1 million visits
We’re announcing on the MIT site that two of the courses–8.01 and 18.06–have each received more than 1 million total visits, the first courses on the site to reach this milestone. I wanted to take a minute in this space to comment not about these courses, but about the rest.
To date, we’ve recorded 41 million total visits to the OCW site directly (with our translation affiliates, the total is up over 67 million). The two courses above clearly represent the short head of our traffic distribution, but in the figures I see a celebration of the long tail. The average number of visits to any course is roughly 200,000 20,000, so you can guess how far apart the mean and median must be. And while the two classes above receive over 600 visits each per day, every course we publish–even the most obscure graduate topics–receives at least a couple of visits a day.
If the joy of the internet is that you can find information on any imaginable topic, one of the joys I hope the OCW Consortium will eventually provide is access to materials from a course on any topic imaginable, and we see this long tail growing already. Millions can learn the fundamentals of physics and math from OCW, and this is certainly important, but those fewer in number around the world who are pushing at the boundaries of knowledge can also find information to help tham move forward, and this I think deserves celebration as well. A toast, then, to the long tail as well as the short head.