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a community-run news site for sunderland sr2
My proposed concept is a community-run ‘hyperlocal’* news website, dedicated to the SR2 geographical area of Sunderland. Such hyperlocal news sites are springing up around (and outside) the United Kingdom, increasing access to the necessary technology and a zooming-out of mainstream local news the likely catalysts. BBC’s regional coverage, for example, is limited to a half-hour daily bulletin taking news from Tyneside, Teesside, Wearside, North Yorkshire and Cumbria - unless extraordinary, SR2 news will not feature. Similarly, SR2’s most local news provider, the Sunderland Echo, covers an approximate 25 miles square radius, so leaving ‘hyperlocal’ areas like SR2 in something of a news deficit. That is the vacuum hyperlocal news sites like SR2 BLOG are beginning to inhabit.
SR2 BLOG will bring together like-minded engaged citizens whose concerns and interests can be effectively expressed on a collaborative website. The aim is for a social news site; users (meaning publishers and visitors) contributing to a greater knowledge of Sunderland SR2, it’s residents, events, businesses and prospects.
talks over a hyperlocal consortia proposed by Ofcom and Digital Britain Report. Accounting for the engaged nature of the contributors and audience, the news of these hyperlocal sites tends to be politically focused with most emphasis on the relevant local authority. Typical news items include planning applications to the Council, residents’ concerns, lighter events pieces and aggregated coverage from other news sources. Recognising the significant potential for hyperlocal networks of news, *What is hyperlocal news? Hyperlocal news is information relevant big mainstream media have arrived on the scene. Trinity Mirror, Associ- to small communities and neighbourhoods (the postcode SR2, for exated Northcliffe, the Guardian are all parents of a network of hyperlocal ample) often overlooked by mainstream media for reasons I will outline news sites, while ITN, Guardian Media Group and Johnston Press are in (in Why?).
SR2 BLOG will publish news happening inside the SR2 postcode district of Sunderland. That’s roughly 4 miles square, in comparison to the Sunderland Echo patch (roughly 25 miles square.) Specifically, the wards and neighbourhoods SR2 BLOG will cover are: - Hendon - Ashbrooke - Grangetown - Hillview - Ryhope - Thornhill
online centres in sunderland
SR2 BLOG will be initially entirely funded by advertising. Advertisers will be businesses and organisations based in and around Sunderland SR2. Typical advertisers include: Student Diggs student accomodation provider, Pizzarama takeaway, Vaughan Hart financial advisers, The Rosedene pub and restaurant, Bodyline fitness centre, Chinese Kitchen restaurant and The Wild Bunch florist - all based in Sunderland SR2. SR2 BLOG will use three-click advertising intermediary, Addiply, to ensure advertisements site visitors see are directly relevant. Addiply is fast becoming the advertisement host of choice for similar news sites inside and outside the UK. Advertising will initially cost £2 per month. The rationale behind this is that SR2 BLOG has no pretences about the quantity of views it will get week-to-week - it’s an experimental venture not striving for sensational headlines in search engines, but a loyal userbase, and that takes time.
Advertising costs £2 per month, specifically, for a reason too. Here’s the maths: One year’s GoDaddy hosting (and domain ownership) of SR2 BLOG costs $67.58, that’s £40.59, give or take fluctuations in inflation rates. For the foreseeable future, there will be four advertising places on SR2 BLOG, each costing the advertiser £2 per month; should four advertisements be placed for 12 months, that’s £96 income - paying off the first year of hosting (10/2009 - 10/2010), the second year of hosting (10/2010 - 10/2011) and with £14.88 left to cover overheads (christmas cards, etc.) The idea is that SR2 BLOG will first be able to cover it’s costs, no one in the UK hyperlocal space is yet making a viable living from such a website. Over the next 12 months, SR2 BLOG will be an unsalaried parttime post for me, and have voluntary status for others wanting to contribute. For me, SR2 BLOG will reach ‘critical mass’ when there is at least four advertisers (advertising for a minimum of £2 per month) and two regular contributors. At that time, I will factor in the idea of paying a flat rate for (minimum of ) 300-word contributions. This rate would likely start at £5 for 300-word pieces.
