After my first encounter with Al Jazeera’s American website, I was ready to begin with real introductions. First of all, how many people look at this website? From which country are the site’s visitors from? And how does that compare with other news services on line? Well, Google Trends provided me with some answers, albeit partial, to these questions. By just looking at Al Jazeera results there is some important information that I can gather.
If I just search for Al Jazeera, the chart will show me that the website has had a constant number hits from 2005 to 2013, with a significant peak in 2011. If we observe the regional interest, that is the countries that search for Al Jazeera on Google the most, we can see that the Middle East is the main focus. If I changed the search for “Al Jazeera America“, I would only find significant hits from the past few months and mainly in the United States. That is because it is a rather recent website and it is targeted specifically for American audiences. If I compare Al Jazeera with other news services I learn that it has a smaller amount of hits, except again in 2011, when the Middle East was going through a particular period of political and social unrest.
CNN (the green line) remains the most searched among the television news providers. While Al Jazeera hardly keeps up with MSNBC and ABC News. This survey on Google Trends might not be complete, but it still provides us with a useful insight to begin with.
Going back to the actual site, I would like to devote my attention to how Al Jazeera includes it’s readers into the conversation. As I said in my previous post, the Al Jazeera website allows you to easily add comments to an article or video by logging in with any social media account:
In todays article on the chemical weapons decision in Syria, in the Spotlight box on the left side of the web home page, there have been a number of comments in the past 24 hours. The article tries to decipher the possible calculations that the Assad regime might be making in regards to the chemical weapons issue and it opened a rather vast debate on the subject.
I checked out Topsy for how Twitter in particular regarded the Al Jazeera website and the results mainly positive. Even thought the air launch was a flop and did not have many views (about 27.000 views, last I checked) the online site seems to have had positive feedback. Especially regarding the look and feel of the page and the long format section.
This wraps it up for today. Overall, even though Al Jazeera America did not prove very successful in the US, the website still seems to offer pretty good results especially relating to how people can respond and react to news through social media. It would seem that the money used for the web design was well spent!