The turn of the new year is a good time to evaluate progress and plan for more. When I set up the Commissioner Amanda Fritz web site in January 2009, I wrote,
"My team's goal for this web site is that it will become one of your favorite places for finding out information quickly, and for giving feedback on projects and issues you care about..... I believe the people of Portland, when given accurate, inclusive information that isn't full of acronyms and insider-speak, make good choices about what's worth spending time and money on, and what isn't. As a community organizer, I experienced problems with finding that accurate, clear data. It shouldn't be so hard for citizens to find out what is going on in City government. I promised during my campaign for City Commissioner to work to make it easier, and this site is part of the process of honoring that commitment."
Based on the site statistics counted for 2010 compared with 2009, my staff and I seem to be achieving at least part of those goals. The following numbers are those recorded for external users, i.e. computers outside the City of Portland network.
Total page views 271,461 854,439
Front page visits 41,472 54,642
Calendar page visits 115,142 550,285
Blog pages viewed 58,567 121,063
While some of the increased traffic may be from having more content posted, so search engines have more scope to find the target information, it looks like more Portlanders are using the site to find information this year than last.
A greatly enhanced feature in 2010 is the Coming Down The Pike tab, thanks to my assistant Cary Turkon who searches City web pages and announcements daily for opportunities for public engagement that we believe may be especially meaningful and interesting for Portlanders. That page earned 53,427 views in 2010.
The full breakdown of which tabs gathered views in 2010:
The single most popular post so far is Lower Cost Comcast Options, with 7,297 viewings. Next most read was my July 2009 monthly calendar, for unknown reasons, with 5,503 views. Thanks to Cary, Amanda Mansfield in 2009, and since March of 2010 to Milena Hermansky for keeping my schedule easily available to anyone interested.
Some issues that have been popular in my email inbox didn't necessarily see a corresponding level of interest in information posted on my blog. For example, $20 million "for bike projects from sewer rates" ? explaining my research and reasoning on perhaps the most controversial issue of 2010, attracted only 1,714 readers. One of our team's most satisfying accomplishments of 2010, the amendments discussed in What to do with West Hayden Island, drew 1,055. On the "What Happened" page, Process for review of Cellular facilities in neighborhoods was the most read with 992 views.
My staff and I will keep working to provide you with accurate, timely information, as we head into the second half of my term. One of my goals for 2011 is to find ways to allow the City Council's weekly meeting Agenda to be posted earlier than Friday afternoon, so both citizens and my team and I have more time to review and comment on the items on the Agenda. Another goal is to estabish better feedback mechanisms after City Council meetings, so citizens can more easily find out what happened on each agenda item and what the gist of the discussion was, without having to view the video of the entire Council session. Even more than before I was elected, I firmly believe that Portlanders - including the five members of the City Council, and the elected City Auditor - make good choices when given accurate, inclusive information with adequate time to research and consider options before making decisions. My staff and I will continue to use this site to help in that process. Please keep visiting.