Since my class topic is Massachusetts’s politics, I had to be careful when selecting a site that posting inaccurate political “facts”, or some other far-left/far-right wacko blog. To make it easier on myself, I simply picked a blog of a government official. The blog I selected is https://blog.mass.gov/governor/, which is “The Official blog of the Office of the Massachusetts Governor,” Charlie Baker.
A lot of the blog is keeping up with what the Governor has been attending, and photos from these events. The set up of the blog looks eerily similar to what most of us have on our wordpress sites, with a “Commonwealth Blogs” blogroll, a word cloud of most popular tags, categories, and archives going back to April of 2015.
I personally enjoy the blog because it gives some idea of what the governor spends his time doing, and explains the events he’s been attending, people he has talked to, and initiatives his office is undertaking.
I think this website could be better if the governor wrote any of these posts himself. A lot of the writing seems to read like a press release or a “look what great things Charlie has been doing” website. Mayor Marty Walsh has his own blog as well, and most (if not all) of the posts are written by him, for his constituents.
Its not possible for readers to engage directly on the blog, rather they direct you to their “Office of Constituent Services, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube channel instead, which is something I think detracts from the website. Although, realistically if someone needs to get in contact with the office, they most likely would be calling the phone line rather than asking questions on his blog. Last month the site got around 74.9k hits.
When I ran it through SimilarWeb, I saw almost 90% of their hits came from the US, and coming in #2 was, surprisingly India, then St. Lucia. However, the average duration visit was 34 seconds. Their bounce rate was 43.16%.
A majority of the traffic sources came from people searching through a website like Google (most popular organic keywords were mbta map, and vote the person not the party) but a surprising amount came from going to the website directly. Those who were referred from other sites came from mass.gov, doe.mass.edu (the Department of Education website).
The website uses no display advertising, however, given its technically a government website, this isn’t surprising since the goal isn’t to make money off the website.