ONE MILLION is such a nice, round number.
As of today, ArmchairMayor.ca has attracted more than 955,000 views since its inception in 2008. It won’t be long before we hit the one million mark.
The site is currently getting about 34,000 views per month, which isn’t bad for a humble little independent forum on the greater Kamloops community. Our biggest-ever day was 13,151 views, which is quite amazing, and we’ve had more than 4,500 comments.
Back in December, I wrote that I was pondering the future of ArmchairMayor.ca. Frankly, I was seriously thinking of shutting it down and closing myself in my office to write a book or maybe get the house finished.
But I still have this somewhat romantic notion of a site that focuses on being a soapbox on Kamloops and the Thompson-Nicola, and on things going on elsewhere in the world of importance to us here at home.
So I’m going to keep it going. Being that I don’t make my living doing this, ArmchairMayor.ca has the advantage of not having to worry about offending advertisers or special interests. In other words, we can say what we want on this site, within the limits of legality and good taste. As the saying goes, we aren’t for sale.
In recent weeks, I’ve been expanding the content as the site reshapes itself, and the corresponding growth in traffic is encouraging, and seems to reaffirm that ArmchairMayor.ca has a place in the broadly served Kamloops media market. Our partnership with CFJC Today is working well, giving our writers broader exposure than they could get on this website alone.
I don’t have any illusions about being a big player in the local media scene. The site is not mainstream, yet it’s more than a blog. Sort of a hybrid, a little different from what’s become commonly known as citizen journalism. And I think there’s value in that.
But there’s a caveat, and you knew it was coming. It will cost about $500 a month to continue, which is a pretty tightly run ship as media outlets go. I’m venturing into AdWords, which is the advertising program operated by WordPress. It will help somewhat, but my understanding is it actually generates very little revenue.
So I’ve re-posted the PayPal button and it is working properly now, and I invite you to consider supporting the costs of this website from time to time, which include maintaining the domain, hosting, insurance, office supplies, and paying WordPress costs. That doesn’t count my time and that of our local contributors, the numbers of which are growing.
Though they don’t expect it, should revenues at some point exceed the other basic costs, my intention would be to show some appreciation to them and thereby help local writers get experience.
We shall see. Over the next couple of weeks, there may be some slowing down as I work on a relaunch with a new design that will be better suited to the purpose. After that, my target will be about a half dozen good think pieces a day, plus being a venue to some of our community groups to publicize their events and projects.
In the meantime, sincere thanks for your support thus far in following and reading, and providing your comments and input. Before you know it, we’ll be celebrating 10 years, and that’s something I look forward to.
— Mel Rothenburger