When we first built the WUGC CellMap, the WUGC organizers were too swamped to link it (I'm a volunteer for Worlds, and I've seen how much work was put into this). So, I wondered: how can we promote this map so people can download it? I know it's something that will be extremely useful, especially for the international visitors that will be attending Worlds.
Then, I saw that the latest forum postings are shown as top level links, right on the navigation pane on the left. This is a great way to get people to participate in the forums, as all the latest messages are shown on every page (since it's part of the nav pane).
So, I made a post in the forum, and waited and see.
Now, I put the CellMap up in the afternoon of July 30. I didn't know what kind of traffic we would have. It was a bit of a "wait and see" approach, but trying to harness the top-level link.
And was it ever powerful.
Without any other type of advertising (other than its prime location), we had over 100 hits in a day!
I wondered how much traction it would've gotten if it was under the venue/competition sub pages, and I have a feeling that it would not get nearly as many. I didn't know whether the webmaster would have enough time to put it under there, so I made an effort to keep the link on the front page. I didn't want to make unnecessary bumps, since that's just bad etiquette. Thus, I made a concerted effort to have useful info and tangible updates to keep it near the top. I updated the schedule, revamped the download page (MUCH more user friendly now).
When it finally made its way officially onto the Venues and Competition pages, I stopped posting so we can see how much that would affect traffic. Interestingly, it didn't dent traffic too much (but it DID go down). That could mean a variety of things, and I have two hypotheses.
- One, is that word of mouth has taken place. Some people are running around with a CellMap, and are showing it off. (We've had good feed back right on the forum).
- Two, is that people are purpose driven. If someone is looking at the venues, and comes across a link for CellMap, they'll be intrigued, and check it out. If the visitor isn't looking for a CellMap, having a top level link won't attract them.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to drop us a line!