Metropole Gains Readers

photo: cafe le manoir

A café for Saturday shoppers, near the Opéra.

New Layout For 'Scene' Pages

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 22. November 1999:- For the first time since Metropole went over to a '.COM' Web address at the beginning of September, I have received reader statistics for a complete month.

While I was out of touch with the numbers, yours seem to have increased by 25 percent, or about 2500 extra readers a month. This is above the last 'high' for the year in June. Before June, the monthly increase was in the range of 10 to 15 percent per month.

For some reason, even though the Web runs on computers, it cannot count very accurately and a whole 11,500-odd are 'unresolved.' What the 'counter' does is indicate which country you live in. The 'unresolved' means that the Web does not know where you are.

What the counter does not do is give me your home town, street address, phone number and creditphoto: printemps, haussmann rating. When you do write, I save the emails. Sometimes you put in everything except your credit rating, but it all stays here and does not go back to the Web.

All of a sudden, all of Paris' 'Grands Magazins' now have menswear.

'Metropole Paris' readers live in 78 different countries - or did in October. Residents of the United States form the largest single block of readers and account for about 40 percent of the pages viewed. Readers in the other 77 countries accounted for 60 percent of the pages.

By dividing the total number of pages by the number of readers, each of you reads an average of six pages a month. Obviously, some of you know you read more than six - other readers 'find' Metropole by accident and perhaps only look at one page before going elsewhere.

In October, Metropole was accessed from China. But I don't know if one reader there looked at two pages, or two readers looked at one page each. This is another 'unresolved' factor.

There is a clear trend of rising readership in European countries. South America is also going up steadily. The numbers even show a large readership in France.

By 'even show,' I mean this is what the numbers say - but this is not confirmed by your emails. For example, I know of about a dozen people in France who read Metropole occasionally, but this handful cannot account for looking at over 3000 pages - which is more than is accessed by the .EDU domain in the United States.

School children write to me from this .EDU domain to ask questions about Paris. I don't really expect readers in France to do the same; because some of you know more about it than I do. But even complaints are welcome. 'Tips' and chat are welcome too.

Although Metropole is published in English, emails written in any language are welcome. If I cannot read these on the spot, it is no problem to get translations for - any - languages you may choose to use. Paris has them all.

It is hard for people who have never been on the Web to understand what it is, what it can be.

My numbers tell me which pages are viewed each month. All of Metropole, going back to 1996, contains nearly 1800 pages. In October, you looked at 1140 different ones.

This means that Metropole is not only a weekly magazine about events in Paris in the present, but it is also a vast storage place of all sorts of information about Paris. This is the part non-Web people do not understand.

Even though Metropole does not exist on paper, its life does not expire each Monday when the new edition comes out. This is very different from any other form of media we have had until now.

Five or six years ago there were people working in 'think tanks' who used to make fantastic predictions about what the Internet and the Webphoto: quick, st lazare could do for us. 'Depository of knowledge' was probably within their thinking - because the scientific community had been using the Internet for this.

Professor Greb's favorite French fast-food chain.

Television comes and goes; but you can record it, if you want to. Radio is here and now and if you don't hear it, it's gone. Daily newspapers are replaced by tomorrow's edition, weekly magazine's by next week's and the same for monthly magazines. New books go 'out of print' quickly and become hard to find.

Isn't it odd then, that the newest thing to come along, seems the most permanent? Even though it is only virtual.

The following item illustrates this very well. The antique car and boat show, Rétromobile, has been featred here several times in the past. Various interested parties 'find' Rétromobile through Metropole because it is online and Rétromobile itself is not.

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