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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Top eLearning Sites

I was asked what the biggest traffic sites are in eLearning that were not vendor specific sites. This was from a marketer trying to reach eLearning professionals.

My quick answer was that Jane Hart’s site, eLearning Learning and The eLearning Guild would be among the top. But I really didn’t/don’t know the answer. I did promise I’d do some research and post what I found.

I used Compete.com. It’s definitely not accurate as it way under reports traffic for eLearning Learning. However, after reading various sources that compared different traffic estimation tools, I was convinced that it was generally a decent indicator.

Thanks to Harold Jarche and Susan Lewis (via twitter) and Cathy Moore and Dennis Wilen (via Facebook) with help on this. Cathy pointed me to questions about Alexa (Wikipedia article). Susan pointed out that none of this accounts for RSS subscription. Of course, it also doesn’t count email subscribers or twitter. So, yes … This is only rough estimating.

Top Sites

Using it, I plugged a whole bunch of different sites into it and produced the following graph of some of what I perceive to be the top sites.

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After doing this, I realized that eLearn Magazine don’t seem to have that much web traffic. In fact, according to Compete, eLearning Technology (this blog) and Stephen Downes’ Site come in higher that eLearn Magazine. Here’s a chart with those sources included:

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Of course, Stephen covers more than eLearning. And there are sites like ASTD that go well outside the world of eLearning.

So to be clear, things I excluded:

  • Vendor specific sites, e.g., Skillsoft
  • Sites focused on broader topics like HR, Talent Management, Training, etc., e.g., ASTD (which has good traffic), CLO Media (which doesn’t seem to have good traffic volume)
  • Sites that I can’t get accurate numbers separate from the base site. Learning Circuits is part of ASTD.

Other Sites I tried but came out lower:

It’s a little bit of a surprise to me some of the traffic numbers.

Is this a surprise to you?

What sites did I miss here?

16 comments:

urbie delgado said...

At least as important as sites with traffic: what devices/browsers are peeps using to get there. My iPad, I'm discovering, isn't having an easy time getting let into a lot of these places. Apparently there are quite a few walled gardens in elearning.

Tony Karrer said...

I agree that there's a lot more access via mobile devices and will be with iPads.

But I'm not quite sure what you are thinking of around "walled gardens in eLearning"?

gih said...

It looks that more and more visitors all over the world wanted to learn more about new technology as what the line graph says.

V Yonkers said...

Just to clarify, when you say elearning, you are limiting it to workplace elearning, I am assuming. Otherwise, I would definately include the Cool Cat Teacher blog. Also, did you use any of the Edublogger winners for elearning?

Tony Karrer said...

Virginia - I was thinking more about workplace eLearning. I just checked Cool Cat Teacher. They come out near this blog in terms of traffic. Will's does as well. I'm sure there are others that are larger traffic as I believe that education eLearning is bigger than corporate - but could be wrong on that.

Downes said...

urbie - if you have difficulties accessing my site with the iPad, please let me know.

I'm pretty sure Compete.com will under-report my traffic as well - it wouldn't know anything about email subscriptions, for example, and probably little about RSS. Between these two are probably three quarters of my traffic.

Not that high traffic is indicative of anything. Some of the very best feeds I read are low traffic.

Downes said...

p.s. U.S. K-12 focused sites are going to dwarf anything else out there, because the audience is so much larger. It's a fact of demographics.

Tony Karrer said...

Stephen - is there some way you know about readership of RSS and email?

In terms of K-12 audience, I'd think that as well, but since I don't know that world as much I don't know who the big sites would be.

Cathy Moore said...

Another place to check (for blogs only) would be Technorati.com, which ranks by "authority." However, it would have only a partial list because, as I understand it, bloggers have to submit their blogs.

The Rapid Elearning Blog certainly has a lot of subscribers and links going into it.

Armen Jagharbekian said...

Thank you for this interesting comparison, is compete.com a good source for comparison?

Leon Cygman said...

Great information. Thanks for compiling it. I enjoy the blog posts by George Siemens from Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada.You can find it at http://www.elearnspace.org/. Also, please visit my tech blog at http://leoncygman.blogspot.com

Priscila Andrade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Geo Trice said...

I humbly submit a newly started eLearning blog. It's at www.e-learning-blog.com.

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Tony thanks for sharing :)

Also, I believe my post recently
"Top 10 Learning Sites for ________? Yours?"

http://zaidlearn.blogspot.com/2010/08/top-10-learning-sites-for-yours-t10ls.html

...Should be relevant here. Hits are cool, but not the best measure for sizzling quality (figure out the rest) :)

Cheers!

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Tony,

as for hits, perhaps you should use URL Dogg, too. Here are your results:

http://urldogg.com/elearninglearning.com

http://urldogg.com/elearningtech.blogspot.com

Anyway, hits is just one indicator of many :)

In terms of Google reader stats, your elearningelearning has only 379 Google Reader subscribers (I have actually more!), but then again your E-Learning Tech blog has 2410 subscribers (as of now), which is far behind both Jane Hart (9246) and George Siemens (8086). Stephen Downes has only 619 Google reader subscribers, but then again thousands subscribe to OLDaily through e-mail subscriptions.

If you use this and that, or even combine them all to the ultimate edge measuring tool... marketers, corporate and branding experts will love you.

But then again, what impact does your site(s) have, or more importantly what impact does your ideas have on changing the world of learning and education?

Now, that really matters. If it does great, if it doesn't, who cares how many hits one has. Justin Bieber gets more hits than any e-learning blogger every 5 minutes (or less)... BIG DEAL! :)

In short, stats are fun, but let's leave it at that :)

Cheers!

Tony Karrer said...

Zaid - thanks for the comments.

I haven't seen URL Dogg before. It's numbers are way off in terms of subscribers. Feedburner gives me much higher numbers like 20x for this blog and eLearning Learning. My guess is that the others you mention are also way under-reported.

And in terms of "what impact does your site(s) have, or more importantly what impact does your ideas have on changing the world of learning and education?" - I agree that there's traffic and there's impact. To me the impact of all of these sources is going to depend on who you are and what you want to find. For me, eLearning Learning is a big short-cut to finding great information from a lot of sources that I might otherwise miss.