One month later...
The 17th edition of the Ethnologue has been online for a month now, and we are gratified by the response we have received. For those who are finding the Ethnologue for the first time, it may come as a surprise that this is the first edition to be released first online. Previously, we went to print first and then updated the website to match the print edition. This time, we expect to have a print edition of the 17th edition that follows the online edition and we have plans for a variety of other print products as well. More about those in forthcoming Ethnoblog postings.
In the month since I last posted here, nearly 126,000 different users have accessed the Ethnologue, and some of them have consulted the website multiple times. We have recorded more than 1.1 million page views with a high of almost 50,000 page views taking place on the 26th of February, one of the first days after the website had gone live. The website is averaging about 40,000 page views per day.
And those using the website are a diverse group whose browsers indicate that they are speakers of English, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Portuguese primarily but comprising a total of 182 unique user languages in all and accessing the site from 218 unique countries.
Recently Asked Questions
As might be expected, a website as large and complex as the Ethnologue is bound to have some "undocumented features" at launch and we have been grateful for the feedback that users have sent us, asking questions, alerting us to bugs and broken links, etc. Our webmaster has been hard at work addressing those issues and most of them are now fixed or have a fix planned or in the works. Here are few questions people have asked that we can provide you with some guidance on:
Where did the lists of publications go?
The Ethnologue is published by SIL International. Both SIL and the Ethnologue websites have been extensively revised and updated and both of the new websites were launched within days of each other (aiming for Mother Language Day, February 21st, as a very appropriate kickoff date). As the websites were updated there was a good deal of restructuring with some features that were formerly part of the www.ethnologue.com website moving to www.sil.org. For users who were familiar with those features, this caused some confusion.
We received the greatest amount of feedback about the seeming disappearance of the listing of publications in or about the individual languages. That feature had long been a source of confusion for some as it listed only SIL publications about the languages and was not ever intended to be a comprehensive listing of ALL publications relevant to the language. It seemed logical (to us) to move those listings to www.sil.org. You can now find any SIL publication that is about or in a language by looking up that language in the language index of the SIL Language and Culture Archives.
Download? What download?
A second missing feature was a real oversight and not the result of any design decision. We failed to include a link to the downloadable ISO code tables. The text talked about the tables being downloadable but there was no place to actually cause the download to happen. That has now been fixed and the up-to-date ISO code tables are now accessible here: http://www.ethnologue.com/codes/download-code-tables
Keep those cards and letters coming...
We continue to receive e-mail about errors and corrections and we value those, so keep them coming. It’s always a good idea, however, to check the Frequently Asked Questions first to see if you can find an answer to your question there. You should also consult the Contact Us information for the best addresses for other types of communications. In the end, however, the Editor_Ethnologue@sil.org address will reach us, and we do our best to respond as quickly as we can.
And speaking of speed, that reminds me to emphasize that along with the transition of the Ethnologue to being primarily an online publication, we've also streamlined our update cycle. Rather than waiting four years, as in the past, to update the online edition, we are now on an annual update cycle. While in cyberspace, a year is a very long time indeed, in Ethnologue-time, we are moving at warp speed. We have plans to continue to expand the services and functionality of the website. And we are already compiling the corrections that will appear in the next edition. The clock is ticking.