The State of AAR: August 2009

While many people were on vacation during August, it was a busy month for AAR staff and readers. We’re proud of what’s happening at AAR and wanted to share some of it with you in a once-a-month report. This is the first of those reports.

A lot of new content was added to AAR in August. As always, our primary focus is reviews, and we posted 50 new reviews – including seven DIKs – in August. In addition to the reviews, we added a variety of other new content, including 20 new posts here at the AAR News and Commentary Blog, and 22 at AAR After Hours.

Both AAR’s own statistics, and those available at Alexa, confirm that visits to AAR have increased steadily over the course of 2009. At the end of August, AAR’s traffic rank at Alexa was 97,264, a very good number indeed (anything under 100,000 is something to be proud of), and up 76 percent according to Alexa’s figures.

It’s hard to get a handle on exactly what Alexa’s traffic rank means in terms of actual visitors. For that, we can rely on the statistics provided by AAR’s Web host. During August, there were 506,572 visits to AAR by 127,805 unique visitors. This is a 76 percent increase in monthly visits since January of 2009. During their visits, readers visited an average of five different pages at AAR.

We’re very proud of all of the interactive features at AAR, and it’s clear AAR’s readers enjoy them as well. The reader forums were busy during August, with 164 new threads generating 1,579 reader comments. But the comments only tell a portion of the story. A lot of us lurk on the forums, while others of us comment once on a thread, and then check back periodically to see what others have written. This activity is substantially larger than the number of comments, as is evidenced by the number of views of most threads. For example, a thread on Recent Books Read and Rated – Aug/Sep 2009 had 81 comments through the end of August, but over 5,600 views. The Suggestions for Next AAR Book Club thread had 44 comments, but 1,737 views. Rest assured, whether many people comment or not, people are reading what you write on the forums, in massive numbers.

We strive to be the best romance reader Web site on the Internet and we have you all to thank for our continued success. See you back here next month.

- LinnieGayl Kimmel

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13 Responses to The State of AAR: August 2009

  1. MMcA says:

    Not so much a comment, just to take the chance to say thanks to everyone that’s involved with running the site, or writing reviews.
    It’s such a well run site, and it’s easy to take your work for granted.
    So -thanks for taking the time & effort to do this for everyone.


  2. xina says:

    Thanks for all your hard work to keep AAR running so smoothly and with such success. I’ve loved it for almost 10 years. Here’s to 10 more.

  3. Elaine S says:

    Well done! It’s a great achivement for all concerned over the last 10 years. I’ve been lurking since 2000 and a member for several years. Truly enjoy my visits.

  4. msaggie says:

    Thanks for the marvellous work you all do at AAR to keep us up-to-date with books, and make forums available for discussions. I get withdrawal symptoms when I can’t access AAR – this happened last week when I visited my sister in Australia – unfortunately the internet server she uses is currently not able to access AAR (I managed to get on last year when I visited her) – and I thought AAR was down the whole time I was there (and I was wondering how come it took so long to fix it) until Rachel Potter (AAR Rachel) told me AAR was running perfectly fine.

    Unfortunately many of the books reviewed at AAR aren’t quite my cup of tea – but I come to AAR mainly to discuss the 10% or so of the books reviewed here which I have read – perhaps the many lurkers too who outnumber those who actually post on forums are like me!

  5. LinnieGayl says:

    Thanks, ladies, for your comments.

    msaggie and Elaine, I’m particularly interested in the numbers of the views. While I’ve been visiting AAR since the beginning, I never even posted here, let alone thought about reviewing or doing anything like that, until about three years ago. So, as a long-time lurker, it makes me feel comfortable to know there are lots of others like me.

  6. Tee says:

    Even though I’m still in somewhat of a two-year reading slump here, I can’t imagine not being able to access AAR. It’s all about romance, but it’s so much more, too. Even for those of us who have ventured beyond romance, there are people here to whom we can relate along with the books they read. I appreciate the honesty and open-mindedness that is so evident here on the boards. I never thought disagreeing could be as much fun as agreeing can. It all is possible because of the kind of people that frequent the site, along with their attitudes.

  7. Cindy W says:

    Ladies, I don’t say it enough, but that you all for all the time put in to this site. It’s one of my favorites and your work is loved and appreciated!

  8. Cindy W says:

    I meant, THANK you all. Duh.

  9. Janet W says:

    I’m all about transparency: is there a reason why AAR is posting stats, explaining advertising policy, yadda yadda lately?

    Lately there has certainly been RomLand criticism (not AAR in particular) for:

    a) accepting free books/arcs
    b) soliciting advertising
    c) giving away freebies
    d) having author interviews

    I personally don’t agree — NO ONE could read your reviews, over a ten year period, and think that your reviews were influenced by free books/advertising. Freebies — I dunno: I guess we’re all hopeful of getting something for nothing. At least you don’t require a review from someone who gets wins a book.

    Author interviews fascinate me: I learned so much about Mary Balogh when The Good, The Bad and the Ugly review site interviewed her the other day. I love the stuff Word Wenches does. I figure people who don’t like author interviews should probably not read them!

    But seriously, what’s the big deal?

  10. AAR Sandy says:

    JanetW, we plan to post stats on a regular basis now — nothing defensive about it, we are just trying to get the word out there.

  11. Fran says:

    I can’t remember if I’ve ever posted here. If I did it was only a couple of times. BUT I adore your site. It’s the first one I go to every morning and I check it out several times during the rest of the day. And usually right before I retire. For me it’s simply the best site to become informed of books, authors, reviews, news, opinions and just plain fun. Forgive me for not expressing my gratitude before now. Thank you, Thank you!
    Your work is most appreciated by me and by the numbers it appears that it’s appreciated by thousands. That’s an awesome accomplishment.
    Again, THANK YOU.

  12. dreamweaver says:

    I just wanted to say thanks to AAR for this excellent forum! I can’t tell you how many great books I have read and how many new-to-me authors I have found because of discussions and reviews on the boards here. Keep up the great work!

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