Congratulations to Year 3 students for breaking the Centre for Journalism record for traffic visiting their web site for an assessed news day last Friday.
Their Buzz News site, which they built using Wordpress and populated with content between 9am and 5pm, attracted 1,397 unique visitors, and 6,958 page views over 24 hours. That beats the previous record held by last year's group, whose Topline web site saw 900 unique visitors and 6,423 page views over the same period.
Once again, the project proves the value of breaking news and original content. The top-ranking story was the tragic death of 'hoax nurse' Jacintha Saldhana - with which the Buzz News team was very quick off the mark.
Other high-ranking stories included Jemma Rogers' interactive interview with Snow Patrol, Tania Steere's interactive feature about the Ghanaian elections, Nick Duffy's news story about the Brighton lecturer screening an AIDS-denying film, Scott Mitchell's story about local band Czechmate, and Tania's exclusive news story about allegations of poor standards in a care home.
The project also shows the value of social media in driving web traffic. It's no mean feat to create an audience completely from scratch, and this year's group used Facebook particularly effectively. Facebook referrals accounted for more than half of all visits.
The trend towards an increasing use of mobile devices to access news content is also evident from the figures. Nearly one third of all visits was via a mobile device (including tablets). The Apple iPhone was the most popular (360 visits) followed by the iPad (64 visits).
The attached pdf files show more detailed traffic data for those who want to analyse them.