2010 by the numbers, at two sites

Wordle for Underoak

From @mybxb: “What was your site focus in 2010 & what are you hoping to build up in 2011? #mybxb

It was just one simple Twitter question, likely from Michele McLellan, an expert on small local news sites. The Twitter account asked the same question of quite a few people on New Year’s Eve eve.

It led to a little excavation for me.

I won’t be able to answer the second part of this question immediately. But here’s a start on the first part of the question, after a quick look at the numbers.

I focused on two sites in 2010, neither of which were commercial endeavors and both of which were solo experiments. I stuck Google ads onto one of the sites late in the year as an experiment, but the cost to appearance likely means those ads won’t last. Finding my focus, for me, means looking at the numbers to see what I produced, not just what I intended.

Underoak (Merry Oaks neighborhood information):
39 posts, the least since 2006, when it was 22
An average of 885.25 page views per month
Best return per post by month: October, averaging 372 page views per post, with four posts during the month
Topics: Local stories involving animals, art, nature and “green” stories, advances and coverage of local events and traditions, civic events and issues, development and business.
Quick conclusions: An audience exists for local civic information in Charlotte. Archives of event coverage help make later coverage easier. You don’t have to file three times a day, every day, to generate decent traffic. You do have to focus on headlines and what keywords people are seeking. A niche of 2,000 people or so is likely too small to reach the kind of numbers that would generate decent online ad revenue. The minimum audience size is likely closer to 20,000 potential readers, or about the size of typical zoned print sections of legacy media.

Global Vue (About journalism and technology):
About 45 posts
An average of 408 page views per month
Best return per post by month: July, averaging 60 page views per post, with 17 posts during the month (heavy posting was an experiment as part of a Peer 2 Peer University class).
Topics: Journalism of all sorts, from ethics to business models, with one peach thrown in for good measure.
Quick conclusions: We need more demos and fewer memos, but it’s nice to have a place to think out loud, even if it means sharing with a tiny group. It also is nice to have a linkable, updated online biography, beyond Facebook, LinkedIn and similar services.

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