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Mapping GeoCurrents Readership

Submitted by on August 7, 2012 – 7:48 pm 7 Comments |  
One of the GeoCurrents’ goals is to map the spatial distribution of various aspects of the human condition, but one thing we have not yet mapped is our own readership. This proves to be a difficult task as in many cases we have little way of knowing where they reside.The statistics provided by Google Analytics (see map on the left, created by Kevin Morton) show a clear dominance of the United States, but other countries blur into almost the same category. The fact that the United Kingdom is home to nearly six times as many readers as the Netherlands hardly registers on this map. Nor is anything revealed about country-internal data. But the one tool that does allow us to get a better glimpse into the geography of our readership is Facebook. With over 500 “likes” on GeoCurrents Facebook page we can see some patterns of where our more regular readers come from.

As would be expected, more than a third of our fans come from the United States, and a hefty proportion of those hail from GeoCurrents’ home-state of California. Of the three cities with the most “likes” (13 each), two are in California: San Diego and Stanford. Other Californian cities where GeoCurrents is particularly popular include San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Lakeside. The third city at the top of the list is London, UK, while the United Kingdom places third in the list of “likes” by country. The popularity of GeoCurrents in English-speaking countries is, of course, unsurprising, given that we write in English. Over the last few months we have received several requests to make our materials available in Spanish, Russian, and other languages, but at the moment we are regretfully unable to do so. Nonetheless we are being read in non-English-speaking countries as well, and several of our readers have reposted our articles in translation. The second spot in the country list is occupied by Brazil, with a whopping 62 “likes” (compared to UK’s 25, Canada’s 14, and Australia’s 5). Three Brazilian cities—Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Teresina—appear in the “likes”-by-city list. To date, we have written only a few posts on Brazil and we should definitely do more. However, language barriers do not appear to stop our readers: nearly a 100 “likes” come from speakers of a Romance language (Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, French, or Catalan), 15 from speakers of a Slavic language (Russian, Polish, or Bosnian), while other readers speak German, Dutch, Turkish, Greek, Norwegian, Persian, Basque, or Arabic.

In addition to language, the popularity of Facebook itself around the world affects our figures. As can be seen from the map of Facebook connections around the world, created by Facebook’s Paul Butler, this site is not equally popular around the world. Other social networking sites dominate in certain regions, such as Orkut in India and South America, Vkontakte and Odnolassniki in Russia, and Ren Ren and Q Zone in China. Nonetheless, GeoCurrents picked up 19 “likes” from India and 12 “likes” from Russia. The latter—as well as relatively high popularity in Armenia (8 “likes”) and Georgia (4 “likes”)—may be due to our special series that focused on those regions.

But whether our fans come from Italy or Israel, Pakistan or the Philippines, Spain or Slovakia, or even from Saudi Arabia (where we have 3 fans), we are happy to have such an international outreach. Moreover, we welcome comments and criticisms from informed readers, questions from the curious minds, and suggestions for topics and places to explore. If you feel that your country is underrepresented, now is a particularly good time to write us a comment, “like” us on Facebook, tweet about us, subscribe via RSS or via email, as all these things give you an entry into the GeoCurrents contest which will allow the winner to receive a free personalized world traveler wall map from ($169 value). And of course, come back for more on peoples, places, and languages shaping current events.



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  • Steven

    Greetings from Kazakhstan! Keep up the good work!

    • Asya Pereltsvaig

      Thanks, Steven!

  • Fred Freitas

    Greetings from São Paulo/Stanford!

    • Asya Pereltsvaig


  • Maxim Maximov
    1. United States = 28.2%
    2. India = 25.2%
    3. Romania = 19.1%

    • Asya Pereltsvaig

      Thanks! That Romania shows up so strongly here but not in any other metric is curious. Anyway, don’t forget to make as many entries as possible for the contest!

      • Maxim Maximov

        I’m very glad american students have such teacher like you. They deserve it.