The State of the Blog…

Another month into this thing. Time to ask the age old question: what the heck is it and to what use is it being put?

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READERS

To try to get a sense of whether it’s finding readers out there in the blogosphere let’s look at some stats:

Since the first posts at the end of March it has had 14,786 “page views”. WordPress — the blogging template this blog uses — doesn’t give a distinct individual users statistic so we’d have to do some guessing:

Here’s May’s numbers: Average daily page views: 249 up from 204 in April.
Home page views: 3,534
Daily average home page visits: 114

Top 10 most read posts
Nanaimo: the Cultural Capital of Canada 297
It’s time for political parties in Nanaimo 276
Picking Candidates for City Council 200
The Role of Local Government 199
Train Station Restoration Underway 157
About 155
Contributors 134
Email re Port Place Mall to Mayor Ruttan 130
New Hotel – Really? 122
Cranky blogger takes Daily News editorial board to task 99

So let’s try to figure out how many people are reading it –

Daily average home page visits: 114. Some people would visit the home page more than once while surfing the site and some people wouldn’t come to the site by the home page — they might be coming from a link someone sent them in an email for instance. Also some hep cats read it through their “RSS feeds” in their readers like Google Reader. WordPress doesn’t count these as visits to the site but shows them separately by post. For instance Ron’s post Picking Canidates for Council was viewed 200 times at the site and an additional 30 times in RSS feeds. So to make the math simple let’s say individual readers daily average is 100.

For the total readership to be 100 everyone would be reading it every day. That’s obviously not the case but how do you come up with the formula that gives you an idea? If a readership pool of 500 people were reading it each once every 5 days that would produce a daily average stat of 100 readers a day. Is the readership 500 people? I don’t know. More? Less? What matters to me is that I’m satisfied it has found a readership: there is interest in municipal political affairs. A fact substantiated by other sources among them civic affairs journalist Frances Bula.

CONTRIBUTORS AND COMMENTERS

So readers we’ve got. There has been some spirited exchange of ideas between contributors and commenters and I’ve even learned a few things (!) Thanks to everyone who’s lobbed in thoughts, concerns and irritations.

We’ve lost an original contributor who was posting some very good stuff that was developing both strong readership and particularly thoughtful and instructive comments. His voice is missed big time and I for one would welcome him airing on the blog his concerns and criticism.

It has attracted some high profile attention and encouragement inducing journalist Francse Bula, architects Franc D’Ambrosio, Trevor Boddy and Michael Geller. Diane Brennan contributed a comment. Who knows perhaps Gary Korpan will wade in one of these days. We have the attention of and received response from Mayor Ruttan and senior City Planning staff. I notice among the subscribers local print journalists.

We have begun to cover City committee meetings and are linking meeting times and venues, agendas and minutes on the Committees and Commissions page which you can access by the tab at the top of the page.

So there seems to be momentum and again, thanks everyone who has contributed and commented. Keep reading it. Keep commenting. And if you want to post under your own byline, let us know and we’ll help you set that up.

Frank Murphy

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