Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, April 14, 2008

BLOG Readership

BLOGGERS have changed the conversation in Windsor. And guess who hates that!

Every so often I get an indication of how many people come to my BLOGSITE. In fact, it is gratifying to know that people actually come here day after day to read what I have to say.

I believe that the impact of BLOGs in Windsor is a lot greater than I ever suspected. BLOGs run the gamut from very political BLOGs like mine to those which advocate for a cause to those whose task it is to spread good news about what is going on in the City and everything in between.

Every so often I find out some information that shocks me about how many people come to this BLOGsite and I suspect to others in town. I'm very surprised both in Windsor and across the river that people whom I have never met know me from my BLOG. I have also been fortunate in being able to meet with and have coffee or lunch with many of those who have sent me notes commenting on something that I have written. I try to contact first time e-mailers to me just to say thank you to them.

Just to give one example on numbers, when David Wonham ran for Mayor, a brief mention on my site gave him several thousand extra hits he told me. When I mentioned about the flyover video of the Ambassador Bridge Company, Youtube, where the video was posted, very soon thereafter had thousands of hits. I'm well aware that it was also mentioned in a story in the Windsor Star. So far it has had over 16,000 views with no advertising dollars spent.

It happened again the other day. I must admit one of the criticisms of my BLOG is its length. For that I make no apologies. I assume that the readers of my BLOG want the full story including background and that is what I offer as well as my analysis. Yes I know it takes a long time to read but I trust that what you are reading is something that you find worthwhile. As an example, hits for my BLOG on Friday almost doubled from my usual numbers even though I warned people about the length of the BLOG in advance!

In any event, I made a throwaway reference as a joke to one of David Wonham's websites at the end of my BLOG, Wednesday, April 09, 2008 "Can W.E."

I received a note the other day from David saying that he had received a ton of extra hits on his website because of the mention here.

What does this tell me? In the first place my BLOG has much wider distribution than I suspected. Secondly, it tells me as well that many people do not come to my website directly but rather my BLOGs are forwarded to them by readers. I know for example at one time my BLOG was posted on one of the bulletin boards at an auto plant for people to read. I know that in certain organizations the Public Relations people distribute my BLOG when it is relevant to their needs as part of their normal circulation of media materials.

Next, my assumption is that many people who received a copy of my BLOG must have gone to the Wonham website on their own rather than clicking on the link from my website. They actually had to type in the website address.

The final point is that people do read right to the end of my BLOG since the mention of the website was right at the end.

From the number of hits that David received and looking at my own hits on the site I can try and make a guesstimate of the number of readers that I have. If I use the response rate numbers that the Mayor felt was support of Greenlink, 3,000 people out of over 200,000 citizens, then I have an "overwhelming" number of readers.

I would expect my response rate to be much higher than the norm since I have a loyal band of readers as judged by the response to my survey. Accordingly, and I am shocked, I must have thousands and thousands of readers per day! How many exactly, I cannot judge but it is certainly much more than I ever expected.

If other local BLOGsites have comparable numbers, then I finally understand why so many voices of the Windsor Establishment are so concerned about BLOGGERS. They call us names trying to discredit us. They refuse to understand, or actually choose not to understand, that we are not naysayers or whiners but are those who are prepared to identify what is going on in the City and what is wrong about it in order that there can be improvements made to everyone's advantage.

We BLOGGERS have a point of view and we are not afraid to express it. We have so many readers not because people necessarily agree with everything that we write but because we put forward an alternative position and explain why we take the stance that we do.

Once again, thanks for coming by. I will keep on working to earn your respect!