In October 2009, the Guardian announced the launch of their foray into local journalism with the project, Guardian Local, which will be a ‘small-scale experimental approach to local newsgathering,’ according to Director of Digital Content for Guardian News & Media, Emily Bell. Sarah Hartley, Guardian Local’s launch editor, said, ‘While researching developments at the grassroots of community journalism, I’ve been impressed by the range and depth of coverage from local websites and blogs. This experimental project reflects both the shifting nature of journalism and the reality on the ground’ and has said that the UK, specifically, is currently experiencing a ‘fast-changing local news landscape.’ This ‘Big Media’ move into hyperlocal journalism follows on the back of hyperlocal news websites launched by Newsquest, Associated Northcliffe, Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror. of its news and a news vacuum in some neighbourhoods. It is also relevant here to look at one of the likely direction of Internet news publishing. Analysing a breakdown of his hyperlocal news site’s content, NEast Philly’s Christopher Wink (www.neastphilly.com) noted, ‘We know there is not one solution for this sustainable news conversation, but participatory journalism sure seems like a big part of it to me.’ With the help of a Knight Foundation News Challenge grant, NEast Philly plans to create a ‘sustainable network of professionally trained citizen journalists to cover their own neighbourhood civic meetings and local events.’ Wink estimates around 40% of NEast Philly is currently aggregated coverage, which he describes as ‘Making sure your readers know every link, story and conversation online that is relevant to your coverage[...]It will certainly become a big part of successful Research by Rachel Davis Mersey, published in Journalism Practice 3: news-gatherers in the future.’ Wink’s Philadelphia project lends itself 3, titled ‘Online News Users’ Sense of Community’, asserted that local to what new media commentator, Jeff Jarvis, calls ‘networked journalnews providers’ next move should be to explore the potential of the ism’ - ‘professionals and amateurs working together to get the real Web. ‘The challenge to local newspapers in light of dwindling circula- story, linking to each other across brands and old boundaries to share tion figures nationwide is to stay geographically relevant,’ Mersey said, facts, questions, answers, ideas, perspectives. It recognises the comadding, ‘Focusing on the potential of the Web to serve geographic com- plex relationship that will make news. And it focusses on the process munities should be the driver of future industry innovations and in- more than the product.’ dustry-oriented research[...]With nearly limitless space constraints, the Web can offer newspapers the opportunity to provide expansive The future of online news - as Jarvis, Wink and many others see it - will coverage of geographic areas without increased material and printing be more of a conversation between publisher and ‘audience’. In We, The costs. This geographic focus can be amplified with additional report- Media (2004), Dan Gillmor, purported, ‘Big media[...]treated the news ing, citizen-produced news, formal or informal weblogs, and additional as a lecture. We told you what the news was[...]Tomorrow’s news reetools.’ From panel discussions at the 2009 Society of Editors Confer- porting will be more of a conversation, or a seminar...’ ence, lecturer in Journalism at University of Sunderland, Julie Bradford, similarly recorded, ‘All panel say hyperlocal is way forward.’ East (and South) Sunderland, the area encompassing Sunderland SR2 and SR2 BLOG, is anecdotally the most vibrant region on WearWhether the aforementioned ‘Big Media’ embarked on hyperlocal news side, with more community-focussed events, Area Forums and active sites excited at the opportunity and potential of such projects, or sim- (and growing) Residents’ Associations. There has never before been ply to out-resource and square-off any independent start-ups is a moot a news-oriented website for Sunderland SR2; everything looking forpoint. The point stands that dwindling resources - staff, time and ward, now seems an opportune time to ride both waves and aim for money - at local and regional newspapers is likely to have an a respected news site that works hand-in-hand with its visitors to averse effect on how well-informed the constituents are contribute to a greater knowledge of Sunderland SR2, it’s residents, they affect to inform - as if local and regional news has events, businesses and prospects. become zoomed-out, contributing to a de-localisation
What News? (and where from?)
