Our analysis of the monthly gopher reports has concentrated on the hitters rather than the hits. After experimenting rather fruitlessly in 1995 with microanalysis of
the data from the Netherlands and Germany hitter by hitter month by month for a year, we decided to collect only the following monthly figures:
• total number of users
• total by address (country, domain, etc.)
• list of top hits (those reviews that received 15+ hits/month and are over a year old )
• list of top hitters (those who use the system 30+/month)
Analysis shows that use has leveled off at a peak of about 3,800 users a month. With a second full year of gopher use to study we can see the seasonal fluctuation more easily. The one area of growth seems to be non-English foreign sites. If we compare the top hitters in the first ten months of 1995 with the comparable period in 1996, we find that the total increased only 5% but the total number of nonEnglish heavy users increased 120% (Table 12.1). Three countries were among the heavy users in both 1995 and 1996 (France, Germany, Netherlands); two appeared only in 1995 (South Africa, Taiwan), and eight only in 1996 (Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Venezuela).
In terms of total number of users from 1995 to 1996 there was an overall increase of 10.8%, although the increase among U.S. users was only 9.1%. Conversely, most foreign countries showed a marked increase in total use over the ten months of 1996 versus 1995: Argentina, 16 to 27; Australia, 542 to 684; Brazil, 64 to 165; Denmark, 80 to 102; Spain, 107 to 197; Greece, 41 to 80; Ireland, 50 to 69; Israel, 89 to 108; Italy, 257 to 359; Japan, 167 to 241; Korea, 26 to 40; Netherlands, 273 to 315; Portugal, 16 to 26; Russia, 9 to 27; (former) USSR, 13 to 20; and South Africa, 63 to 88. On the other hand, Iceland went from 22 to 8, Malaysia from 30 to 21, Mexico from 68 to 56, Sweden from 307 to 250, and Taiwan from 24 to 14. Also, among U.S. users there was a large drop in the .edu domain, from 7,073 to 5,962, and a corresponding rise in the .net domain, from 1,570 to 4,118, perhaps because faculty members are now using commercial providers for home access.
In the analysis of top hits (Table 12.2), a curious pattern emerges: BMMR starts out with many more top hits despite offering a much smaller number of reviews (about 15% of BMCR's number), but toward the end of 1995 the pattern shifts. BMMR dominates at the beginning but drops when BMMR becomes inactive.
The shift is easily explained because it occurs about the time BMMR was becoming inactive, but the original high density is still surprising. Also surprising is that medieval books receive noticeably more attention: 32 medieval titles made the top hits list 116 times (avg 3.6), while 81 classical titles made the list only 219 times (avg 2.7), despite including two blockbuster titles, Amy Richlin's Pornography and Representation (10 times) and John Riddle's Contraception and Abortion (14 times). My guess is that medievalists, being more widely dispersed in interests and location, have found the Net more important than have classicists, who are mostly located
in a classics department and whose professional work is more circumscribed (and has a longer history).