one day when I get smarter I’ll do more with all the data we’ve accumulated. But for now, I am just looking at aggregates such as page views, unique users and sessions (the new terminology for visitors). And looking at these numbers, I’m wondering if UMW Domains might have had an effect on UMW Blogs’ page views.
Last year, from May 2012 through June 2013, UMW Blogs had 4.6 million page views, from 1.8 million uniques users spread out amongst 2.4 million sessions.
This year, from June 2013 through June 2014, both unique users and sessions were just a bit higher with 1.9 millions users and 2.41 million sessions. Pageviews, on the other hand, went down 500,000 to 4 million. It’s interesting that UMW Blogs traffic remained relatively steady, regardless of the fact that we had almost 800 sites running on UMW Domains this year, and moere than 20 of those were courses.
It would be interesting to try and get a sense of the traffic statistics across UMW Domains to do a comparison, but that might be impossible given how distributed Domain of One’s own is by design. While we can easily capture the number of posts and broader activity that syndicates in from the community hub, an aggregate traffic report along the lines of UMW Blogs would be almsot impossible toget given there is no centralized site of activity. Everythign is decentralized to the level of the individual user.
That said, there are so many other things with UMW Domains we can begin to measure, and thanks to Martha you can see them on the stats page. We can measure sites by deartment, sites by software, sites by status (i.e. faculty, student, staff, etc.), and posts by date. One of the things that will be interesting as UMW Domains continues to grow is how we can start to understand how this ecosystem is about a different set of aggregates than pageviews, unique users, and sessions.
I believe that UMW Domains will begin to suggest an ecosystem that starts moving us beyond the predefined axis of the course, and starts making our entire community start to think of their spaces online as their personalized network wherein they interact online. UMW Blogs and UMW Domains are both simply steps ina continuum along these lines, providing structure and a sense of why go about imaginign this space with the certainty that this will matter in the future. Who we are is heavily mediated, and we need to start understanding what involved in becoming a citizen in such an encirnment meeans.