ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Opportunity to experiment

Kuensel's website has been down for a couple of days now... There are various interesting questions to ask about newspapers' online presence. One that is of special importance in Bhutan is the relation to print sales. After all, circulation seems to be the magic word for newspapers, in terms of ad revenues.

To look at the full half of the phop, this website blackout is an opportunity for Kuensel as well as for its competing newspapers to explore the effect of the online newspaper's availability on sales of print copies. This is what we statisticians call a "natural experiment".

Here are questions that I'd explore if I were Kuensel:

  • How are sales of Kuensel's print version affected on the days when the website is down? (look at the numbers, but also take into account factors like day-of-week and past sales)
  • How are sales affected after the website comes back up?
  • How sensitive are my online readers to such blackouts? (a survey and forum would give some ideas)
As a competing newspaper, I'd ask the following:
  • How are the sales of my print newspaper affected on days when is down? (maybe people who go rushing for a Kuensel copy already buy other papers at the same time)
  • How is traffic to my own website affected on days when is down?