Thursday, November 30, 2006

So What's It All Mean? Part 2 - Most Viewed Pages

A discussion of the most commonly viewed pages on the CSU, Chico Web site.

This post is based on this analysis.

In some ways there is less to learn from the list of most viewed pages than there is from the most popular searches.

For one thing, many of these pages are buried deep within the hierarchy and are part of specific courses. Certainly, "Skull Model" (#14) and "Indian Caste System" (#17) are parts of very popular courses. The Skull Model has been around for years and has always been a highly viewed page.

One thing that is new is the rise of social networking pages, like "Progressive Students Union WIKI" (#2) and "Taiwanese Students Association" (#8, #19). Pages like these aren't part of the "official campus web presence" that is somewhat centrally maintained. So, though they are an important part of what is going on on campus, they aren't about to appear on the home page any time soon.

What's left is pretty much the usual suspects; library, class schedule, campus directory, catalog, etc. Student Computing is prominent, but that's because all of their labs computers use that as a home page.

There are a number of "deep link" pages in the top 30 most viewed pages. Some of these, like "Job Opportunities" (#21) are important enough to consider placing on the home page. However, most of the deep links can be reached via from the home page via a main page link (e.g., "Athletics - Baseball" can be reached from the "Athletics" link on the home page). The only real anomoly is the "Career Planning - Cover Letter Examples" page (#6). This page might have been used in a course or other activity, so without hard evidence I'd hesitate to consider placing a link to this on the home page.

Overall, based on the analysis, most of the bases are covered with respect to having the most viewed pages linked from the home page.

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