Happy six months everybody

Paper is what you give for a first anniversary. What do you give for a six-month “anniversary”? Ah, you don’t have to get me anything; reading the blog is gift enough for me. Six months technically isn’t an anniversary anyway, which is why I hate when people say x-month/week anniversary. But happy six months to everyone.

Another record number of votes in the the latest poll, besting the last poll, which had 73 votes. Of course anyone with too much time on their hands could skew the results, so it’s by no means scientific — but it sure is fun!

“It’s almost six months since we started. What do you think of the blog?”
Positively blog-irific! I can’t get enough! — (58/76) 76 percent
I like to check in, but I’m not addicted — (15/76) 19 percent
A blog among many — (1/76) 1 percent
Ah, you’re just a shill for the (insert political party here) — (1/76) 1 percent
Don’t quit your day job — (1/76) 1 percent

Wow, thanks for all the love, the checks are in the mail. But seriously, even those who didn’t gush about the blog, I’m always open to suggestions about anything at all. And since the brain trust is running dry lately for new poll questions, feel free to pass along any suggestions. Let ‘er rip in the comments section anytime. And try checking in on comments from older posts, you’d be surprised what you find.

The first couple of months were focused on just getting something posted and it wasn’t until about mid-January that I got around to tracking visits to the blog and jazzing it up, i.e., subscribe by email, etc. I’ll try to experiment some more but I tend to worry about just getting news up.

In case you’re interested, here are some statistics about the blog (gotta love Google Analytics even though they probably have more info on me than I care to think about). Since mid-January, we’ve had 8,569 visits from 2,792 visitors and almost 18,000 page views and with more than 2 page views per visit. We now get more than 100 visits almost every weekday (one reason why I tend to post stuff during the week more often lately), with a high of 181 on March 31. Average time on site is almost 3 minutes and the percentage of new visits is still almost 33 percent.

Of the more than 2,600 visits that found the blog by keyword searches, almost 600 (22 percent) came from searches for “rahway rising,” “rahway blog” and “rahway rising blog.” It appears some people still just type in the name in a search and access the blog that way; bookmark it, baby! Or better yet, subscribe by email or RSS feed. There are 68 subscribers by email, slow and steady growth the past two months (maybe a handful of new ones each week).

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common keyword searches that ended up visiting the blog:

Luciano’s — 343 visits (13.1 percent, of the 2,600+)
SkyView — 182 (6.9 percent)
Cubanu — 167 (6.4 percent)
Rahway Center Partnership survey — 62 (2.3 percent)
Dornoch — 47 (1.8 percent)

There may have been slightly more in some categories, but I lumped all related searches into one, i.e., Luciano’s had searches for “luciano’s rahway,” “luciano’s restaurant,” etc. Not surprisingly then, the top three most viewed posts in the first six months all were related to Luciano’s and Cubanu opening or reviews. Rounding out the top five were the posts about condos rejected at the Koza’s site (big among nj.com readers ea few months back) and the state of the city address, which mentioned several development projects.

Most readers usually access the site directly, but 4.6 percent came through nj.com, and another 3.8 percent through craigslist (New York and New Jersey).

Thanks to everyone who’s been reading and those who have commented — especially those who don’t do it anonymously — it’s really kicked it up a notch the last few weeks.