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Friday, November 29, 2013

UPDATED: A million here, a million there and soon you’re talking about real numbers

Progressive Charlestown hits 1,000,000 page-views
By Will Collette

UPDATE: We closed out November by setting a new monthly record of 57,929 page views. That works out to an average or 1,931 a day.

At Progressive Charlestown, we have a lot to be thankful for – mainly that we've been able to come this far with a project that Tom Ferrio and I took on pretty much as a way to blow off tension and have some fun. 

That was our original plan in January 2009. We didn't expect to run more than an occasional article – maybe one or two a week – and figured we’d be lucky if more than a couple dozen or so people read what we wrote.

The statistics count at 9 AM this morning. The meter rolled over the
one-million mark early Friday morning
Three and a half years later, we have hit one million page-views. A page-views is counted every time a reader clicks on an individual article to read it. That's different than a “hit” when someone happens to click on our website homepage. Generally, it takes about ten "hits" before someone clicks on an individual article to create a "page-views." We now average 1,900 page-views a day.

Back in 2009, contrary to what CCA Party pundit Mikey Chambers would have you believe, we formed Progressive Charlestown in spite of and as an alternative to the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee, of which Tom and I remain proud, loyal members.

We wanted to take positions substantially to the left of the more moderate views of the town committee as a whole. We wanted to be able to react more quickly to town issues than a by-the-book town committee with an elaborate consensus-building process. We also wanted to do investigative journalism and to write about lots of other topics, including life and culture, history, food or whatever else struck our fancy. So, again, we repeat – Progressive Charlestown is not a wholly owned subsidiary of the CDTC and doesn't take orders from it. Conversely, Progressive Charlestown does not issue orders to the committee.

We have no more control over the CDTC than we do over Mike Chambers’ rants. However, please note that the Charlestown Citizens Alliance controls the website where Mike’s bushwha is published; nothing is published on that site without the approval of the CCA Party’s web master (Planning Commissar Ruth Platner). 

It is disingenuous for the CCA Party to declaim any responsibility for his nonsense while repeating Chambers’ claims about Progressive Charlestown and refusing to publish signed responses from non CCA Party members refuting Chambers’ nonsense.

Now, about hitting one million page-views. We achieved this by publishing over 5,000 individual articles. These included lots of hard-hitting investigative articles on Charlestown politics and challenges to the ruling hegemony of the CCA Party. And restaurant reviews. And public service announcements.

We’ve published articles by Regina DeAngelo detailing how she almost killed herself twice recently by eating poisonous mushrooms she thought were safeWe've published Bob Yarnall’s famous “WTF” series, now in its second season, on the antics of the Morainiacs – the odd followers of CCA guru Ron Areglado formerly known as the Partridge Family. We've published Sue Clayton’s series on what it’s like to have the Copar Quarry as a neighbor. We've published letters and testimony from dozens of other town residents.

We ran Frank Glista’s wonderful multi-part tribute to the Navy flyers who passed through the Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Field that is now Ninigret Park and the federal Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge.

We've published articles from occasional writers and from journalist partners from around Rhode Island such as TraceyC, EcoRI, Narragansett Patch and Rhode Island’s Future

We've published lots of cartoons, political commentary, environmental reporting, health and science news, and whatever else interested us, and might, we thought, interest you.

Despite the epidemic in Charlestown of that dreaded disease, Humorous Dyscognition, we have published lots of satire and humor pieces. We created cheeky caricatures of some of our local characters. We crack jokes, invent rude nicknames and make wise cracks on a regular basis. Sometimes, we tee off on people's own nicknames - e.g. Mike Chambers calls himself "Soxman." 

There were the wildly popular "Deputy Dan" cartoons I used when covering the antics of CCA Party Town Councilor Dan Slattery.

We have probably pissed off just about every reader at least once since January 2009 and will almost certainly piss them off again before we’re through.

Our local blowhard politicians have come to learn that we will dig for the truth. We will call them out. We will find and publish documents they want to cover up. We don't claim to be unbiased but we do back up what we say with the documentation. How you about you, Mikey?

Example of a very rude caricature of Town Council Boss Tom Gentz
(CCA Party) showing his criteria for making decisions
We hit a million page-views which we never expected, or even intended, to do. 

We only published a handful of articles in January 2009 and had only 106 page views. But in February 2009, our first full month, we hit 1,041. Our numbers grew from there are a pretty steep curve. We hit our record - so far - in January 2013 with 57,150 then came close in October with 56,959. November looks like it will hit around that same number.

I don’t know if we’ll ever hit two million although our growing readership curve is such that we could hit that mark in a year. By then, we probably won’t even think of it as news or, more likely, our brains will be so scrambled that we might not even notice we hit that mark.

But whatever the future holds, thank you all for reading Progressive Charlestown and making it such an exciting experience for us.