Around 9PM last night KP reached 500,000 unique page visits. That comes a little under two years after we started up (Jan 2009). Â It is not much in the grand scheme of things but as a niche soft-lefty intellectual type of forum based in a small country, it represents decent growth. We average over 500 visits per day and between 7-8000 visits per month, with the largest number of page views directed at posts on domestic topics. Â We get a fair bit of traffic from other NZ political blogs, but search engines, Facebook and twitter are starting to dominate our feeds. Most of our readers are from NZ but we are getting a steady flow of foreign readers as well. Not surprisingly, if the comments thread gets acerbic the number of page reads increases. Even so, and barring some notable transgressions (to which I unhappily have contributed), the overall tone of the discussions on the threads has conformed to the civility guidelines outlined in the comments policy. Of particular interest to me is the tendency of threads to go off-subject even when people are not trolling, and how some of these tangents then take on a life of their own that many times are informative and/or expands my comprehension of tangental subjects. In any case, I believe that KP has been largely been able to show that a political blog can be civil as well as provocative, with just three people banned for malicious trolling (and no, one of them is NOT Russell the anti-communist).
The blog saw readership drop while Anita and Lew were not posting regularly (our lowest total was in October 2011 when both were absent), but has been on the upswing in recent weeks now that both are back on-line, if only sporadically in Anita’s case (the more we see of her posts the better we are). Lew’s posts never fail to generate serious interest and seem to get the most referrals. Weekdays see the most reads (Mondays in particular), with a fair drop off during the weekends. This suggests to me that, although there is a fair bit of evening reading people tend to read KP at work and have better things to do on the weekends.
There is more to the KP demographics but this is just a brief recognition of our progress rather than a dissection of it. I am grateful to have Lew and Anita as partners in this venture and hope that we can continue to contribute to public debate in the months and years to come. In the meantime we shall think about revamping the site and perhaps look for another writing partner whose interests are a bit different than and complementary of ours.