Our village website has just passed a historic milestone today. This blog, set up to serve a few hundred people in and around Parwich, has just received half a million visits.
The site has been extraordinarily successful since it was officially launched in March 2008. The blog plays an important role in keeping the community informed and provides an effective means of holding a collective dialogue. We are regularly cited as one of the most successful ‘hyperlocal‘ websites in the country, and we are held up as an example of what local communities can achieve when they harness the power of the internet.
On average last year, we received 545 page views per day. These visits come from people who live locally and want to know what’s going on; they come from from people who used to live here and like to keep a connection to the area; they come from people as far afield as the USA and Australia, who have historical connections and want to find out more.
So here are some more statistics…
Our most popular month was January 2010, when 72 notices were posted and almost 26,000 page views were recorded. Subjects ranged that month from make-up workshops, through Austrian dinner evenings to a lament that the fish and chip van hadn’t turned up!
Our most popular day was June 30th 2010, when 2003 visitors clicked on the site. The main interest that day was the Hill Race. Many pictures of the contestants were posted and there was great interest in this record of the races.
They say the best form of flattery is imitation. We were particularly chuffed therefore that the creators of that long-running BBC institution – The Archers – have used parwich.org as an input to create their own village website - click here to see just how similar it is! What’s more, Archers scriptwriter Keri Davis dips in to parwich.org to get ideas.
I’ve been popping into parwich.org for quite a while as an Archers scriptwriter, often drawing on it for little village details. So yes, it was a big influence when we were setting up the Ambridge site.
Most of all, we’d would like to thank you for your support and active participation on the website. It’s a cliché, but without you, the whole thing would not work at all! Please keep your information and ideas rolling in….we’ve only just begun……