#Jan25: “Sorry for the inconvenience, but we’re building Egypt.”

Its been a remarkable few months in the middle east.   Most recently the events in Egypt have captured the world and Al Jazeera’s english web site has become the place to watch many of the events unfold.   Given that the channel isnt carried by most US cable companies the web site has been the means to view the channel live over the Internet.

Al Jazeera is also a user of Chartbeat.   Chartbeat offers a real time window into what is happening on a web site right now.   Watching the traffic flows over the past few weeks has been fascinating — in Al Jazeera’s case, the site broke traffic record after record.   I wonder what popluar TV show would compare to having 150,000 to 200,000 simultaneous users on a web site, most of them watching TV?

A lot has been and will be written about the role of social media in this revolution here is some data and perspective from the vantage point of traffic to the Al Jazeera web site yesterday as seen via their Chartbeat dashboard right as Mubarek announced his resignation.

Many thanks to the Al Jazeera team and specifically Mohamed Nanabhay for letting us publish these snapshots.

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Just before noon yesterday, users started flooding into the Al Jazeera web site.

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The screen shot below shows the traffic sources — links, social and search at noon EST.

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If you zoom into the article level view you can see that 70%+ of the traffic is coming from social networks.   The picture on the left is the same as the one above — the one on the right zooms into the article level dashboard for the page titled “Hosni Mubarak resigns as President”.

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Mohamed Nanabhay, Head of Online, Al Jazeera’s English web site described the experience:   “As you can imagine our newsrooms and field teams have been on full throttle over the past three weeks. While Al Jazeera very quickly became the worlds window into the revolution in Egypt, Chartbeat proved invaluable as my window into our audience and website. From deploying resources to prioritizing updates, from rolling new features to identifying technical issues on the site, we were able to make better decisions more quickly based on real-time data.”

Interesting snapshots and kind words from people who are monitoring the real time web in ways that could not have been imagined a revolution or two ago.