Nippoli 2021 Wrap Up

The cover image taken by Kalle Lounela

The year 2021 was good for Nippoli. Don´t believe me? Have a look at these numbers:

The total members of the club grew from 64 to 111 (73% increase!),

the Nippoli website views grew from 2204 to 4037 (83% increase!),

and our telegram members grew from 36 to 189 (525% increase!).

In this article I have gathered some of the key statistics of Nippoli to show you guys the numbers behind the association. Let´s start from here, the Nippoli website:

Here you can see how popular the website has been, how many monthly views it has seen and the number of articles Nippoli has published. I know that might be a lot to take in, so here´s some key details we can see from these numbers:

  1. We can see that this year Nippoli doubled the number of visitors on the website, meaning more individual people were looking at the various pages of the website. Growing visitors is arguably more important than growing views, as more people visiting the website means more people joining our activities.
  2. Higher growth of individual visitors also means that an average visitor does not view as many pages. In 2021 an average visitor viewed 2.71 pages, which is still a very healthy number.
  3. The main driver of this year’s growth in views seems to be consistency. Whereas in 2020 there was a single spike in views during September, this year we had higher number of views throughout the year. Especially surprising is the view spike in March, where the views grew 702%! This spike can be largely attributed to the two articles published in that month: “Nippolin opintopiiri keväällä” and “Learning to Go”.

Next, let´s look at how many actual association members Nippoli has, meaning those who have filled out the join form found in our website.
(Link to join page here, in case you are interested 😉)

As visiting the website is the only way to join Nippoli, it is not surprising that the spikes in memberships correlate to increases in site views. Still, we get only a small fraction of people visiting the page converted into becoming members, meaning our conversion rate could be significantly improved.

But enough about the website, what about the other channels? Well, there are much less information on those, but here´s an overview:

As you can see, over half of our members come from Facebook, which might come as a surprise, since in recent years the Facebook group has not been as active compared to the daily chatting in the Telegram group. However, the Facebook group as well as the mailing list have been around far longer than Telegram, which has allowed them to accumulate members over the years. This also means that Facebook and the mailing list have much higher percentage of people who have already graduated and do not wish to be part of the daily interactions of the association, which in turn should shape our communications in those channels.

There is also a channel not shown in the pie chart, even though it is arguably the most important channel Nippoli has: the study circles. These are the channels that I would argue are the reason for Nippoli´s growth this year, as their consistency allowed the most active members to meet and chat together in a casual setting every single week.

These meetings have been the foundation of the community this year and they have been the place where all of the ideas for the small outings like picnics and gaming arcade visits originated. They have also been the place where we found the inspiration and motivation to take part in many of the virtual events hosted at the start of the year, which many of the other associations ignored. This in turn gave us the experience and the people we needed to launch our activities in full force when the new school year started in September.

Goals for the future: board member interviews

As a final data point, I would like to take a look at the future. On 16.11.2021 the new board of Nippoli was elected, and so I decided to ask each of them what their goals are for the coming year. Here is what they had to say:

Aleksanteri Vesala, Chairman: “As the chairman I want to find new ways to activate the inactive members of Nippoli and strengthen Nippoli by increasing active members. This way we will ensure, that Nippoli will be going on strong in the future too so that many like minded people with interest for japanese language and culture will have a familiar and welcoming place for them!”

Elias Arte, Vice-chairman: “I want to activate Nippoli’s members more and create new fun events for everyone.”

Henri Heikkilä, Secretary: “My goal is to make this Nippoli´s best year ever! As a secretary I want to make sure all our actions have a solid foundation and even the most imaginative ideas can be executed without worries.”

Keijin Zhou: “My goal is to be punctual with accounting and make sure everyone is one the same page.”

Pyry Laitinen, Communications coordinator: “I want to increase the website views from the current 4 000 to 6 000, which would mean at least 500 views every single month. I also want to increase the amount of people who view the join page yearly to 10% of the total monthly views (to 600, currently at 6.7% with 270 views). As a part of this I will make sure everyone is aware of the events held by Nippoli and that the current communication channels are maintained and improved.”

Helena Päivöke, Community coordinator: “Nippoli has grown fast thanks to new and enthusiastic Nippoli members, and my job is to look after the welfare and enjoyment of everyone in Nippoli. My goal is to actively create new contacts and events for Nippoli members as well as support the cooperation of the Nippoli board. I´m also responsible for increasing the visibility of Nippoli through updating our Instagram account.”

Jaakko Hintsala, Study coordinator: “I will be organizing a Japanese reading circle starting in January. よろしくお願いします。”

Nippoli board 2022, from right to left: Helena Päivöke, Pyry Laitinen, Elias Arte, Jaakko Hintsala, Aleksanteri Vesala, Henri Heikkilä, Keijin Zhou.

I also gave the same question to our 5 new officers that will be helping the club in their own specialized role. Here are their answers:

Kalle Lounela, Public relations: “After long three years of building Nippoli’s core activities and finding new members, Nippoli is now finally officially revived and has a good amount of motivated people behind it. Having the future protected, it is time for me to move on and create something new.

Depending on my third try of having Japan exchange during the pandemic, I will have either less or more time to create connections to organizations varying from associations to companies. The aim is to use the network to arrange events inspiring those Nippoli members who are interested in having a career related to Japan.”

Kyoka Anzai, Exchange student representative: “I want to make Nippoli a place where exchange students can enjoy and make nice friends!”

Helena Päivöke, Graphic artist: “As an architecture student art and design are part of my field, and so I am excited to take responsibility in developing and refreshing Nippoli´s visuals, for example in a form of new overall badges and other graphical elements.”

Yukino Harnist, Japanese language consultant: “I’m going to correct Nippoli’s Japanese announcement and help members with questions related to the Japanese language.”

Bent Harnist, IT consultant: “I investigate possible new technical solutions that could improve Nippoli´s communication and cooperation. I will also work with Pyry, our communication coordinator to improve our webpage.”

And that´s a wrap for 2021! Let´s make Nippoli 2022 even bigger success together!

Pyry Laitinen / Communications coordinator 2021

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