In January of 2008 a number of us who had been involved in local news decided that Alexandria needed an online newspaper devoted to high standards of professional journalism that would publish local news and features. Alexandrianews.org was born that month and we published our first effort on January 13. This year we celebrate our ninth anniversary. When we began we hoped that people would click on our website. We ended our opening editorial with the words “…(we) would love to become a part of your life.”
We have no statistics from 2008 but began collecting data in 2009. In March of that year we had 569 unique visitors, 1,250 visits viewing about 28,000 pages and about 117,000 hits on the site. In other words, AlexandriaNews began with a modest readership.
By December 2009, traffic increased to nearly 2,400 unique monthly visitors, a total of 11,500 visits viewing about 54,000 pages and generating 215,000 hits.
Our family of readers is no longer small and we are no longer known only to a few Alexandrians. In December 2016, our unique monthly visitors reached 50,000 with total of 105,000 visits viewing over 410,000 pages and generating over 2,000,000 hits.
We are thankful to our readers. The three founders – Jim Boissonnault, Carla Branch and Rodger Digilio – sought to create a news source dedicated "traditional reporting". In the current era of fake news and mindless blogging we are demonstrating that timely real news and thoughtful opinion grounded in facts are still welcomed by many Americans, particularly in Alexandria.
We have embraced social media and are active on Twitter and Facebook. Today you can conveniently read our content on your mobile phone, your tablet or your laptop as well as your desktop computer.
You may have noticed that alexandrianews.org has had a different look for the past few months. This is because the new format is a better platform for our readers who use smaller screen devices to check in. The new format better serves our customer base and we were able to effect a seamless transition thanks to the volunteer efforts of Board Member Jim Boissonnault.
You may have also noticed that we carry a great deal of advertising for non-profits in our area. For the most part we do so as a free public service. Alexandria’s non-profits, civic associations and business associations are an integral part of our community and we are proud to support them as they strive to make Alexandria a better place for all of us. We also appreciate our paid advertisers who support us in our mission and receive increasing exposure to our local market.
As we enter our tenth year, we remain committed to the goals we adopted in 2008. The high standards will not change and the coverage will be as complete as we can make it. We are honored to have seen our family of readership grow by nearly 100 times its original size over our nine years. We thank you whether you have been with us the entire time or have just joined. We encourage you to sign up for a free subscription and receive our daily digest of latest news.
Our hardworking staff includes: Editorial Assistant Ellen Jones; Social Media Manager, Reporter and Photographer Katie Smythe; Photographer Wayne Hulehan; and Theater Critic Laura Fries. We have a Board of Directors who keep us on the straight and narrow. All of us wish you the best for the coming year.
As always we hope you agree with us that “You get it First and You get it Right” with alexandrianews.org and that you will remain a part of our growing family for 2017.
Rodger Digilio, Founder, Busines Manager