the complete review Quarterly
Volume I, Issue 4   --   November, 2000

What's hot and what's not
at the complete review

       The monthly bestseller list at the complete review tracks the most popular reviews on the site. Reviews are the focus of the site, and they make up the vast majority of the pages on the site (and are, not surprisingly, the most visited pages). Nevertheless, there are a number of other pages of interest at complete review -- as well as an ever-increasing number at the complete review Quarterly.
       From the Author Pages to the index of foreign-language books under review, the complete review provides a variety of additional information and all sorts of indices to make navigating the site simpler. Some of these pages are surprisingly popular. Some seem to be of extremely limited interest. See for yourself what is hot and what is not on the lists of the most popular non-review pages at the complete review and the complete review Quarterly.

       (Note: All rankings refer to the period August-September, 2000)

       The most popular Author Pages:
  1. Zbigniew Herbert
  2. Amélie Nothomb
  3. Patrick White
  4. Iain Sinclair
  5. Cynthia Ozick

       The least popular Author Page:        Note: The author pages have proven surprisingly popular. There is a great divide between the top ten or so -- generally bunched fairly close together in popularity -- and the rest, with quite a number languishing near Harry Mathews' fairly low level of interest. Among the top ten no page or pages stands out far above the rest in popularity.

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       The most popular lists:
  1. The Highest Rated Books under Review
  2. Editors' Choice
  3. The Most Underrated Books under Review ?
  4. The Lowest Rated Books under Review
  5. Recent Publications under Review

       The least popular list:        Note: Among the surprises here is the lack of interest in any of the bestseller lists, as well as the general lack of interest in new, notable, and recent additions to the complete review.

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       The most popular subject and nationality indices
  1. Biography
  2. Contemporary British Fiction
  3. Contemporary American Fiction
  4. Poetry
  5. Literary Essays

       The least popular subject index
       The least popular nationality index        Note: The most popular pages are not unexpected, but the poor showing of the indeces for Internet and Computer books and for German literature is. There are still very few Internet/Computer titles on that relatively new index, perhaps explaining the showing to some extent, but the coverage of German literature at the complete review is fairly extensive.

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       The most popular information pages
  1. About the Reviews, explaining what information the complete review provides
  2. The Editorial Policy of the complete review
  3. About the Site

       The least popular information page        Note: No big surprises here, though one might expect more people to be interested in the distribution of the grades.

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       The most popular articles from the complete review Quarterly:
  1. Harry Who ? -- The complete review takes on Harry Potter ?
  2. Borges under Review -- Critical responses to the Collected Fictions
  3. Survey of Book Review Sites -- the complete review Quarterly's survey of twelve leading book review sites

       The least popular article from the complete review Quarterly:        Note: The magical name Harry Potter makes for instant success, regardless what it is appended to. The Borges article and the Book Review site survey are the two most comprehensive articles published in the complete review Quarterly to date. The dialogues haven't achieved the same level of popularity -- and anonymity just seems terribly unpopular, in whatever guise.

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       The most popular title indeces:
  1. A
  2. T
  3. The

       The least popular title index:        Note: Fairly predictable choices.

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       The most popular author indeces:
  1. S
  2. B
  3. M

       The least popular author index:        Note: Not quite as predictable, but reasonable enough.

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       The most popular search engines used to get to the complete review:
  1. Google
  2. Yahoo (which uses Google as its default search engine)
  3. Alta Vista
  4. Go
  5. Metacrawler
       Note: These ranking are, of course, in part determined by how many pages from the complete review can be found via these search engines. The Go results, for example, are surprising because not that many pages are listed there. Conversely, less popular search engines such as Northern Light and FAST, though they have far more comprehensive coverage of the complete review's pages, bring much less traffic.

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       The most popular non-search engine pages used to get to the complete review:
  1. Yahoo - Book Review Directory
  2. Arts & Letters Daily
  3. Yahoo ! Full Coverage - Harry Potter
  4. SchrijversNet - Cees Nooteboom
  5. A Tom Stoppard Bibliography
       Note: The stunner here is that the Yahoo directory is the only directory-page that brings in users in large numbers. The far superior Open Directory would seem the obvious place to look if one were seeking any information via directory, but it barely brings in any users. The absence of other directories -- most based on the Open Directory -- is less surprising.
       Hundreds of links to the complete review bring in users, but most bring in only a few; the Arts & Letters Daily site is a rare exception, leading several hundred users to the complete review monthly. Web-sites or pages devoted to specific authors and works are also bringing in an increasing number of visitors -- but few can compete with the likes of, e.g. the Yahoo ! page devoted to Harry Potter-information.
       It is also nice to see that many users bookmark the complete review, and pass on the link to others via e-mail.

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       The most popular search terms that lead users to the complete review:
  1. "House of Leaves"
  2. "A Prayer for Owen Meany"
  3. "Mark Z. Danielewski"
  4. "Yasmina Reza"
  5. "Arcadia" "Tom Stoppard"
       Note: These search terms have been amalgamated (i.e. all variations on "Mark Z. Danielewski" are included under that single version). Note that there is considerable variation in what information is sought out.

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© 2000 the complete review Quarterly
© 2000 the complete review