Several days ago, a milestone was hit here at 1812Blockhouse. We are now six months old (or young, depending on your perspective).
Birthdays are great times to both look back and look forward. In that spirit, it seemed a good idea to share with you a few numbers and observations about this experiment in local journalism.
First, some statistics. According to “master control,” the interface on which stories are written and posted, there have been a total of 973 posts in that time. That first post looked at a then-upcoming show of African Violets coming to Kingwood Center Gardens.
Like most media platforms, we are close followers of site traffic and collect hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly statistics. Our highest volume day over the past six months took place on December 18 of last year, the day we published a story which directed readers to a West Virginia TV station’s news article profiling a Mansfield man who lost his life while assisting another motorist. The two-day period of December 17 and 18 brought almost 9,000 unique visitors to the site.
Our Landmarks of Mansfield series is very popular and brings in substantial numbers of new 1812Blockhouse readers each time a new landmark is profiled. Other successful initiatives have included our Mansfield Holiday Central, which proved a popular online Christmas destination; and our occasional “roundups” where we collect coverage and social media focused on a particular topic. We have provided photo and video coverage of three parades, the Christmas Tree lighting at Richland Carrousel Park, an encampment at South Park, and other events.
We have recently done some small changes on the site to make it easier to read, particularly on mobile. Those revisions will continue. Our master plan for the next two months includes a focus on three key areas – site enhancements, news gathering, and innovation.
The latter of these is likely the most important. We have constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to connect our readers with the world around them. Some we have already used, and were likely the first media site in Mansfield to do so.
In the end, the idea behind 1812Blockhouse remains very close to that when it started – to collect and share the best media posts about Mansfield and the surrounding area, while contributing our own coverage and writing to that mix. We’re cousins to similar sites springing up around the country, and there’s a bright future.
To celebrate, over the next handful of days we’ll be sharing some of our coverage and photo essays from the last six months.