Browser stats for a campus portal

Brian Rellinger, our CIO here at Ohio Wesleyan, tweeted the browser access stats for our internal portal page, called myOWU:

I find these numbers interesting on a few levels. I don’t know yet what the period was, but the total traffic of about 7000 views seems low, even if we assume this is one day’s traffic. Given a campus population of around 1800 students and 450 staff, I would have expected more views. Maybe this is a result of the site acting more as a hub that sends traffic elsewhere for content rather than hosting the content itself? The site is an aggregator of feeds from various sources on campus, and the links almost all refer elsewhere. If this represents more than a day’s traffic, then it really is quite low given its purpose and usefulness. Perhaps this suggests the need for a push to publicize the site better around campus? Or perhaps people on campus haven’t found it to be all that useful yet? Either way, there seems to be room for improvement. Update: The stats cover the one month period from early November to early December. Even accounting for the Thanksgiving holiday, this traffic is very low.

The combined traffic for all versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) does not break double digits, which is shocking for a campus where Macs weren’t even officially supported until about 3 years ago. This is ironic on another level too, as the site is running on Microsoft SharePoint server, so it’s optimized to work and look best with IE. It doesn’t look bad on Safari or Firefox, but it feels more at home on IE and Windows, and the process of customizing ‘web parts’ is much nicer on IE. The irony also serves to point out that Microsoft’s reach extends far beyond the client side, and they may not be hurt all that much by people using alternate browsers.

At first blush, the Safari traffic share is surprising, but the fact that Chrome does not appear in the stats at all is curious. SharePoint is probably lumping Safari and Chrome together as WebKit siblings. This would make sense, and means we shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that the majority of access is coming from Macs. There is also no breakdown of Mobile Safari vs. desktop Safari, so I can only assume the Safari number includes both.

I think the main message is the low total traffic. For comparison, the site where I post support materials for my Intro Cell Bio class has had nearly 1000 views this week, and there are 29 students enrolled. Granted, I gave an exam this morning, but I would expect a site that provides daily news and information for the entire campus to outpace traffic to a site for a single class.

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