– by B. T. Newberg
The focus of HP is community. Why?
Though this website started as an outlet for one guy’s thoughts (mine), it soon became clear that there were many others of like mind out there. Pretty quickly, the site began to showcase the writings of other naturalists. Eventually, the site fell into a rhythm of publishing equal amounts of articles by the editor and by guest authors.
There were several reasons for this shift. Showcasing the work of other naturalists provides several benefits. For example, it:
- creates a sense of community
- demonstrates our numbers
- illustrates diversity and breadth
- shows our increasing development and maturity as a movement
Which are more popular, editor articles or guest author articles?
This summer, I took a course in statistics and had to do a project analyzing data. I chose to look at HP. Wondering about our appeal to community, I decided to ask: Which are more popular, the articles by the editor or those by guest authors?
To answer this, I analyzed a seventeen-month period between February of 2012 and June of 2013, looking at the average number of page views garnered by articles published on Sundays (which alternated equally between editor and guest authors during that period).
The result was pretty clear: guest authors garnered significantly more page views than editor articles. I’ll spare you the minutia of the statistical analysis, but on average, guest author articles brought in more than 59% more page views than editor articles.
That’s a shocking disparity. Part of it is due to the fact that some of the most controversial articles have been written by guest authors. Even if the top three guest articles are excluded, however, editor articles still trail behind. In sum, guest author articles are the clear winner.
In terms of HP’s mission, that’s good news. It means people are coming to our site to find more and more people like themselves.
It’s also good news for me as the editor, because I don’t have to worry about writing my own articles if I can focus more on your articles. So, it’s a win-win situation.
Why not more guest author articles?
We’d love to feature even more guest author writing.
The main problem is supply, so send us your articles! You can find our submission guidelines here. Any well-written, sensitive piece related to naturalism, Naturalistic Paganism, or related topics will be considered.
If you’re not a writer yourself, you can also help by sending links to others’ writings that you think would fit in well here. Use the contact form here.
In short, send us your best!
Gaia as the Universe, by Áine Órga
Appearing Sunday, September 1st, 2013