PNG Perspective website gets close to 2 million hits

06/06/2012 14:32

PNG journalist and blogger Alexander Rheeney uploading content and editing the website.


The Papua New Guinea Issues in Perspective (PNG Perspective) website has chalked up close to 2 million hits since going live in August last year.

The website was created to analyse development challenges facing PNG and to promote debate on how they impact on the lives of ordinary Papua New Guineans. Statistics show the website initially logged 324 unique visitors and 27,516 hits in its first month with traffic growing by 1861 per cent to 512,164 hits in December. Unique visitors increased by 1673 per cent to 5421 by the end of last year.

However the period from January to May this year recorded the biggest jump in web traffic with January logging 1671 unique visitors and 164,000 hits. Unique visitors by the end of last month (May) increased by 995 per cent to 16,632 and hits totalled 1,873,629, an increase of 1142 per cent.  Consequently the total number of unique visitors between August last year and May this year was 16,956 with total hits a whopping 1,901,145 in the same period.

PNG Perspective founder and Sydney-based PNG journalist and blogger, Alexander Rheeney, thanked the website’s growing local and international audience and said the increase in web traffic confirmed global interest in PNG, its 7 million people and the development challenges they continue to face.

“I take this opportunity to thank PNG Perspective fans in PNG and around the world. There is increasing global interest in Papua New Guinea for various reasons including trade and investment as well as PNG’s growing status as an economic power in the Pacific Islands. The country’s development challenges, such as the constitutional crisis that gripped the nation since December last year, have also attracted a lot of interest internationally,” he added.

In terms of hits according to nationalities the top three visitors to the website between August 2011 and May 2012 were from the US (527,615 hits), Australia (478,654 hits) and PNG (201,385 hits). European countries Germany, the UK and the Russian Federation as well as China are not far behind.

A billboard belonging to mobile phone operator Digicel in the PNG capital Port Moresby.

With PNG’s 2012 general election set to kick off in a fortnight Mr Rheeney envisage an increase in hits with the international community taking a keen interest, as the country attempts to move forward following months of uncertainty created by the legitimacy claims of both the Somare and O’Neill governments. To cater for growing local and international interest PNG Perspective has created a new page Papua New Guinea 2012 Election nius na commentary dedicated to polling updates and commentary. Other projects still in the pipeline include identifying online resources which Papua New Guineans can use to combat corruption.

Mr Rheeney has attributed PNG’s pole position in the web visitor numbers to the country’s social media revolution, following the deregulation of the telecommunications market in 2007 which led to the arrival of the Irish-owned mobile phone company Digicel. While internet penetration remains low at approximately 1.4 per cent of the population, thousands of Papua New Guineans have and continue to embrace social media as the platform to communicate and interact with compatriots and the world.

“Facebook and Twitter have played and continue to play a critical role in increasing traffic to my website because I always post links to content on my website to Facebook and Twitter. All the Facebook discussion groups that I post links in are PNG-based and PNG-focused so Papua New Guineans are actually engaging in debate and talking about the stories and blogs I am publishing on PNG Perspective,” he said.

While most of the content on the website is generated by its founder and owner, blogs and photographs on issues of interest by Papua New Guineans are also published, giving the PNG authors and photographers access to a growing local and international audience.