Noelene Duckett, Editor – Range Management Newsletter. Email: email@example.com
As the Range Management Newsletter (RMN) Editor for many years, I had often wondered what newsletter articles were attracting people’s interest and whether in fact anyone was reading the RMN at all!
Since August 2020, this mystery has been solved as the number of pageviews for each newsletter has been tracked on the ARS website by Google Analytics. This has given us a much better idea of how many people are looking at each issue and what articles are gaining the most views.
Which issues have received the most views?
There have been 2301 views of the RMN since Google Analytics were installed (see Table 1). Looking at the recent issues (since August 2020), the overall trend has remained fairly steady with an average of 214 views per issue. While these average numbers do suggest a reasonable number of viewers, it is disappointing that in some months the number of views slips below the number of ARS members (average ARS membership of ~200) suggesting that some members are not interacting with the newsletter.
On the other hand, it was great to see that people are seeking out issues in the RMN archive. Follow-up examination of the data suggests that lots of different issues are being accessed, including both recent issues and those from many years ago.
Table 1. Number of views for RMN issues on the ARS website from 4 August 2020 to 1 March 2023 as tracked by Google Analytics. Data collected for archived issues (those published prior to August 2020) have been combined for all years.
|Number of Views|
|RAN 74/1 – RMN 20/1||1974 – April 2020||564|
Which articles have received the most views?
I have compiled a list of the 15 most viewed articles since August 2020 (Table 2). From this we can see that a variety of articles are popular including conference information, obituaries of people who have lived and/or worked in the rangelands as well as longer research-based articles. Not surprisingly, higher numbers of views were seen in articles that were promoted via social media and/or ARS member emails (eg Gresley Wakelin-King’s A Personal journey in Australian geomorphology article in issue 21/2 which was promoted via Facebook and Paul Novelly’s What’s your view of dingoes in the rangelands? article in issue 22/2 which was promoted via an email to members), suggesting that both of these tools may be successful in attracting increased readership. Many of the most viewed articles also had natural longevity (ie were not time-specific/related to current events) and may have been viewed as a result of internet searches for specific rangelands research topics.
Table 2. The top fifteen most viewed RMN articles on the ARS website from 4 August 2020 to 1 March 2023 as tracked by Google Analytics.
What does this all mean?
The Google Analytics data has helped to illustrate some interesting patterns in the newsletter readership and highlight some future discussion points:
- People do look at the newsletter – both the current issue and the archive
- Promotion of the newsletter via the Society’s social media channels or from ‘reminder emails’ to ARS members does appear increase pageviews
- Not all ARS members appear to view the newsletter. Why is this and what can we do to increase ARS members readership (apart from the obvious social media and email promotion)? Are there other ways we can promote the newsletter outside the ARS?
- While people are attracted to articles related to high-profile time-specific events (eg ARS and IRC Conferences) a majority of the most viewed papers were about rangelands people and research. What can we do to attract more of these types of articles in the newsletter?
Please let me know your thoughts and ideas about the content and promotion of the Range Management Newsletter. I’d love to hear from you!