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New digital boss for Express & Star publisher

The publisher of Britain’s biggest-selling regional daily has appointed a new head of digital.

Will Beavis, left, will be responsible for digital operations across the Midland News Association, including the Experss & Star and Shropshire Star website.

The appointment comes the day after the latest ABC figures showed a 29pc increase in average daily users across the MNA network.

Will, who moves from the role of new media marketing manager which he has held since 2006, will also be responsible for the company’s iPad and iPhone applications, mobile phone sites and weekly newspaper and magazine websites.

MNA managing director Phil Inman said: “Will has undertaken the role on an interim basis over the past four months, during which time the digital team has made significant progress.

“A number of exciting projects are in the pipeline for further development over the remainder of the year. Will’s appointment means we can look forward to continuing to giving a great service to the MNA’s electronic audience and advertisers.”

Said will: “I am delighted to be appointed to this role as online platforms have become increasingly important to the MNA in its transition to becoming a multi-media publisher.

“The recent ABCe figures were very pleasing and our focus remains on increasing digital revenues. I look forward to leading the team in the challenge of continuing to grow online advertising alongside the development of other commercial opportunities.”

In the ABCe results, saw the biggest increase in average monthly traffic to record 788,444 unique users, a 35.6 per cent rise compared to the same period in 2010. saw a 26.5 per cent year on year increase to 359,989.

The MNA’s previous head of digital, David Ratcliffe, left last summer to join Standard Life

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  • March 2, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I’ve never quite understood the term unique user – not sure many people do really. Here is a definition:
    “According to IFABC Global Web Standards, a unique user (UU) is “An IP address plus a further identifier. The term “unique visitor” may be used instead of “unique user” but both terms have essentially the same meaning (see below). Sites may use User Agent, Cookie and/or Registration ID.” Note that where users are not allocated IP addresses dynamically (for example by dial-up Internet service providers), this definition may overstate or understate the real number of individual users concerned. Unique users is a common measurement of the popularity of a website, often quoted to potential advertisers or investors, and measured over a standard period of time, typically a month. However, Greg Harmon of Belden Research says “may overstate” is a gross understatement. Remember, it’s just an identifier of a computer, not a person. And usually, the computer is identified by a “cookie” which is most often specific to an individual browser on that computer. Since an increasing percentage of people in the United States (at least) now have access to a computer at home and at work or school, one may have to divide the reported total of unique users in half. Then another increasing fraction of people regularly delete cookies from their machines—presumably both at home and at work, and yet another large fraction use more than one browser on each of their machines. This means that for a typical news site, for example, which people might typically visit more than once a day to keep up with breaking news, the reported unique users might overstate the number of different people by a factor of four. On the plus side, for those wishing to impress advertisers or investors, the reported number of sessions or visits and pageviews are probably more accurate, so that smaller group of people visits much more often and looks at more pages than the raw numbers would suggest.”
    So while I don’t doubt that the amount of people looking at these websites is increasing, it’s worth bearing in mind that all these unique users aren’t in fact unique. There may be many duplicates. I don’t even know if this includes mobile phones. Probably. So the same person may view the site from three or more devices in a day, yet be labelled three different ‘unique users’. And view from, say, Google Chrome and IE or Firefox etc.
    I just think this term ‘unique users’ needs better explanation to advertisers and to others in the industry.

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