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Hofstee's genealogy column tops visits to favourite web pages

Dutch Heritage website designated ‘Cool’ site

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SURREY, British Columbia - The hits counter on the home page of the Internet website, only installed in April 1999, in late November had logged its 10,000th 'front door' visit. The site which carries many Windmill Herald news items about the Dutch community in North America in the English language, the recipe column and other features, in fact logs an average of 13,150 sessions each month. Many hits are made through one of the numerous 'side doors' a website has when others put a link to a favourite section. Top scorer on the website is the genealogy section by Tony Hofstee.

The website earlier this year was moved to a different host who offered more facilities, including a broad variety of statistics which also gives groups points of origin of the hits. America Online subscribers (aol) are the largest group each month to log into the Dutch Heritage website. Since AOL is located in Virginia, that state rates highest on the list followed by California-based Excite and a significant number of others. Outside North America, the Netherlands, the Polynesian island of Tonga, and Australia draw the greatest number of hits.

Many search words are predictable but ‘Dutch’ is the winner by a substantial margin. Others are ‘Netherlands’, ‘Holland’, ‘history’, ‘windmills’, and even ‘bokkerijders’, (three times) a word buried in one of the features about local customs.

October 1999, at nearly 21,000 sessions, turned out to be a peak month for the Dutch Heritage website and its onsite book catalogue. The log-in time per session also is rated high and has increased substantially since April. The time, measured in seconds, varies daily.

The website which was redesigned earlier this year by its webmaster Karin van der Heide, regularly generates orders but far more questions about Dutch customs, general and local history, geography and roots, and notably genealogy. Earlier last Summer, the Dutch Heritage website was proclaimed a ‘Cool’ site by Netscape in the category Europe/culture.