By Clara Woodward
Clarion Blog Staff
The Clarion News Blog reached another milestone some time Monday evening, when it recorded its 20,000th visitor according to WordPress.com blog statistics. The blog was started in March of last year, when The Lake & Valley Clarion newspaper was discontinued, but was not moved to WordPress until May. Therefore, the count reflects less than 10 months of blogging activity. (The count also may not include readers who view the blog through a feed aggregator such as Google Reader.)
Publisher Corrin Strong said he was gratified by the growing readership and sponsorship of all the Clarion Call Blogs. He also noted that readership of the blogs based around his and Bill Lofquist’s weekly columns have both more than tripled in recent months.
Strong attributed that to a growing public interest in the development issue in Geneseo, as well as some ground-breaking research by columnist Bill Lofquist. “Bill’s recent 4-part series on the History of the Gateway District has revealed how many of our local leaders and citizens have either conveniently forgotten, or tried to hide, the original goals of our local planning and zoning,” Strong said.
Strong also credited a weekly e-mail newsletter that started in December with increasing the traffic. “We have over 350 local names on the e-mail list, but we are hoping to grow the list even further,” Strong said. On Sunday, the blogs began a two-week campaign to boost newsletter subscriptions with a special message featuring an animated character named Clara (the Clarion News Blog Info Babe). Clara’s message can be viewed here
The newsletter comes out at the end of each week (usually on Friday) and provides a short summary of the news items and columns published that week. The newsletter contains direct links to each story making it easier to get to the stories you are interested in quickly. Subscriptions are totally free and subscribers can opt out at any time.
Strong said he was also gratified that the blogs are generating more posted comments and some lively discussion. His recent column on “Doing the right thing” has already generated 11 comments. “When we started the blogs, people seemed reluctant to get involved in the debate,” Strong noted. “That reticence has definitely lessened!”
In recent months, the Clarion Call Blogs have also added a number of local businesses as sponsors. The cost of a 2 x 2″ ad is $50 a month and the ad appears in both the newsletter and on the home page. Businesses interested in sponsoring opportunities should e-mail Corrin.