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Update of PROpenMic's Activity and Membership

PROpenMic will have been in existence for nine months at the end of January. We launched on, of all days, April 1, 2008.

Previously, I’ve shared two updates on PROpenMic’s activity. The first was after six months, PROpenMic celebrates six months online :: How are we doing compared to other sites? More recently, I posted a mini-update Update of PROpenMic’s Activity and Membership.

Today I’m sharing the latest news.

First, I want to offer up some caveats. If you don’t want the caveats, then go ahead to the numbers.

These stats come from the available online resources Alexa.com and Compete.com. Both sites are used by advertisers to determine site popularity and traffic with regard to ad buys. That said, the sites do not collect exact information. They even recognize this and provide good explanations of the positives and negatives related to their reports. Further, both sites tend to focus on their paid clients and those sites that are in the top 100,000 rankings for their best statistics.

So, the information offered below is food for thought. It does show some compelling evidence that, at the very least, our free community driven social network is engaging our audience as well as, if not better than, other sites are engaging their audiences.

There really isn’t any other site / social network like PROpenMic. The sites I’ve selected to compare us with are similar in that they are (for the most part) focused on communication and public relations. They are (with the exception of ODwyerPR.com & HolmesReport.com) social networks.

Some require a subscription to participate. Others use the site to promote their other fee-based offerings. All of the other sites have a business model that includes either a subscription price or promotions/ads and offers for their paid conferences, seminars and other resources.

PROpenMic, on the other hand, is all free and does not carry ads. Finally, all but HigherEdExperts.com, have paid staffs and paid promotional activities or resources (in varying degrees). PROpenMic essentially relies upon word of mouth.

HigherEdExperts.com, by the way, is focused on much more than just PR. They have a great deal of information on Web design and other aspects of university communication practice. Karine Joly does a great job with that site and she also participates here from time to time.

I offer all of that to both explain the difficulty of fairly comparing the sites, yet still making an argument that PROpenMic performs quite well for an unfunded community based social network.

With that, I offer the latest numbers.

The first set of traffic ranks and pageviews below are the three month averages for each site. This is the standard statistic reported for each site by Alexa.com.

Alexa Traffic Ranks and Pageview Per Visit

Note: For Traffic Rank, the lower the number, the better the performance.

Propenmic.org has a traffic rank of: 275,773 (Source)

Page Views per user for Propenmic.org: 11.8

Myragan.com has a traffic rank of: 491,984 (Source)

Page Views per user for Myragan.com: 2.5

Communitelligence.com has a traffic rank of: 704,022 (Source)

Page Views per user for Communitelligence.com: 2.2

Higheredexperts.com has a traffic rank of: 952,463 (Source)

Page Views per user for Higheredexperts.com: 2.5

Holmesreport.com has a traffic rank of: 1,007,734 (Source)

Page Views per user for Holmesreport.com: 2

Odwyerpr.com has a traffic rank of: 258,697 (Source) (A PR news site.)

Page Views per user for Odwyerpr.com: 2.3

Unique Visitors (stats from Compete.com):

Note: For Unique Visitors, the higher the number, the better the performance.

“The Unique Visitors metric only counts a person once no matter how many times they visit a site in a given month. Unique Visitors are typically used to determine how popular a site is. Recommendation: To best understand the popularity of a site, you should consider additional metrics beyond Unique Visitors.” (Source)

propenmic.org – 4,028

myragan.com – 2,616

communitelligence.com – 2,620

higheredexperts.com – 2,187

holmesreport.com – 2,769

odwyerpr.com – 6,505 (A PR news site.)

Monthly Rank (stats from Compete.com): Compete ranks the top one million websites in the U.S. based on the number of People the domain attracts each month. Note: For Monthly Rank, the lower the number, the better the performance.

propenmic.org – 320,921

holmesreport.com – 433,734

communitelligence.com – 453,272

myragan.com – 453,862

higheredexperts.com – 522,866

odwyerpr.com – 217,845 (A PR news site.)

Monthly Visits (stats from Compete.com): The number of visits made to a site. A person can only be counted as one person in a month, but can make multiple site visits. Note: For Monthly Visits, the higher the number, the better the performance.

propenmic.org – 21,434

myragan.com – 13,704

holmesreport.com – 2,933

communitelligence.com – 2,909

higheredexperts.com – 2,547

odwyerpr.com – 9,503

Page Visits Monthly (stats from Compete.com): The number of pages an average person views on each visit to a domain. Note: For Page Visits Monthly, the higher the number, the better the performance.

propenmic.org – 9.7

myragan.com – 15.0

communitelligence.com – 3.5

higheredexperts.com – 1.6

holmesreport.com 8.1

odwyerpr.com 7.9

As you can see below, all sites fluctuate in their traffic over time. PROpenMic’s seems to follow academic terms, to some degree.

There are other statistics. PROpenMic’s average time on site for the 30 day period of Dec. 30 through Jan. 29: 5:05 Avg. Time on Site (Google Analytics) I reported the other stats from Google Analytics in the previous post.

What I take from these findings are that a social network targeted to the right audience, even without significant funding, can be a viable community organizing force. Further, despite all of the additional resources one might have to focus on their social network, some audiences may be engaged by the simplest of means.

Of the above sites I’ve compared PROpenMic to, some of them have remarkable resources and staffs devoted to their online endeavors. Some are million dollar businesses. Some survive quite well with advertising on their sites and subscriptions – enough so as to support those staff writers and IT professionals.

My point is that you, the PROpenMic community, have built something quite remarkable. You make it all happen, after all. I, and the volunteer administrators, just try to welcome you and make you feel comfortable in what is really your site. Sure, there is some management involved, but without your contributions … the site wouldn’t exist and thrive the way it has.

No, PROpenMic isn’t blowing the doors of site rankings and traffic compared to others …. but, that’s not the point, is it. The site is doing what it is supposed to for you the community. And, you’re the ones making it all happen.

I believe this is a good time for a case study. I’m particularly speaking to students here. You know, we’ve been told along the way that PR agencies have built such social networks / sites for clients and billed them out for significant fees. If PROpenMic can succeed for the right audience, imagine what you could do for a client in the future if you have the right audience targeted and the right offering. Could you start a social network like this? I think maybe you could. ;o)

Numbers aren’t really all that important, are they? We have 3,400+ members now and our traffic is equal to or exceeding those that are really reaching out to audiences of 100,000 or 200,000 people. I just find that interesting.

Thank you for all you do to make PROpenMic successful.

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