- The data page draws a lot of visitors, especially the state salary database. But Brubaker expects the vital stats database will overtake it in the next year.
- Photo galleries drive big traffic, as long as they're linked from the home page.
- Reader-submitted photos, submitted using TextAmerica, are starting to generate some steady interest, as are the community (hyperlocal) pages.
- The site offers a lot of "interactivity," including quizzes, giveaways and games. The spelling quiz and age game at the top right on this page are examples of the interactive graphics produced by the graphics staff.
- Their fueling Iowa's future page features interactive content such as Google maps to locate biodiesel centers. Obviously, this is a major issue for them, and I think this page shows the value of grouping and archiving related content. Check out all the videos and graphics.
- Finally, on the heels of IndyMoms.com, Des Moines has launched a moms special-interest site. This is a good example of the kind of online community the paper and its site can help create. Once this takes off, Brubaker expects the paper will use some of this new functionality in sports and elsewhere on the site.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Driving traffic in Des Moines
Randy Brubaker, the ME at The Des Moines Register, told me in April about some of the big draws on their Web site DesMoinesRegister.com. They're doing a lot of innovative things there in a newsroom basically comparable to ours. (They've got about 200; the paper has changed some jobs, reassigned and not filled some positions in order to create new online jobs.) I'd especially recommend Juice, their site for 25- to 34-year-olds.