the edmontonian: statistics

When I received the email from Jeff & Sally informing me that the edmontonian would soon be ending, I was shocked. I didn’t see it coming. Yesterday was the final day, and I’m still sad about it! I know they’ll be back at some point, but the edmontonian itself is no more. I’m glad I got to interview the duo about the decision, but I also wanted to do a tribute post of sorts. Fortunately, I knew right away what it should be – statistics!

The following statistics cover the edmontonian from the very first post on June 15, 2009 up to but not including the announcement on August 29, 2011.

  • Number of posts: 1572
  • Number of words written: 532,595
  • Number of comments: 3865

That works out to an average of 2.8 posts per day. Here’s what the breakdown looks like per month:

As you can see they posted slightly more at the beginning and then settled into a steady rhythm. The most posts came in July 2009 (perhaps due to the airport debate) while the fewest came in December 2009. The monthly average was 58.2 posts.

Here’s the breakdown by time of day:

Most entries were posted between 10am and 12pm, with another spike between 3pm and 4pm. A significant number of the edmontonian’s posts were headlines, which Jeff often posted mid-morning, so the graph doesn’t really surprise me. This word cloud shows you just how much of a fixture the headlines were at the edmontonian:

That was generated by including all 1572 post titles. If you remove those two words, you get this word cloud:

I didn’t realize how prominently the time of year was featured until I went through this exercise. It shows up in the tags as well. Very interesting! The average length of a post title was 29 characters or 5 words, with the longest being 30 words (fittingly that post was among the shortest for content, containing only images). This one was also quite long at 28 words.

One of my favorite things about the edmontonian was their willingness to link to other stuff. They linked a lot. In total, they posted 17,416 unique links! Of those, 2217 were links to their own stuff. A significant chunk of the rest went to local media. Here are the domains they linked to more than 100 times:

  • edmontonjournal.com (3170)
  • theedmontonian.com (2217)
  • edmontonsun.com (1551)
  • cbc.ca (983)
  • edmonton.ctv.ca (768)
  • 630ched.com (587)
  • metronews.ca (457)
  • globaltvedmonton.com (349)
  • youtube.com (345)
  • shareedmonton.ca (342)
  • imdb.com (297)
  • yeglive.ca (272)
  • inews880.com (266)
  • seemagazine.com (241)
  • twitter.com (238)
  • vueweekly.com (224)
  • edmonton.ca (204)
  • calgaryherald.com (196)
  • edmontonexaminer.com (191)
  • facebook.com (181)
  • thegatewayonline.ca (168)
  • vancouversun.com (121)
  • en.wikipedia.org (110)

The average length of a post at the edmontonian was 2109 characters or 399 words. The longest was 2135 words. Here’s what a word cloud of all the post content looks like:

All Edmonton, all the time.

Without a doubt, the edmontonian was good at generating a discussion about the things happening in our city. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of that discussion probably took place off the blog (they’ve posted more than 8500 tweets) but I’m still impressed by the number of comments they amassed (an average of 2.5 per post). I would have loved their numbers during my first three years of blogging! This post had the most comments at 96.

These statistics are interesting, but of course they don’t reflect all the passion and hard work that Jeff & Sally have put into the edmontonian over the past three years. They’ve set the bar high for local blogs!

  • Jeff

    When we got over 2 comments per post I was pretty happy. And, you’re right, plenty of interaction happened on Twitter (and even Facebook). I think that came from actually using the Twitter account like a human, and not worrying about getting people back to the site for page views.

    It’s pretty wild to see some of those stats and word clouds. 17,000 links is sort of so many I can’t even wrap my head around it! If there’s one takeaway for other media and bloggers on that, it’s that you can link out to others all day and people will come back for content they deem good.

    The Vancouver Sun and Calgary Herald got so many links because of Google Alerts for “Edmonton” and “Alberta” stories the Edmonton Journal posted, but ended up on other Postmedia (formerly Canwest) sites. I’m sure the same thing would happen with the Journal’s site having stories from papers in the chain’s cities.