Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Does anyone really care about chickens in Sarasota?

I'm never sure exactly what to say when critical folks ask why the City should be "wasting its time" discussing backyard chickens. Because I would hope whenever dozens of citizens send emails, or 32 show up to testify in favor at a hearing, or 579 join a Facebook group, that their interests and concerns would be precisely the sort of thing the City would want to address. Now we have a new metric, a new milestone or measure of interest in local backyard chickens -- our blog recorded its ten thousandth pageview today.

Ten thousand is not a big number on the internet, but when a blog deals in a rather focused way with chickens in a City with less than 30,000 housing units, ten thousand starts seeming significant.

Of course, 10,000 pageviews doesn't represent 10,000 people, but neither does it represent a ten people each reading a thousand pages. And while we know some significant percentage of readers live outside Sarasota (and outside the U.S.) it seems obvious that there are far more interesting sites to peruse if one is neither interested in chickens nor Sarasota.

Growth in pageviews for the Sarasota CLUCK blog since June of 2010
The most recent 5,000 pageviews were recorded in the past 40 days -- an average of 125 pageviews a day. That's compared with the first 5,000 which took 200 days to log (just 25 pageviews a day).

The mayor has said the chicken initiative has engaged the community more than any issue since the  Unconditional Surrender statue. That community conversation focused on how we view the past and what constitutes art.

The backyard chicken initiative focuses on the future and how we view sustainability. Ten thousand pageviews is testimony to sustained interest in backyard chickens in Sarasota.

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