Parish Meeting Website Report (June 2008)

www.thornhams.org has been ‘live’ since mid September 2007. In
August 2008 we will be invoiced for hosting of the site for the coming year (£99)
and so the village needs to make a decision on whether to continue supporting
the site financially.

Quantifying
a website’s "success" is never easy but given the proportion of computers to
households within the Thornhams, the penetration of broadband and varied
audience I believe our web presence has been very successful. Personally, I
think there is every reason to continue with the site and if the village does
decide to support it then I’m happy to continue supporting it technically.

To
help you draw your own conclusions on the relative merits of www.thornhams.org,
I have put together a summary of interesting statistics.

Finally,
I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the site
over the past eight months – without you, there is no site!

General Statistics

Registered users: 53

News / Stories items
contributed: 45

Forum posts: 36

Events posted: 76

Directory entries: 14 

2008 Visitor
Statistics

Month

Unique visitors

Number of visits

Pages

Hits

Bandwidth

Jan 2008

189

358

3038

19004

142.99 MB

Feb 2008

361

647

4249

17077

117.20 MB

Mar 2008

252

453

3275

12473

83.62 MB

Apr 2008

284

476

3979

14231

101.91 MB

May 2008

230

442

2703

10478

76.10 MB

Popularity

Forum: The forum is our most popular section – but very
rarely posted to! This is my favourite rant
J about the site, it’s potentially so useful and
clearly people do read it BUT people seem reluctant to take part in existing
discussions or indeed start new ones. If anyone can enlighten me as to any
technical / usability issues creating a barrier here then I would love to hear
about it so that I can try and improve it. As an illustration of the potential
of the forum:

a)   
In 1 month,
Sian Balmer’s post on offering eggs for sale received 70+ views!

b)   
My own post on
Freecycle has received over 100 views

c)   
My own "For
sale" posts have received many hundreds of views!

 Clearly there is an
audience…

Village Business: Typically around 60 views per month

Upcoming events: Typically 50-60 views per month

Directory: Typically 30-40 views per month

Specific Items:

Each
new ‘News and Stories’ item typically generates around 40-60 views with local
interest items like the Gislingham post office articles generating 100+ views.

Alan’s article on Bowls was
a big hit and his new Bowls Club page got 60+ views in its first month. This
shows the potential for specific clubs in / around the village to make use of
the site – we’ve now created a dedicated area for clubs and each is welcome to
have its own page. Would your club / organisation like a page?

Bulk Email: We’ve used this sparingly for items which need
prompt attention / action – for example the Gislingham post office story and
the spate of crimes. What we don’t want to do is ‘spam’ people’s email with
lots of redundant chatter but it’s definitely a worthwhile facility for
important items. We would encourage everybody to register if only for this
expedient means of spreading important news. If people don’t have regular
access themselves, they can still register through a friend / relative who
does.

Plans for the Future

I’ve
recently made a few minor changes to the website to make it more accessible /
useful, in particular making the ‘News and Stories’ section the first page on
the site. This light tinkering is likely to continue as and when I have time
but I’d like to stress that suggestions for additions / improvement are always
welcome.

One new section I plan on
adding is a neighbourhood watch section if anybody has any views on that? It
would also be a worthwhile investment boosting the site’s presence in google
results where we don’t fare too well currently. Any other suggestions? 

Thanks for reading,

The Thornhams web team

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