19 January 2012

Arab Spring For Too?

We use Google Analytics to analyze traffic to the website, and tonight when I compared the visits from November 2011 until today with the same period 2010-2011 I found what seems like a surprising effect of the so called Arab Spring.

Arab uprising
We have all heard about the sudden wave of demonstrations and protests in the Arab world that started in Tunisia in December 2010. The protests involved strikes, demonstrations, marches and rallies, and social media were frequently used to organize, communicate, and raise awareness in states whose governments tried to censor the internet.

Conflicting messages
Today the situations in many Arab countries are still unclear, and seeing the news one sometimes get the impression that very little is actually working. This picture is contradicted by the one given by Google Analytics. This traffic measurement tool shows that the number of visits to the website has risen significantly in countries like Algeria (200 %), Egypt (31 %), Jordan (100 %), Lebanon (67 %) Morocco (267 %), Saudi Arabia (59 %), Syria (200 %), Tunisia (540 %), Yemen 100 %) and United Arab Emirates (39 %).

visitor map
Striking visitor increase
Overall the number of visitors to the website is higher than last year, and the number of visitors from the Arabic countries is much lower than for example from USA and Sweden. Still I cannot help but see this delightful increase of Arab visitors as a result of a greater openness to the western world and to new technologies. I had expected that after what happened during the spring, but I had definitely not thought it would come so soon.

Anyone else?
Only Bahrain and Libya go the other way (-44 % and -33 %), but as there the visitors are few I don’t think it disturbs the impression of an Arab Spring for It would be very interesting to hear if more website analyzes give the same result?

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