“Joining the Crowd: Connecting a Digital History Project to the Web,” Data – Asset – Method Network Workshop – So you think you’re an expert?, University of Nottingham, January 15, 2013
This paper examines efforts to attract an audience to the site Digital Harlem: Everyday Life, 1915-1930. It discusses the Digital Harlem Blog, which consists of posts contextualizing particular maps and incorporating images from other sources, and its use to make contributions to Wikipedia pages related to 1920s Harlem, and then examines basic analytic data from the blog and the site. The analytics for the blog show a steady increase in visitors, most directed by search engines, with the two largest sources of referrals being the site and Wikipedia. However, the most popular search terms are topics incidental to the focus of the site; on the other hand, there are 13 pages of terms that have brought at least 5 visitors to the blog. Visits to the site itself are smaller in number, many of who come directly. Of those directed by referrers, most came via the blog, with only 16 search engine terms bringing five or more users to the site. Those numbers suggest the importance of the blog in drawing attention to the site, but the overall numbers are dwarfed by visitor figures for the Wikipedia pages on Harlem, showing the challenges of attracting a crowd.