Crunching the numbers

As reported in our sister news blog today, last night we recorded our 20,000th visitor to the Clarion News Blog. This column and the other column blog by Bill Lofquist, also each have had over 6,000 readers in the same 10 month period. (Actually, Bill is ahead of me by about 1,000 visitors with almost 7,500, but I’m gaining fast!)

What does all this mean? Looking at the News Blog, 20,000 visitors over 10 months works out to about 500 visitors a week. Our biggest week, not surprisingly, was election week in November when we had almost 1,200 visitors.

Our News Blog numbers have actually gone down a little in recent months, since we redesigned the home page and started sending out a weekly e-mail newsletter. This makes sense, since both of these changes allow people to see what the news story is without actually clicking through to the blog.

At the same time, however, traffic to the two column blogs has more than tripled, and for the last few weeks they have actually been outdrawing the News Blog. Part of this is no doubt due to a lack of hot news items as of late.

With the Planning Board’s attorney announcing that he will need 5 or 6 weeks to digest the draft FEIS proposed by Newman Development, and the board (with the notable exception of the Chairman) signaling a willingness to take the time to do things right, it doesn’t look like anything drastic is going to happen any time soon.

This is likely to be just the lull before the storm, however. Eventually the board will have to come to grips with the fact that Newman has not changed its spots, and that the proposed FEIS, just like everything else they have done on this project, is woefully inadequate.

The Newman pattern was established long ago. Submit mountains of irrelevant data with as little real information as possible, and then whine about how much they’ve done and how unfair the delay is. The theory, of course, is that the Planning Board and the general public will eventually get tired of fighting and give in.

That’s a strategy that may have been successful in other towns, but I don’t think it is going to fly here. The main reason is that there are too many of you out there reading the truth in these blogs.

Please keep reading (and keep telling your friends about these blogs), keep writing comments, and keep letting our elected and appointed officials know that we want real answers, not more lies and deception!

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