There are five common news sources for the news of a hyperlocal website. These are: - Minutes from council planning meetings (published in a darkened corner of the council website); - Emergency service voicebank; - Aggregated relevant coverage from other news sources; - Diary events; - Matters that arise during Residents’ Association meetings, police neighbourhood engagement meetings etc.
EXAMPLES OF NEWS FEATURED
news sources 23/10/09 - 12/12/09
news sources predicted for 2010
green: diary events orange: aggregated coverage red: voicebanks light blue: council documents dark blue: off-diary grey: content of community meetings
green: diary events orange: aggregated coverage red: voicebanks light blue: council documents dark blue: off-diary grey: content of community meetings
All research considered, I have formulated the following expectation for the user growth of SR2 Blog 12 months from its launch in October 2009. Calculating the percentage of hypothetical Sunderland-based users of SunderlandEcho.com, getting news about Sunderland and the surrounding region, I found that approximately 4% of the population of Sunderland (source: 2001 census) visit SunderlandEcho.com every day (source: ABCEs Jan-Jun 2009) - presuming those visitors are based in Sunderland. Anecdotally, the football news on SunderlandEcho.com is consistently the most visited topic and, coupling the increased Search Engine-ready nature of publishing and heightening profile of Sunderland AFC, the 4% figure is likely to be in the sense that users could be landing on SunderlandEcho.com from anywhere in the world. whole AMA network of ‘over 2000 community websites’, in the last six months there have been over 20,000 published articles, 10% of which were by users - rather than site editors - and around 1000 comments.
I took this as a useful indicator of the level of visitor contribution SR2 BLOG can expect, though there are a few variables to consider: the architecture of SR2 BLOG is considerably different to that of any of the aforementioned Johnston Press websites, something that is likely to subconciously feature in the mind of the visitor; the tone of SR2 BLOG is also considerably different to that of the Johnston Press websites - there is, for example, a call-to-action at the foot of every post in an attempt to get visitors to sign up as publishers; similarly, SR2 BLOG also has an ‘About’ page, shedding light into the people, principles and rationale behind the blog; it may also be fair to say, though I’m aware of no research to substantiate the claims, that I thought it would be useful to make these calculations to try gauge visitors are more likely to interact with, and feel more ownership over, some idea of the proportion of local people reading geographically-rel- a website that is more geographically-relevant to them, fostering a evant online news. Qualitative research into the field can be found with greater sense of community. the Ofcom report on page 06. Variables I took into account when approximating expected user The approximate population of Sunderland SR2, going on figures from growth for the forthcoming 12 months: anecdotal approximations on the 2001 census, is 30,000-35,000. the level of interaction on seven individual local newspaper websites; Hendon - 10,377 SunderlandEcho.com ABCEs from Jan-Jun 2009; approximate percentRyhope - 13,852 age of Sunderland population reading geographically-relevant news No figures for Ashbrooke, Grangetown, Thornhill, or Hillview. online; national standing of Sunderland and broadband-connected Approximate population of Sunderland SR2: 30,000-35,000 households; push on connecting more people to the Internet by Sunderland City Council; relatively large number of electronic village halls/ Sarah Booker, digital editor of six Johnston Press local newspaper web- UK online centres in Sunderland SR2; Google forecasting a five year high sites, told me there was no analysis tool for measuring exact number in searches for ‘Sunderland news’ in 2010; statistics on popularity of of visitors that comment on articles compared with visitors who don’t the various social networking sites on which SR2 BLOG has a comment on articles. From approximation though, Sarah said across presence. any one of her six websites, fewer than 1% of visitors will place a comment, while the vast majority of the -1% that do comment will Three months: ~800 page impressions /month be loyal commenters (‘conversational commenters’), rather than oncein-a-while commenters. Similarly, Richard Kendall, web editor of John- Six months: ~2200 page impressions/month ston Press title The Peterborough Evening Telegraph, said there was currently no way of quantifying such data, though he did reveal that Nine months: ~4000 page impressions/month (PET website) PeterboroughToday.co.uk now gets approaching 3,000 comments a month and, according to ABCE figures from Jan-Jun 2009, 12 months: ~6000 page impressions/month gets a monthly average of 162,149 Unique User/Browsers, equating to roughly 1.85% of visitors leaving comments.
