Today, is a milestone day for OurHometown.ca. Today our site welcomed its one millionth visitor for the calendar year of 2012! As I reflect on this accomplishment, I would like to share some of the history that has brought us to this point.
Windsor - December 19, 2012 - Today, is a milestone day for OurHometown.ca. Today our site welcomed its one millionth visitor for the calendar year of 2012! As I reflect on this accomplishment, I would like to share some of the history that has brought us to this point.
One day back in November 2010, Kevin Lajoie and I were having a coffee and our conversation turned to the topic of local media. We discussed how there was not one single place where residents of Cornwall and SD&G could go to learn about all the good things and wonderful events happening in the area. We talked about the need to create a venue for area residents to have a platform to showcase their good news stories.
That conversation lead to action and on January 27, 2011 OurHometown.ca was launched. February was our first full month of operation and we had only 2,318 visitors over those 28 days.
March 2011 seemed like a big month with 4,089 visits and 25 days with over 100 visitors. We have come a long way since those days. Working with and meeting lots of new people has been great too, we've come a long way in a short period of time!
Natalie Knezic, Cynthia Burk, David Murphy and Mitch Melnick were our first four columnists providing regular articles about cooking, local politics, music and sports.
Near the end May of that year, Kevin became the Public Information Coordinator with the City of Cornwall and as a result stepped away from OurHometown.ca. Losing one of its founders and the journalism brains behind the site was a huge loss for OH and almost resulted in its demise.
Shortly thereafter, we were informed that Google News had approved the site as a recognized news site and our traffic began to grow significantly. It was at this point that we realized that the site had turned the corner and for it to flourish, we needed more columnists.
Over the coming months, we began to build an impressive roster of regular contributors - most of whom were blogging on their own sites. A partnership with OurHometown.ca was a natural fit for many of our writers, as it provided increased readership for them and quality content for the site.
At the bottom of this story is a complete list of our columnists for 2012. In addition to this list, we have had a number of readers submit articles for publication.
Our most active writer has been Rob Soria, who joined us in October 2011 as our Edmonton Oilers correspondent. Since joining OurHometown.ca, Rob has written over 500 articles on the Oilers, the Eskimos, the Oil Kings, baseball, tennis, Olympics, World Juniors and more. Rob’s relationship with the site grew to the point, that in June of this year we launched an Edmonton version of OurHometown.ca, - that is owned and operated by Rob and his wife Deb.
In April of this year, a career change for me resulted in a move to Windsor. At that point, the reigns of the Cornwall version of OurHometown.ca, were capably assumed by Paul and Jennifer MacIsaac. Judy Bobka has worked tirelessly to sniff out hundreds of events in SD&G and enter them into the OH database.
In July of this year, OurHometown.ca expanded into the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region. Tim Cornett has joined our Windsor team and has been a huge asset in our growth into this part of the province.
I would like to share a few impressive stats since the launch of the site!
- As of today, OurHometown.ca has welcomed 1,257,471 visitors who have viewed 3,989,118 pages.
- Site visits in 2012 will be four times higher than 2011.
- Our best month ever was Feburary 2012 with 192,825 visits and 547,746 page views.
- This story is the 4,695th story posted on our site.
- OH has helped promote over 5,400 events.
As you can see, many people have contributed to the success of OurHometown.ca. As we recognize today’s milestone, it is a great day to say thank you to all of them! Each of you have played a key role in growing our numbers. A heartfelt THANK YOU also goes out to the thousands of you who have made our site one of your regular online destinations.
We are looking forward to see what 2013 will bring!
Guy Lauzon, MP
Brian Masse, MP
Jim McDonnell, MPP
David Murphy, Councillor
Taras Natyshak, MPP
- thank you as well to the readers who have submitted articles and to the many organizations who send regular media releases.