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The Sage Quarterly Review

Behind the Scenes at the Sage

Lots of Moving Parts

(SNN) - As the Sage’s Copy Editor, I spend a good amount of time working on the backend of our site. The backend is where it all comes together. Articles are submitted, uploaded, categorized, enhanced with an appropriate image, and then published to the website.  

Almost immediately after a story is published, our analytics counters start pulling in all kinds of fascinating data. Once I discovered how many different metrics these powerful tools generate, I found myself spending even more time on the backend.

A Global Audience

One metric that fascinates me is the geographic tally of where our readers live. Data pulled include the country/region, state/province, and city our readers preside in and what ISP they’re using to access our site. Currently, about 70% of our readers live in North America, with the remaining 30% coming from all over the globe. We have readers from all continents and many different countries and regions. It is fun to peruse the list to discover readers in India, Australia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Korea, Chile, the Russian Federation, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Qatar, Costa Rica, to name just a few of many countries we reach.

It’s fun to note that our newest writer, Artur Filik, lives in the country of Lithuania. Of all of our Sages, I believe Artur lives the furthest away from our headquarters in Alberta, Canada. If you haven’t read any of Artur’s stories yet, you might want to start with his entertaining piece, Sith Face Discrimination in Ukraine. It’s an amusing read!

Drilling down, we can see what cities are included in the geographical queue. The list is lengthy.  I found some of the city names rather interesting. There are those that I won’t even try to pronounce, like Thiruvananthapuram, in Kerala, India, or LLansantffraid, in Powys, United Kingdom.  Some are whimsical, such as Medicine Hat, in Alberta, Canada, or Merrylands, in New South Wales, Australia.  Some are exotic, like Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, and Zagazig, in Ash Sharqiyah, Egypt.  Still others bring on a chuckle, like Ypsilanti, Michigan (the locals call it Ypsi), Bumpass, Virginia, and Sour Lake, Texas.  

Keyword Searches: What Do People Look For?

I’ve discovered there are an awful lot of Internet users out there who are very interested in the mysteries of this world and beyond. In looking at our metrics for keywords, the search that stood out the most used these keywords: “8 mummified people found next to a solid mass behind massive iron doors thats never been opened for 2…”  What the heck?

I clicked on the link and it took me to Editor Brian K. Hahn’s satirical article, Ancient UFO Discovered Under Temple in India. There were many other keyword searches for this article, as well as Brian’s previous, hugely popular satire piece on the finding of a Sasquatch carcass, Then, there’s the Toronto reader that wanted to know “is it true they found an avro arrow in Greenland”, another of Brian’s witty, imaginative stories.

Searching for another kind of mystery was a reader from Glendale, Arizona, who entered the keywords “the lie about kfc’s recipe". This reader landed on Satire Editor Chris McKerracher’s story, KFC’s Secret Recipe Leaked--No One Cares. I hope our reader from the states enjoyed Chris’ biting humor!

And finally, another keyword search led to a video clip by John “Cork” Corcoran Jr, Old Coot and the Geezer Show Talk UFOs...Seriously, another mystery topic. But even more mysterious were the keywords that led to the article, “is sage news a joke”. Well, yes and no!

More Metrics, So Little Time

Our analytics program measures so much more; but it seems there is never enough time to really dig deep! There are metrics showing paths people use to get to our pages: directly going to the site, going through Google, clicking from our Facebook page, coming through Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc.

Not only can you see which paths people are taking, but you can see devices used (iPad, iphone, Android), which browser (Safari on mobile, Firefox, Chrome), IP addresses, search engines used (Google hovers around 98% with Bing being a distant second), whether a visitor is returning, how many hits each article received, and more.

A Good Story is a Good Investment

We are fortunate to have a good analytics system behind the Sage. There’s value in the story our statistics are telling us, such as what type of content draws readers to the site, where our readers are located and where we might want to direct our stories to draw more readers, how our readers find us and what can we do to enhance those paths to our content, and so much more.

If you manage a website, consider investing in a good analytics program. You will be amazed at what goes on behind the scenes!

Photo: Snapshot of The Sage News visitor locations worldwide, over a twenty for hour period. Screen capture.

DISCLAIMER: The above article is provided for entertainment purposes only. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Entertainment and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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