I also spoke to James Rudd, website editor for a hyperlocal news site Affordable practicable tasks for facilitating growth and presence of concentrated on approximately 10,000 households in Towcester, and SR2 BLOG include: part of a nationwide network of such sites, found at AboutMyArea. - Christmas cards to all businesses and schools within co.uk. In the week 30/11 to 06/12, James’ Towcester news site (two Sunderland SR2; years, nine months old) recorded 10,267 visits and two comments. - Involvement at UK Online Centres and Electronic Village James pointed out that in order to comment on his site, the visitor Halls, including offering training/help; must be a registered member of AMA and felt it necessary to add that - Involvement at Area Forums, including workshops on re they ‘tend not to run anything very controversial’. He also added quest; that he doesn’t want loads of comments as ‘it would become - Syndicate content to Spark FM and About My Area. like a forum and get hijacked and abused’. Across the
Key figures on Ward statistics and statistics for the various presences of SR2 BLOG online (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, for example) can be found in Appendix 1. Due to having a permanent presence on the listed websites, SR2 BLOG also takes traffic from the following sources: - www.NewsNow.co.uk - www.sunderlandeastareaforum.org.uk/ - http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/wear/hi/
Age: 30-60 Household income: £25,000-£40,000 Socio-economic classification: C1C2D (‘lower middle class’, ‘skilled working class’ and ‘working class’) [Source: http://www.nrs.co.uk/lifestyle.html]
Likely someone who has never thought about going to community-engagement-type events - neighbourhood policing meetings and Residents’ Association meetings, for example - but would likely be interested in the content of such events, particularly crime reports. Likely to According to a 2008 survey of 1017 UK citizens by Livingstone & ask questions like ‘Who’s building what down my street?’, ‘Is burglary Markham, 23% of those questioned used the Internet to access news on the rise in Hendon?’, ‘Why did the church down our road close it’s at least three times a week, they were described as ‘more men, younger doors all of a sudden?’ ‘What happened with all those sirens whizzing and middle-class people’. Though this research is helpful, it is important past my house last night?’ Such questions can be answered but require to consider Sunderland-specific data on Sunderland-based citizens. A time, effort and a little journalistic knowlegde, SR2 BLOG seeks 2008 Ofcom report, for example, found Sunderland to be the city with to answer them all. the most broadband-connected homes in the UK (details below). Also, Sunderland was the overall winner of a government grant in 2007 that A 2004 US study into participation in civil society and ‘networked comaimed to improve the lives of the ‘socially excluded’ by utilising various munities’ (A. Kavanaugh et al. 2004) looked at personality traits in schemes, all aimed at making it easier for them to connect to the Inter- engaged citizens and found, ‘Extroversion, staying informed, and havnet. For such reasons, and considering the wide-ranging demographic ing membership in local organizations are significant in predicting comof Sunderland SR2 residents, it would be invalid to assume those visit- munity activism.’ Although they did not explicitly define ‘community ing SR2 BLOG are largely ‘men, younger and middle-class’ people. activism’, Kavanaugh et al defined ‘good citizenship’ as ‘participation in democratic processes such as keeping informed, discussing issues and JICREG data for the first half of 2009 found that 53% of Sunderland voting.’ Echo readership was female, the largest majority were aged 35-44 (though the 55-64 was close behind), and 65% of readers fell into the C2DE (‘working class’) NRS social grade. [Full JICREG data in Appendix 1] The typical SR2 BLOG contributor is likely to be one of the exceptionally active people in their community - have attended a neighbourhood policing meeting, is a member of a Residents’ Association, buys In calculating the average age of typical SR2 the local newspaper, has lived in the area for a long time*, is aware of BLOG contributor and visitor, I took into considtrends and changes in his neighbourhood and likely feels a great sense eration Andrea Kavanaugh et al’s 2004 study into or duty of community in contributing SR2 BLOG. ‘Participating in civil sociey: the case of networked communities.’ Their study of 100 engaged citizens in The typical SR2 BLOG contributor generally fits the estimateda small town in the US, they found the average age of demographic of the typical SR2 BLOG visitor in aspects of housethe person using ‘community-oriented networks’ was hold income and social classification. The typical contributor, however, 46-47-years-old, with a standard deviation of 14-15 is likely to be marginally older than the typical visitor. For the typical years. Also relevant is the length of time Kavanaugh contributor, I limited the age estimation to 35-50 years, as opposed et al found that the average user had been living in to 30-60 for the typical visitor. The rationale behind this is taken from that specific community*: 18 years, with a standard the average age of members of voluntary community organisations deviation of 16-17years. The average number of of(UK Online Centres and Residents’ Associations, to name just two) atfline groups to which these citizens belonged was tendees being higher than the average age of the UK population - this two. is where I predict the core of quality SR2 BLOG contributions to
Statistics from Ofcom’s 2008 annual communications report found Sunderland to have the highest percentage of broadband-connected homes in the UK. The report found that 66% of households in Sunderland have a broadband connection, compared with the national average of 57%. Source: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/research/cm/cmrnr08/uksummary.pdf In 2007, Sunderland City Council launched the Digital Challenge pro-
gramme, a scheme with the aim of getting even more Wearsiders online. Similarly, all libraries offer internet access and there has been an increase in the number of electronic village halls and UK Online Centres, both initiatives aimed at opening up access to the internet. There are two UK Online Centres and one electronic village hall in Sunderland SR2 alone.
dO PEOPLE REALLY CONSUME LOCAL NEWS ONLINE?
Source: Ofcom Review of Local Media: Qualitative Findings (July 2009) ‘Participants in the research report a range of different behaviours and attitudes around using websites to consume local content’, recorded the Ofcom report.
Some participants explain that websites are a natural way to access all types on information including both local information and news content. These participants say they prefer online consumption of local content as it enables convenient access and more tailored and targeted local content consumption. [..] In contrast, other participants are simply less engaged with the internet in general, due to either a lack of interest or knowledge of how to use the internet These participants say if they do use the internet at all, it is restricted to searching for specific local information on a small range of local websites, for example using a local newspaper website to find out the details of a particular upcoming event, or a local council website to find out what days the recycling will be collected.
Source: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/morr/reviewlocal.pdf [p. 14]
Of local news online, the report summised, ‘Local websites are felt to The report did, however, say that their respondents appeared to have provide convenience, choice and control over local content consumption ‘limited awareness’ of the range of local information online outside of: and act as a one-stop shop for most types of local content. They are the natural way to access local information for many participants who - National newspaper or news media websites; already use the internet regularly in their daily lives.’ - Local newspaper websites; Participants identified the following ‘key benefits’ of accessing local news online: - Event guides on local newspaper websites; - Provides choice and control over local content consumption; - A one-stop-shop for most types of local content; mand - Readily accessible source, able to access information on de- Entertainment venue websites; - Local council websites.
