Visitation is way up

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

Visitation to the News-Herald’s Web site has risen dramatically in recent months, going from less than 40,000 to more than 60,000. I dare say is the fastest growing Web site in Suffolk.

Much like my 170 IQ, though, it’s just a personal estimate. I have no hard data to back it up.

Seriously, I do have hard data – about our Web site visitation, not my IQ, which I honestly do suspect to be in triple digits. The growth has thrilled us, but it hasn’t been by accident. We’ve invested a good bit of money and time into creating a site that is friendlier and we hop, a little more fun, than what we had in the past.


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About my only contact with it is through this blog, with which I’m having a blast. It’s typically the first thing I do in the morning or the last at night. I spend all of about 10 minutes on it and I’m sure it shows. Outside of a computer spell check, I don’t edit or let anyone else edit it. I want it to be raw.

Reaction has been strong. It’s been up for less than two months and I probably get more correspondence about what appears here than anything in the printed product – except for perhaps that horse barn or whatever it is proposed for Driver.

It’s not all positive, either. I received a particularly vitriolic piece of mail Wednesday from a local businessman upset about something that had appeared here, this despite the fact that what I wrote came directly from an email he sent my wife. I called yesterday to discuss but he was out. I’ll wait until we talk before I decide whether I misreported something. If it was wrong, I’ll be happy to correct it, but I don’t think it was. I was told he was out of town.

Plus, this is the Internet, so unlike the newspaper, I’m under no obligation to be truthful or responsible with what I put here. Please bear that in mind when reading it.

One of our columnists in the print edition has a habit of quoting stuff off the Internet as fact. I’ve talked to him before about this but he insists on doing so if it supports his reactionary, right wing politics.

&uot;Charles Manson has a Web site, for crying out loud,&uot; I’ve pleaded. &uot;Just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t make it true – in fact, it makes it more likely to be unverified or downright false.&uot;

Somewhat ironic that Mickey Garcia and attorney David Arnold hosted an open house at the home on Brewer Avenue that Garcia has renovated for Arnold on the same day the city announced that downtown coordinator Elizabeth McCoury is leaving.

Both the News-Herald and the Norfolk newspaper stated in their reports something to the effect that McCoury has been largely responsible for the revitalization of downtown.

The assertion is likely valid. While much money has been invested in turning around downtown, just about every developer I’ve spoken too has mentioned her efforts in having a big impact on their ultimate decision to invest here.

While talking to Arnold at his new home yesterday, he made mention of the downtown &uot;freight train,&uot; referencing the pace of development. McCoury was quoted saying the same thing in today’s paper.

Arnold’s home, by the way, is magnificent and put me in mind of some beach homes my wife dragged me to once at the Outer Banks Parade of Homes. Large, bright colors, a home theater…it was magnificent and likely indicative of what’s to come downtown.

McCoury will be able to leave Suffolk knowing she’s done a fine job.