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Religious websites now challenging porn sites


ABC News Radio IT was carrying a report yesterday that Religious Websites are now challenging the more traditional high traffic sites dealing in sport and porn. The report cited examples such as Beliefnet.com and the Interview with God website (which have both been reviewed by Catholic Telecommunications News in recent months) which have phenomenal traffic through them. The Interview with God website is reputed to be attracting a quarter of a million visits per month. What is perhaps even better news is that it is not just traffic to the sites but they are generating significant revenue through advertising and outperforming other sectors financially. The statistics for both Catholic Telecommunication News and our related Discussion Board indicate a similar highly pleasing trend. There seem to be cyber communities of believers emerging that are functioning in many ways like traditional parishes except for the physical contact.

The report would seem to have some substance judging by other indicators. Last month the Zenit News Agency in a concerted drive added another 30,000 email recipients of its daily news bulletins. The growth in popularity of this Catholic Telecommunications News Service and our related discussion board is another indicator.

Up until midnight last night (31 January) there were 1.5 million hits to the Catholic Telecommunications news service in January and in total people spent 4,259.69 hours reading the news on our website. This figure would vastly understate the actual hours people are spending with us as it cannot measure the time spent by those who are reading the email version and it cannot measure the time spent by people reading feature articles and opinion pieces which are hosted on different services and merely referred to by our service. The Catholic Telecommunications discussion board has likewise been experiencing spectacular growth since it was set up less than 12 months ago. Like most organisations it only has a small core group of active participants but the statistics are indicating that perhaps they represent only as much as 10% of those who are using the service. The attached graph indicates the continued rise in visitors to the discussion board over the last 12 months.

Just out of interest: last month the most visited news story on our website was "Vatican says Bishops cannot require priests to use altar girls" which ran on 4th January. The second most visited story was headlined "Bathersby tells New Age nuns to put house in order" and published on 10th January. Surprisingly the third most visited story was one from 11 July last year: "Bob Dylan says Pope gig was his favourite".

The graph below shows the trend of total hours spent reading the news on our website over the last three weeks.



SOURCES
ABC News RadioCTNews Research


01-Feb-02