Well, 2009 is finally behind us and I will bet that most people are quite happy to see the last of that particular year. I say most because while it had its difficult moments for me personally it was also a good year for The Revelstoke Current and I predict that 2010 will be even better.
The Current has not just survived its first six months but has proven itself to be the major information source about all things Revelstoke for more than 11,000 people. When I last wrote about the state of The Current at the end of September (which was the end of the first quarter) we had been visited by just over 5,000 readers. This morning, Jan. 1, 2010 at 3:38 am, we had been read by 11,130 people. So we’ve gained about 6,000 new readers in just three months. I’d say that’s pretty good; wouldn’t you?
Those 11,130 people are visiting the site about 3,000 times a week and almost 500 times a day and have cumulatively read 198,395 pages. The average visitor reads 3.95 pages and spends 3:28 minutes doing so. This may not seem like a lot of time and a lot of pages to people who don’t spend much time online, but those folks who — like me — haunt the web know that that is very, very good.
To date, The Current has produced and published 703 stories, 34 videos (viewed more than 4,500 times separately from the regular Current content) and 1,796 photographs since its inception on July 1.This very intense level of coverage of local events and people will continue. I am not going to pretend that it is easy. It’s not. I truly am very, very happy doing what I am doing (those people who know me remark about this all the time) but it demands 17-hour days seven days a week. Fortunately, I am assisted by all kinds of people: from the men and women who stop me in the street to tell me what they think — good, bad and indifferent — about The Current, to the others who call, e-mail and button-hole me to tell me about what’s going on around town. I am also very grateful for the many, many comments (more than 200 published as direct posts or as letters to the editor) from readers and the columns and stories written by men and women like Steve Bender, Sarah Newton, Shirley Berg, Carolyn Kempton, Larry Pawlitsky, Leslie Savage, Susan Knight, Karen McColl and the indefatigable Barb Little. I deeply appreciate their willingness to utilize The Current the way it should be utilized. I am also gratified by their recognition that The Current is actually read by a huge number of people here at home and across the province, country, continent and the planet. The Current is open to anyone who wants to publish their views on issues relevant to Revelstoke and its inhabitants and I encourage thoughtful people everywhere to file their thoughts online with The Current. (As publisher and editor I must vet everything to ensure that neither the author nor The Current can or will be sued but people who know me also know that I am very open-minded.) I would also like to thank the principals, teachers, staff and students at the city’s schools for being such avid contributors to The Current.
And, of course, there is the print version of The Revelstoke Current. Revelstoke Printing pumps out 1,000 copies every Monday and I distribute them across the city the same day with large drops at Community Connections, the Community Centre, Southside, PT Farm Market, People’s, Pharmasave, Cooper’s, Malone’s and Seven 11. About 900 of those go home. The rest are collected and recycled the following Monday.
The print and the online versions of The Current are free to all readers because we have been very fortunate to gain the paid advertising support ot many local businesses, community groups and agencies. As we enter 2010 I wish to thank them all: Revelstoke Printing, Shane McCallum and Rev Software, Okanagan College, Community Connections, the Revelstoke Public Library and Okanagan Regional LIbrary, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce, The Nickelodeon Museum, Cheers, the Roxy Theatre, Heart to Heart Healing, Spice O’Life, Ambience Gallery and Framing, The Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier, Refinery Day Spa, Revelstoke Employment Services Centre, Castle Joe Books, MP Jim Abbott, MLA Norm Macdonald, the City of Revelstoke and its various agencies, MArk McKee and Style Trend, the Homecoming Committee, the Arts Council, the Revelstoke Visual Arts Society, Repsyched, Classic Touch Jewellery, the Revelstoke Teachers’ Association, the Shuswap Columbia District Labour Council, the Revelstoke Ski Club, Parks Canada, Bear Aware, the Theatre Company, Revelstoke Minor Hockey, School District 19, Operation Christmas Child and the Alliance Church, the Columbia Basin Alliance of Literacy, the Revelstoke Child Care Society, the Community Foundation, the Museum & Archives, the Railway Museum, the Revelstoke and District Humane Society, the North Columbia Environmental Society, Chalet Bakery, Paramjit’s Kitchen and everyone else who has advertised online and in print. Your confidence in The Current’s content and its overall popular appeal as well as your willingness to signal that confidence by supporting The Current financially is greatly appreciated.
Most of all I wish to publicly acknowledge and thank my partner, Sue Leach, without whose thoughtful constructive criticism and ongoing personal support I would be hard-pressed to produce this print newspaper and online news site.
And finally, I wish to thank you: all of the men, women and children and who have helped make The Current a true source of: fresh news daily from Revelstoke’s only locally owned community news provider.
May 2010 be a great year for all of us here in Revelsroke.