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Obits are a popular link
October 7, 2009 - Art Smith
One of the interesting things about managing a web site is being able to see what people are reading on the site.
One of the things that have always amazed me is how many people look at obituaries on a site. More people look at obits on our site than any other single category on our site except the home page.
Our site is broken into categories such as local news, local sports, letters to the editor and so forth. Each of the sections has a lead-in page that contains the links to the different stories. In the past month the lead in page for obituaries has had 118,143 pageviews. To put it in perspective, the local sports page had 22,710 views. The home page of mariettatimes.com, 248,279.
The home page contains links to many of the stories on the site so some people reach the story level without ever going to the category page. With the obits though they click on the link and check to see who has passed away in the area, apparently clicking through to the actual obit if knew, or knew of, a person.
Having obits online allow people to find out about, and react to, the death of someone regardless of the geographic location of the reader.
In the past month the obits of dozen of people have each been read more than 1,000 times. The top obit on our site was one Mary Ann Waterman, 34, of Marietta who died on Sept. 26. Her obit was viewed online nearly 1,900 times.
Once an obit is loaded on our site, it stays there. Hopefully they will stay there forever. So far we have posted nearly two years of obituaries on the site, which means that in addition to index pages there has been 61,887 views of 634 actual obituaries in the past month. All stories and obituaries that have been uploaded since February of 2008 are still on our site and can be accessed by clicking on the search feature located at the top of this page and every page of the site.
Even though most stories go unread after a few days, they provide a valuable, and searchable, resource for someone looking for information about someone.
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