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Visitor and article statistics
Latest figures through early 2016

In May 2011 our then ISP (istnet) changed hands, claimed we were not paid up (we were), took down the website, and did not answer our emails and phone calls. We were forced to sign up with another ISP (iinet) and re-launch under a new web address (.org instead of .com), having been offline for twelve weeks. The change of address meant that our previous hit rate of 400 a week dropped to zero. It is slowly returning and averaged 230 a week in 2015.

Site visitors

Up to the re-launch in 2011 our visitors show a generally increasing trend, with similar variations during each year.
Since the re-launch the trend is again increasing but is less marked, probably due to competition from social media.
The anomalous hits during 2015 are discussed below and are excluded from all means given in the tables and text.

Where our visitors came from
During 2014-2015 the top seven countries were Australia 30%, USA 23%, UK 8%, Canada 5%, India 4%, Brazil 4%, New Zealand 2%, total 76%, much the same as in previous years. About 11% of visitors came more than once.
Article length and readability Length and readability
In July 2013 there were
70 articles whose length
and readabilty were as
shown here. Since then
two articles have been
retired and 5 have been
added with more to come.
The most common article length is 1000-1500 words, which takes 4-6 minutes to read at the average student reading speed of 250 words per minute. The most common reading difficulty is 8-9 as measured by Gunning's Fog Index (Gunning R The Technique of Clear Writing McGraw-Hill 1952 pages 34-39). The index is roughly equal to the grade level required for 90% comprehension. For comparison 6 is required for comics, 9 for Reader's Digest, and 14 for encyclopedias. On this website no article reaches 12, which is the average reading comprehension level of 17-year-olds. To read every article takes about nine hours. Just over half have one or more graphics.

Top twenty hits in 2015
The hits for the top twenty articles in 2015 are shown below:

Hits  Mins  Title
1401 05.5 Divining for Water. Field tests around world
1291 04.9 Planting by the Moon. Tests by a professional gardener
864 06.7 Enough to Make a Statue Weep
794 04.2 IPCC's Abuse of Science. An international scandal
529 06.2 Common Crooked Arguments. And how to deal with them
518 04.4 Divining for Brass and Gold. A 1980 Perth test
457 02.7 Message in a Bottle. Spoiling a good story with facts
376 03.7 Mythbuster TV Classics. Entertainment vs science
323 05.2 Astrology my Passion my Life. A tragic true story
245 01.8 Contact and Meeting Details. For WA Skeptics
240 02.4 How to Write Your Entry. Step-by-step classroom guide
231 07.4 Seeking HMAS 8Sydney8. Weird beliefs delayed discovery
182 08.1 Oxygen is Good. Oxygen-based medical scams
152 05.4 Kinetic Energy. The impossibility of alien spaceships
148 05.3 Chocolate is Good for You
146 01.6 I Can Smell Onions. Psychics useless in Search & Rescue
128 08.3 The $110000 Dowsing Challenge. Randi on why it failed
123 03.3 Cold Reading. Randi on how psychics deceive
104 03.2 Why Astrology is Science. (Book review)
95 03.6 Chariots Old Hat in New Age. Von Daniken self-destructs
90 03.9 Scourge of the Godmen. Fighting deception in India
Comment. During several days in August 2015 there was an anomalous burst of more than 1700 hits on the article IPCC's abuse of science 2: Accusations, malpractice, lies, which was the concluding part of an open letter to Australia's Chief Scientist. Nearly all hits were from Canada. They are shown subdued on the first plot but to avoid bias they are not included in any of the tables including the above table. Their average reading time was 5.6 minutes.

Otherwise over the years the top three articles have tended to be the same. Divining for Water is consistently number one, followed by Planting by the Moon and Enough to make a Statue Weep. For all articles ranked by hits, the rank correlation coefficient for 2013 vs 2014-2015 was a very high 0.93 on a scale of 0-1, confirming (1) that the relative popularity of articles on this website is surprisingly constant, and (2) that is was little affected by making the home page easier to navigate in November 2013.

Top twenty screen times in 2015
The average screen times for the top twenty articles in 2015 are shown below.

Hits  Mins  Title
18 09.2 Psychic for a Day. MS fakes four techniques on TV
40 08.9 Undeceiving Ourselves. Why our thinking goes astray
128 08.3 The $110000 Dowsing Challenge. Randi on why it failed
182 08.1 Oxygen is Good. Oxygen-based medical scams
231 07.4 Seeking HMAS 8Sydney8. Weird beliefs delayed discovery
77 07.3 Acupuncture. Getting to the real point of it all
19 07.0 Books and Magazines. Critical of the paranormal
27 06.9 Psychic for a Day. KC able to deceive after 24h practice
864 06.7 Enough to Make a Statue Weep
17 06.7 Teaching Pigs to Sing. As in bringing sense to believers
38 06.3 Can you Detect Hoaxes? See why it's not easy
529 06.2 Common Crooked Arguments. And how to deal with them
74 06.1 Cereal Killers. A look at corn circles
78 05.6 Crash Course in Critical Thinking
1401 05.5 Divining for Water. Field tests around world
152 05.4 Kinetic Energy. The impossibility of alien spaceships
148 05.3 Chocolate is Good for You
323 05.2 Astrology my Passion my Life. A tragic true story
1291 04.9 Planting by the Moon. Tests by a professional gardener
18 04.5 Before WA Skeptics Began. A 1980 group in Perth
For all articles the average time on screen is 3.0 minutes.
Hits vs time Hits vs time on screen
Unsurprisingly the time
on screen increases with
popularity. The correlation
r depends on year but is
typically 0.30 (p = 0.01)

Top four articles in each category
The top four articles by hits in 2015 in each home page category are shown below:

Hits  Mins  Title
WA Skeptics Awards
240 02.4 How to Write Your Entry. Step-by-step classroom guide
34 03.5 Critical Thinking in the Classroom. Views on the Awards
24 01.4 Sixteen Examples of Entries. See what others did
16 00.6 About the Awards. Everything you need to know
Classroom Resources
529 06.2 Common Crooked Arguments. And how to deal with them
78 05.6 Crash Course in Critical Thinking
19 07.0 Books and Magazines. Critical of the paranormal
13 00.8 Links. Skeptic sites useful for secondary schools
Investigations by WA Skeptics
864 06.7 Enough to Make a Statue Weep
794 04.2 IPCC's Abuse of Science. An international scandal
518 04.4 Divining for Brass and Gold. A 1980 Perth test
457 02.7 Message in a Bottle. Spoiling a good story with facts
Weird Things meet Critical Thinking
1401 05.5 Divining for Water. Field tests around world
1291 04.9 Planting by the Moon. Tests by a professional gardener
323 05.2 Astrology my Passion my Life. A tragic true story
182 08.1 Oxygen is Good. Oxygen-based medical scams
About WA Skeptics
245 01.8 Contact and Meeting Details. For WA Skeptics
64 01.5 Skeptics in the Pub. A new Perth group
58 01.4 Go with Australian Skeptics. History etc
36 00.6 History of WA Skeptics. Highlights 1980-1995

Any suggestions?
We welcome your comments about this website. Send them to: WA Skeptics, Box 466, Subiaco WA 6904.
We regret that our previous email address is no longer operational.

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