“ ” “ ”
“You don’t have to sift through the paper or wait for the news, you can just find it straight away, you just type in what headline it is [using websites.]” (Mansfield)
Source: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/morr/reviewlocal.pdf [p.14]
“Local Government website is handy for like Easter and bank holidays… to find out when they are actually coming to get the rubbish.” (Ruislip)
Changes in local media landscape
Participants in the research indicated they have seen a change in the local media landscape. Examples included: - Some titles covering a wider area resulting in some loss of localised content; - Some titles disappearing altogether; - Perception of a loss in news content - more advertising, thinner papers;
- Prices of newspapers have risen despite some reduction in content depth; Source: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/morr/reviewlocal.pdf [p. 17]
What are other UK hyperlocal news sites doing?
East Yorkshire-based Hedon Blog (hedonblog.wordpress.com) is one of the longest-running independent hyperlocal news sites in the UK. Launching in January 2009, Hedon Blog averaged 212 unique page views in the first month of going live; by July, Hedon Blog was receiving 1,784 unique page views a month, and by September that was up to 2,414. Lichfield Blog also launched in January 2009. In October 2009, Lichfield Blog received 40,000 page views in that one month alone. By November 2009, and still only 11 months old, Lichfield Blog was generating an income of over £70 in advertising revenue - surpassing even their own expectations.
Unlike Hedon Blog and many other hyperlocal news sites, Lichfield Hedon Blog built it’s profile and readership mainly through offline activ- Blog is operated by four media professionals and has published conity, namely targeted business card and flyer distribution. tributions from 12 other voluntary members. Towcester News (http://www.aboutmyarea.co.uk/Northamptonshire/ Towcester/NN12) is a hyperlocal news site for 10,000 in Towcester, Northamptonshire. Towcester News has been running for approaching three years and would appear to have built up a loyal userbase, apparently recording 10,267 visitors to the site for the week 30/11 - 06/12. Site editor, James Rudd, told me his news site had ‘effectively replace[d] the newspapers, who have little space and very little coverage of the area.’ Success, for me and SR2 BLOG, would be to have hit the critical mass defined on page 2 within 12 months, to have achieved a steady growth in unique site visitors, to have demonstrated the site and its content management system at an EVH/Online Centre, to have built a valuable and useful resource that could easily be taken on by any one (or all) of Sunderland SR2’s community organisations.
Technically being a community platform has, for SR2 BLOG, always been a top priority. As a parallel to trends in internet usage - Ofcom research outlined above - website developers, particularly those developing plugins for the open source WordPress, are likely to see such technicalities as a key focus, thus they should proliferate and improve. The nature of WordPress - chosen Content Management System for SR2 BLOG - being open source means that there are constently extensions being built for greater publisher customisation. There are, for example, currently 7,572 WordPress plugins - 20 of which are installed and active on SR2 BLOG.
[...]increased user involvement is having an upward effect on total surfing times. For example, according to Nielsen, the average UK internet user spent three hours and 40 minutes on ‘member community sites’ in September 2008, up 42% on the figure of two hours and 35 minutes for a year previously.
Trends in internet usage
Example of a simple user-entry fixture on the Northcliffe-owned hyperlocal news site for Berkhamsted, Berkhamsted People.
A user interface demonstration of SR2 BLOG can be found on page 08.
‘Write for SR2’ navigates user to WP registration page.
*SR2 neighbourhoods presented as a clickable list with quantity of news items. This appears as one of the first navigational tools because, unlike many online publishers, the SR2 BLOG homepage index is not broken down into categories. I see the SR2 BLOG homepage interface as much simpler and cleaner than the average online publisher.
t t t t t t t
Interactive map with all published news mapped. Sunderland SR2 being the size that it is, the idea is that visitors will arrive at the site, recognise the mapped area and go to their neighbouring streets, picking up the most relevant news possible. Traditional in-site search. All posts tagged by street presuming user is looking for geo-relevance. SR2 neighbourhoods presented as a clickable list with quantity of news items.* Simple email subscription box.
