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?
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
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.
I’m always full of opinions but you should know that by now.
I, for one, probably look at the blog every couple of days but by getting the email notes I sometimes feel that the topic du jour is not of that much interest to me so I skip the blog itself.
By the way, just saw a headline about that ridiculous cruise ship thing; I’d hoped the idea had sunk to a watery grave. What is the status with city hall? Totally idiotic idea — first, why bother for the number of cruise ships we’d get even these days? Second, many reliable economists feel that we are only at the beginning of a serious recession/depression which would certainly slow cruise ship traffic and if peak oil has any basis in fact, cruise ship travel will soon be an unaffordable luxury.
Thanks Liz, that’s quite helpful. If an email subscriber to the blog reads the post that’s included in the email (as I often do with the All About Cities blog I subscribe to– http://allaboutcities.ca/) they’re not counted in the blog’s stats. Anyway, thanks for participating and stay tuned!
Liz: As I understand it, while supported by Council, building the cruise ship pier is a project of the Port Authority acting alone. Its relation to city plans and finances will necessitate other facilities being built by our taxpayers. As far as I know the discussion of what these city facilities are to be or how much they will cost is even more vague than that that which was (and is) associated with the VICC. Does anyone out there know more about what kind of obligations we have made in association with this project?
This is just another build it and they will come (hopefully) deal!
It is little wonder the port authority is behind it, in the interest of some kind of job security, as the port as a whole is now losing money, and is not likely to turn around anytime soon, based on lumber exports etc. etc.
“Does anyone out there know more about what kind of obligations we have made in association with this project?” Good question to ask the City, Ron. Who should we ask?
It was reported last week that the cruise ship industry was threatening to pull out of BC (as it has as a negotiating tactic in the past) if new emission regulations weren’t eased. Is this a good industry to be investing public money in? It’s well known that the new Campbell River facility sits idle with not a single ship booked in this year.
A concern of mine is that it’s proceeding without a master plan for the area: the Wilcox lands as well as the assembly wharf lands. The Snuneymuxw apparently still have environmental concerns. Do you know the latest on where that process is at?
When the Request for Proposal went out from the City for the Downtown Design Guidelines this area was specifically left out to be the subject of a later study.