This month is a busy one and two activities that were going on side-by-side last week were (1) writing an outline grant proposal to further develop SLiMSuite (servers and programs) and SLiMdb, and (2) dig up possible "impact" for the upcoming REF. Part of this has featured digging into Google Analytics data for both the bioware servers and my homepage.
Sadly, I stupidly neglected to monitor the documentation and download pages for SLiMSuite (now rectified) but I could get visit data from the webservers and the results made fairly happy reading, especially when compared to the citation metrics associated with the relevant papers.
The bioware.ucd.ie front page currently receives around 350 visits a month from across the world, with 4,174 visits in the period 1 May '11 to 30 Apr '12. Ireland is currently the main user, reflecting the fact that the current host of these resources is University College Dublin, although the balance seems to be shifting towards America now. (Given the amount of science being done there, you would expect the US to be number 1.) Germany and the UK complete the top 4 (again not surprising in terms of both science and presence of participating/collaborating labs) but the usual suspects (India, Canada, Israel, China) are all in there too, which is good to see. The servers themselves receive around 500-1000 page views a month, with the top five servers visited in the period 1/5/11-30/4/12 being: 1. SLiMFinder (2,651 views); 2. SLiMPred (1,812 views); 3. SLiMSearch 2.0 (1,721 views); 4. SLiMSearch 1.0 (805 views); 5. CompariMotif (653 views).
This is all well and good - these are published servers - and hopefully will continue to increase over time, particularly if we can get more funding for development. The thing that surprised me, though, was when I looked at the usage stats for the UPGMA walkthrough I made for a Year 2 practical that I run with a colleague. This website got 5,721 visits in the same period (1 May '11 to 30 Apr '12) - 37% more hits than the bioware front page. This number is also on the rise with nearly 1000 hits last month, due in part to the fact that it now appears on the UPGMA wikipedia page.
This perhaps should not be surprising but when you consider that UPGMA is a largely obsolete method used predominantly for teaching (and quick and dirty clustering) and I knocked up the website in an evening or two, while SLiMFinder is a cutting-edge bioinformatics tool that represents years of hard work, it is still a little depressing. I guess I should make more educational web pages...