You may remember that earlier this year, I launched Autism Hub in an effort to centralise the blogging efforts of people who blogged along themes associated with autism – what they all have in common is no interest in curing autism. Some bloggers are parents, some are autistic people, some are scientists – some are all three!
However, I was totally unprepared for how successful the Hub would become in such a short space of time. There are now over 30 members whereas the Hub began with less than 20. I have at least 4 applications sitting in my inbox right now waiting for me to deal with them. The Hub sends each of its members a simply mind-boggling amount of traffic. I don’t know if any of the other Hub members are as obsessive about stat tracking as I am (and seeing as not a few are with Blogger, that would prove to be tricky) but every _week_ sees an increase – and from an increasingly diverse audience. Personally, I’ve had referrals from a .uk.gov source, a .nhs.uk source, the CDC in the US, the FDA in the US – what _seems_ to be the Canadian autism association – the Times, Guardian, Daily Mail (snigger) and erm, The Sun newspaper in the UK and a variety of US newspapers I don’t know very well aside from the New York Times and (I think) the Boston Globe.
And of course, there’s the ever-watching, ever-silent mercury militia. Hi guys )
In terms of numbers, I (_this_ site) get(s) around 1000 unique visits a day via the Hub. Its difficult to tell how many visitors the Hub itself gets because its not the sort of site that _gets_visitors, more the sort of site to _distribute_ visitors, but just about every Hub members places a small (less than 5kb) graphic on their sites. So far this month (7 days) this graphic has processed 86mb of data – this means that single graphic has been seen by 17,613 people. that works out to about 75,000 unique visitors a month, or 2,500 per day. And that’s not counting the over 400 people who access the feeds direct from the 2 feeds the Hub has.
This has all happened in less than 3 months. Incredible.
And yet, the Hub itself has become a victim of this success – its not a very flexible design and is begging for a decent bit of information architecture applied to it. I’ve recently expanded both the front page and the RSS feeds – this is just the beginning of what needs to be a fairly substantial overhaul.
I am delighted that so many people are interested in a more ‘no need to cure’ point of view than some people (ahem) might feel comfortable with – it gives me a sense of hope that our children and our adult friends and colleagues may have a slightly less judgemental future than was previously feared.
The Hub bloggers are doing a great thing – they are disseminating truth, respect, positivity, objectivity and tolerance. I thank each and every one of them and I promise to continue developing a site worthy of their efforts.