Happy Birthday Rahway Rising

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who’s been reading the blog over the past 365 days, and for commenting and sending e-mails. Hard to believe it’s been a year, but in the time since I started the blog, Hotel Indigo and SkyView at Carriage City Plaza have both opened and Hamilton Laundry finally was demolished. The economy has tanked altogether as well, forcing changes to two projects in town.

I started the blog because I’m interested in what goes on in my neighborhood and in my town, and I figure most people are as well. Unfortunately, while there are plenty of cable news channels screaming about the presidential election (granted, it’s important too), there’s precious few media covering what’s happening at a local Zoning Board or Planning Board meeting. What can I say, I’m a community journalist at heart, from my days as, well, a community journalist for a weekly newspaper.

You’ll notice there’s no advertising on the site. I’ve thought about messing around with Google AdWords but I thought it probably wouldn’t be worth the four cents a week I’d rake in. The blog isn’t what pays my bills either, so it’s really more a hobby/community service.

For those who are curious, here are some random readership statistics about the blog. I started tracking blog traffic in earnest with Google Analytics in mid-January, so these figures are for the last 8 1/2 months or so, and not a full year:

30,408 Visits
57,605 Page views
1.89 Pages per visit
2:23 Average time on site
8,384 Visitors

We have 151 subscribers by email, compared to 68 after six months (and 156 just yesterday…?). It’s been around 150 for a few weeks now. The highest number of visits in a day (226) was July 7; perhaps after a post about the number of units closing at SkyView. Not surprising considering SkyView is among the most popular key word searches that end up on the blog. We also get a number of visitors searching for Luciano’s and Cubanu, with a few looking for The Savoy. The most widely read posts also are still the ones about Luciano’s and Cubanu.

Goals for the second year? I’d like to hopefully spice up the blog graphically, but sometimes it’s tough to find the time after writing a few posts a week. I’m also hopeful of “marketing” the blog a bit more and getting the word out. It’s just been word of mouth and Internet searches so far that have pointed people toward the site. I’m also hoping to get a regular poll back up and running more frequently; that kind of petered out a few months ago. I also might be open to finding a new name for the blog if anyone has suggestions. I’ve explained the title before but I get the impression people think the blog is a totally pro-redevelopment, positive-only place to visit. I’ll write about anything going on, but good or bad is for readers to decide.

As always, I’m open to suggestions for improving the blog. Feel free to tell me what you like or don’t like either via the comments section below or by email. There’s been talk amongst the inner circle for some time about hosting a Rahway Rising happy hour or some kind of get-together. Maybe I’ll just have everyone over for some Karaoke Revolution.

Thanks again for reading.