April 26, 2012
START’s website proves valuable, well-used resource
Government usage of site, GTD has increased 440 percent
With more web traffic than ever before – more than 16 million page views at www.start.umd.edu – 2011 proved to be a banner year for the START Consortium. START’s website is now receiving more than 2 million unique visits a year, an increase of 270 percent since 2009. More than 1,200 educational institutions and more than 1,000 nonprofits, think tanks and other influential organizations are turning to start.umd.edu each year to inform research, policy and best practices. Government usage of the site and Global Terrorism Database has increased 440 percent since 2009.
Data from the first quarter of 2012 shows that web traffic is continuing that upward trajectory and further establishing start.umd.edu as a critical website for terrorism research in the scholarly and government communities. Between Jan. 1 and March 31 of this year, START’s website received more than 6 million page views, an increase of nearly 266 percent over last year’s corresponding quarter. Of the users who spent more than a minute on the website, 56 percent spent more than 10 minutes on the site.
In the previous quarter, START’s Global Terrorism Database was downloaded by approximately two hundred individuals or organizations per month, up from 150 downloads per month on average last year. START makes 18 other datasets publicly available through its website as well, filling an empirical gap in terrorism studies and elevating the starting point of research and analysis for thousands of analysts and researchers per year.
Year-to-date, the website has averaged about 208,000 visits per month, with the largest spike of visits occurring in February upon the publication of START’s “Hot Spots of Terrorism” report (LaFree and Bersani) and the resulting news media coverage.
START has also increased its presence on social media channels. START’s Twitter feed now has more than 980 followers, a Facebook community that has grown by 25 percent since February and a newly created LinkedIn page being followed by industry leaders and professionals.