Tom Ferrio and I started Progressive Charlestown ten months ago as a way to explore ideas, dig into the issues and, mostly, to have fun.
We found that
’s life and politics was generally poorly covered in the media, and that coverage was pretty superficial. Charlestown
seemed to us to be mostly based on rumor, misinformation or bombast. Charlestown
We found that
The number of “views” (hits) started slow – only 1,041 in February, our first full month, but started growing on a steady slope. By the sixth month, July, we hit over 12,000 hits per month. October came in at just under 17,000 hits. On November 17, 2011, we broke the 1,000 single day hit total for the first time with 1043, besting our count for the entire month of February.
All told, we hit 100,000 total hits on November 28 after the publication of our 950th article. Average views per day now top 750 – close to 1,000 on some weekdays, and down in the 500s over the weekend when we take a little break and run more syndicated material.
So far, our current log shows we have published over 1,160 comments. We rejected only 178 comments – almost all of them anonymous, though by their style, they seem to have been written by a small handful of people with lots of time on their hands and not much useful to say.
Although local news coverage is our bread and butter, we had three stories that accidentally drew large readership from outside Charlestown (one on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” auditions, another on gun control and a third on Solidarity protests). Google searches brought viewers interested in those topics to us.
The top local story in the past 10 months was Tom’s preview of the opening of the Breachway Grill. Following that was my story, Class War in
, Part 3: Closing the Borders. Charlestown
In all the monthly and weekly totals, our local news and review articles score the highest ratings. In the last month, our most-read articles were on the terrible Chariho car crash, the on-going
Lisa DiBello expose and stories on affordable housing and the Planning Commission.
We “tag” stories by key word and these are provided to you as an index you can use by clicking on the “Topic List” at the top of the page.
The top five most frequent topics we've written about are State and National articles; the Town Council, Taxes, Charlestown Living and the Charlestown Citizens Alliance.
Numbers 6 to 10 are Class War, Wind power,
Lisa DiBello, Humor and Ruth Platner. It seems funny to me to see “humor” next to both Platner and DiBello.
And finally, numbers 16 to 20 are Deputy Dan Slattery, the Tea Party, the beach, affordable housing, and
Tom and I still write the largest number of articles, but we no longer write the majority. Between the growing number of pieces by
Linda Felaco, our content-sharing arrangements with EcoRI and South Kingstown Patch, a growing list of occasional authors and our use of syndicated articles or aggregation of other material, we now cover many topics with a large chorus of voices.
Like most blogs, Progressive Charlestown is a work that is continuing to evolve. We add and eliminate gadgets and features all the time to try to give you useful tools and make it easy to read our material.
We like to take chances with our material by addressing controversial issues. We probe deeply to find the truth even though we know we will provoke a reaction. We name names. We cite the material we use as sources (and usually give you a link to look for yourself). We can be rude, crude, cheeky and edgy.
We get yelled at for not publishing every anonymous comment. We get yelled at for publishing background on public figures. We get yelled at for being “progressives,” or commies, or left-wing ideologues – here’s a factoid for our conservative critics to ponder: after the United States (where 90% of our “hits” originate), our second largest audience is in
(1.8% of our hits). But the only criticism we care about is whether we made a mistake on the facts. Russia
Jim Mageau once called us a “cesspool of slander and lies.” Actually, we are the de-nitrification system of slander and lies, disinfecting the lies and hypocrisy in our local political system with a bright light.
We are not the Charlestown Citizens Alliance. We are not the
Westerly Sun or Chariho Times. As much as we love them, we are also not the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee. We are Progressive Charlestown, your only independent source for in-depth coverage of politics and culture. Charlestown
Hope we make it to hit #1,000,000.