The subjects talked about here on the Hickory Hound aren't for the feint of heart. I constantly have people fussing at me about not providing a positive message for public consumption. If you want pablum, there are a plethora of sources out there that you can go to to get that. I am here for an exercise of information for critical thinkers. I am here to provide information and you the consumer of this information can choose what emotion you personally want to attach to it.
On September 6, 2011 the Hound went over 50,000 unique views. In keeping a log of these numbers since this blog's inception, we have seen a gathering of momentum that is building constant steam and feeding off of itself. I have kept track and informed the public every time we have reached a milestone in this journey. At first, I was marking 5,000 unique viewer increments, but since we have become more dynamic, I would have been marking that number every few months.
It only took 154 days (5 months and 1 day) to go from the 40,000 unique view milestone to 50,000. The previous milestone (30,000 to 40,000 unique viewers) took 179 days. The milestone previously to that last October (25k to 30k) unique view milestone took 82 days compared to the previous 5,000 increment (from 20k to 25k) that took 130 days. That means in total it took 212 days to go from 20,000 to 30,000 unique viewers.
Last April I remarked that it was my hope that "we are getting to the point where the next milestone, 50,000 unique views, will be attainable in 5 months or less, but you never know." I think 5 months and 1 day met that target.
I have personally been through a lot in my personal life over the last 5 months. My grandmother passed away on August 6th and my mother had broken her hip the week before that and she is still recovering. It is a challenge to move forward on this mission sometimes and at times I feel that it is an obligation. From the beginning I have believed that this has been a divine mission devoted to progress. I know that this blog causes some people in our community to despise me. I am not here to see whose enemy list I can join. I am here to talk about relevant public issues that need to be addressed. If you are operating out in the open, honestly, and above board, then this blog is your friend. If you are doing some shady stuff, then I can understand the paranoia.
This blog does receive attention and a lot of that is very positive. This blog had a role that it played in the creation and implementation in such notable processes and events, such as the "Innovation 2010" event and the Edison Project. Issues that have been discussed on this blog are being considered for Catawba County's Strategic Economic Development plan moving forward. We have also made contact and move forward ideas with other hosts of New Media outlets and we have had articles linked to and reposted by other internet users in places around the world.
Now I am not boasting about this. I don't know if this growth will continue at the pace it has. If we look at full years when considering growth, the first full year began in 2009, and in looking at 2010 we see a 15% increase in viewers and being conservative about projections about where we are headed towards the final numbers of this year, it looks as though we will see 22,000 unique views, up from 16,058 last year. That translates to a growth rate of over 27% for this year. I think that is pretty good growth.
Sure, I would like to see more growth, but I don't take the readers of this blog for granted. Sure, I get peeved at some viewers on occasion and I know that viewers have been peeved at me on more than one occasion, but you are appreciated. I even have been banned by a moderator on the Pack Pride website because I promoted some of my stories on there and they went against the tendencies of that mod and there were people on there that "pure T" hate Hickory.
I know that Hickory is like family to me. I can talk smack about it, because I get P.O.ed about a lot of what I see going on around here, but I take up for this place and I don't want to hear other communities talking about us being the backwoods of North Carolina. You hear that more these days than you heard a decade ago. I want us to move forward towards positive progress. That doesn't come from Used Car Salesman marketing. That will come from a focused and concerted effort of honestly assessing our strengths and weaknesses and addressing the negatives in an aggressive manor.
Let's see where the next while takes us. In the last month we have pushed forward with another 2,000 unique views. I promise that I will continue to attack the news, views, and issues in an aggressive manner and we will continue to work towards waking people up to the fact that they have a vital role to play in personally participating in the Economics and Governance of our area.