It’s hard to believe, but My Edmonds News is a year old this month. Granted, the first site was a simple Word Press blog with little formatting and no advertising support – and we didn’t even start tracking visitor stats until we launched a redesign in January to accommodate more features and some ad space.
So it’s only fitting to say thank you now to everyone who has supported this site and made it their own. It’s delightful to see the comments exchanged and the debate that goes on regarding issues that matter to our town. I’ve lived here 26 years, and I am continually amazed by the level of caring and citizen involvement demonstrated on a regular basis.
I am proud of what My Edmonds News has accomplished in the past 12 months. Since January, our site traffic has grown from averaging 88 unique visitors a day to well over 1,200. We have nearly 450 Facebook fans and more than 500 Twitter followers. In March of this year, we were invited to become an online news partner of The Seattle Times, joining the company of some of the nation’s best-known and well-respected neighborhood news sites, including the West Seattle Blog and MyBallard. In August, we partnered with The Times to produce a special report on family homelessness.
October was a particularly busy month for us. We joined with Edmonds Community College and two other online community news sites to put on two Civic Engagement forums: one featuring local candidates for state Legislature and the other focused on Initiative 1098, with William Gates Sr. and former Sen. Slade Gorton. We were a media sponsor of last weekend’s Edmonds International Film Festival and are a co-sponsor of this Sunday’s Green Halloween booth in downtown Edmonds.
We are proud to be Edmonds’ only locally owned online community news site, and we are committed to supporting local businesses and keeping our dollars right here in Edmonds.
That said, we know that there are challenges ahead. A week from Monday, on Nov. 8, you will see the launch of an online news site called Edmonds Patch. This is one of many Patch sites that will be appearing in the Puget Sound area in the next few weeks, all part of a nationwide effort by AOL, which has invested $50 million in their “hyperlocal” news network.
It’s hard to tell what type of impact this online national chain will have on all of us independently owned news sites, but the reality is, there are only so many advertising dollars to go around. Our hope is that our current and future advertisers will continue to see the value of keeping our dollars local and supporting those who work here and live here, rather than sending their money to a large corporation.
Be assured that we will continue to be the “online gathering place for neighbors and friends,” where you can chat with your neighbors, check out the local sports scores or contribute your community news. We will also be adding some new features in upcoming weeks, including a weekly email newsletter, a regular column for families and enhanced sports coverage.
Thank you again for your support of My Edmonds News.
Teresa Wippel, Publisher