The Olympian received some good news last week. The Society for Professional Journalists in the Northwest region named our website – www.theolympian.com – as the best for breaking news among newspapers of any size.
Our Web Editor Long Liu is understandably proud because we beat out all the other major metro newspapers. The Oregonian in Portland came in second, and The Seattle Times came in third.
While Liu manages our site, he gets lots of help from news assistant Tammy McGee and the entire Olympian newsroom, making our site the dominant online source of news and information about the South Sound. The Olympian’s website gets 3.2 million page views per month and almost 400,000 unique visitors. And here’s an interesting fact: About 66 percent of those visitors to our website are under the age of 44.
Our website traffic is fairly consistent every day, but it certainly spikes when we have major breaking news stories. For example, traffic almost tripled on the day we broke the news that police had arrested then-Olympia City Councilman Joe Hyer.
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By itself, the printed version of The Olympian reaches 132,840 people every day in our whole distribution area, which includes parts of the counties that surround Thurston County. But when you combine our print and online readers, our readership jumps by 30 percent to 172,857. This data comes from Scarborough Research, the company that tracks media, including TV and radio.
The SPJ award simply means that other professional journalists recognize that this newsroom, here in the capital city, does an outstanding job of breaking news. We’re proud of that. But what we really want to win are the hearts and minds of Thurston readers.
Drop me a line. Let me know what you think of our website and how we could make it better for you.
On a humorous note, someday the people who run the Internet are going to realize they’re missing the huge guy market. Sure, we can buy tools online and follow the U.S. Open hole-by-hole in real time. That’s fun, but not really useful.
How about a website called Houseworkcalculator.org?
If you’re a guy, you already think you do more than your share of the housework by unloading the dishwasher every other week. Your spouse probably thinks differently. She may want you to cook dinner once in a while, mow the lawn or even just stop blowing your nose in the dirty laundry. Personally, I think you’ve got a rock-solid argument, but how about a website that could tell you for sure?
You would plug in the hours per week you spend at work and other activities that contribute to your smooth-running household, such as keeping the beer fridge stocked and making sure the remote for the television still works. Then you input the amount of time your spouse wastes trying to convince you that some chore needs doing, which she could use so much more productively. Then, voilà, the housework calculator produces a time management chart complete with graphs and a list of the Top 10 reasons why you should be allowed to go golfing on Saturday.
Boys & Girls Clubs President Wayne Williams told about 700 people attending the annual fundraising breakfast last week that 500 kids per day use one of Thurston’s B&G clubs. They have 1,800 members, a growth of about 60 percent in the past five years.
George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, can be reached at 360-357 0206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.