It has been a good year for this site with growth of over 600% for followers and page views. If anywhere near that growth rate continues it is looking very good for the future of this site and what it can achieve.
At the end of 2011, its 1st year, this site had 300 email followers and 104,889 page views. The site for 2012 is currently sitting on 1889 email followers and over 684,000 page views which means by the end of the year it should be around 1900 followers and 700,000 page views.
What doesn’t show in the above figures is the influence this site has had on driving stories in other media. For example every time you read about the AWU fraud matter no matter on what media forum this site can take some credit as it got the ball rolling in August last year and continued to drive it. Other stories have also been picked up by other media. Sometimes this site gets credit although mostly it does not.
So my guess is that this site has had influence on stories that have generated millions of page views maybe going into the tens of millions and then if you add TV, radio and papers etc it goes a lot higher again. As the site grows the influence will become greater over time.
Interviews do help with promoting this site but with the rise of social media like Facebook and Twitter etc. it is of less importance. If enough followers use social media to promote the posts when I do them it can be just as effective as an interview for promoting the story.
For the first 20 months (Jan 2011 to August 2012) this site raised funds solely via book sales, t-shirts and mugs. While showing signs of growth, revenue did not cover fixed costs for that period, so the site was funded almost 100% out of my own pocket. At the end of August I reluctantly added a donation button. I say reluctantly because this site is not a charity and I had avoided adding a donation button until then.
But a reader suggested I add the donation button and because the financial outlook for this site was not great at least in the short-term I decided to try it. While not raising a fortune it has been a big help and allowed me to do a few things that I would not have otherwise been able to do. Such as the trip to Canberra, having time of work and inspecting the court files (the court charged me $111 just to inspect the 3 files). Things like that which helps with posts and this site.
I decided to try the crowd funding campaign so I could work on this site full-time instead of my spare-time which I currently do. The campaign did not succeed and did not raise any funds as it did not hit its target. It was worth trying but was clearly at least 12 months before its time.
2013 should be a big year for this site especially if it continues to grow like it has this year. But even at a lower growth rate it should be powering along at the end of 2013.
I have only scratched the surface of things that I would like to do with this site but over time hopefully I will get there. One of the things I did not do to the degree that I would have liked is more video on the site. Hopefully I will be able to pick that up next year.
It would be nice to do another Canberra trip even if only achieves the result of rattling the cage of the Canberra Press Gallery Committee again. If the pressure is kept on eventually they will crack and I will get a press pass or at least others like me will.
Thank you to the supporters
Thank you to everyone who has supported the site during the year. Whether that be making a donation, buying a book or t-shirt or simply following the site by email. Without your support this site would not be where it is and all things considered I am very happy with what it has achieved to date. And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.
I will start posting again at the end of January which is the same break from posting as I had last December / January. Although I will still be working on the site from an administration viewpoint and look at updating the site in a number of areas.
I am currently planning and preparing for next year and in an election year it would be good to work on this site as much as possible to help drive important issues. If you would like to help it would be greatly appreciated if you would make a donation. Just click on the donation button below or go to the donation page for details to send a cheque. (Click here for the donation page)
Thank you for your support