Near real-time feed of the below updates: - Twitter.com/SR2Blog - Delicious.com/joshhalliday/sunderland - YouTube.com/user/SR2Blog - Twitpic.com/photos/SR2Blog - Sunderland Echo news - BBC Wear news - Sunderland Eye Infirmary feedback - The Huntercombe Centre feedback - Ryhope General Hospital feedback JoshHalliday’s del.icio.us bookmarks tagged ‘Sunderland’ - usually council documents that are newsworthy but outside the patch of Sunderland SR2.
A feed of Chris Mullin MPs, Member of Parliament for Sunderland South, recent activity in Parliament, as recorded by Hansard.
A feature-heavy footer that hopefully makes the site more easily navigatable and adds depth in exposing more content.
the effect of online networks on civic engagement
Longitudinal research on 100 US households within a ‘mature community network’ found that ‘A community computer network* facilitates civic participation by providing pervasive local resources online and by connecting people to local communication and discussion channels, public and non-profit organization leaders and members, and many other civic resources’ [A. Kavanaugh et al. (2004) Participating in civil society: the case of networked communities. p.1]
Kavanaugh et al on the effect of community-based websites on civic information distribution:
Although political bodies have been required to make most information accessible to the public, it has been difficult for the average citizen to find and obtain background information and documentation on important issues beyond what is reported in the mass media. Local issues may be covered only in a local newspaper, radio or television broadcast, but the detailed information behind the stories is difficult to track down. It is very time consuming to investigate where background information is, to identify and make contact with appropriate officials or staff, or traipse through government buildings, town halls, or public libraries seeking records. This has been the specialized work of media reporters and determined activists. It is generally accepted that Internet tools, such as web browsers and email, have lowered costs of locating, acquiring and exchanging such information. (Kavanaugh, 2004)
A community computer network facilitates civic participation by providing pervasive local resources online and by connecting people to local communication and discussion channels, public and non-profit organization leaders and members, and many other civic resources.
support the use by local groups of innovative tools for non-experts, such as easy collaborative web-based tools for information production and collaboration’ (Kavanaugh, 2004).
online centres in sunderland
Further, reinforcing the SR2 BLOG growth-facilitating plan to involve workshops at local Electronic Village Halls and Online Centres, Kavanaugh recommended, ‘Community networks should also promote and
The mission statement of SR2 BLOG is to ‘bring together like-minded engaged citizens whose concerns and interests can be effectively expressed on a collaborative website. The aim is for a social news site; users [...] contributing to a greater knowledge of Sunderland SR2, it’s residents, events businesses and prospects.’ I believe everything in this concept document points to the likely success of SR2 BLOG as a community resource.
*‘community network’: ‘Community-oriented networks seek to facilitate information dissemination, discussion, and joint activity pertaining to municipal government, public schools, voluntary associations, local events, community issues, regional economic development and social services.’
Hendon Source: 2001 Census (http://bit.ly/5k0NkV)
a community-run news site for sunderland sr2
Sunderland Source: 2001 Census (http://bit.ly/5k0NkV) Population: 280,807 Full-time workers aged 16-74: 37% (of total population) Part-time workers aged 16-74: 11% Self-employed workers aged 16-74: 4% Retired workers aged 16-74: 14% Students aged 16-74: 4% Economically inactive (looking after home/family, permanently sick/ disabled, other): 19% Large employers and higher managerial occupations: 1.85% Higher professional occupations: 2.28% Lower managerial and professional occupations: 13.47% Aged 16-74 with no qualifications: 36%
Population: 10,377 Full-time workers aged 16-74: 33% (of total population) Part-time workers aged 16-74: 11% Self-employed workers aged 16-74: 5% Retired workers aged 16-74: 13% Students aged 16-74: 5% Economically inactive (looking after home/family, permanently sick/ disabled, other): 21% Large employers and higher managerial occupations: 1.6% Higher professional occupations: 2.54% Lower managerial and professional occupations: 13.42% Aged 16-74 with no qualifications: 36%
Source: Hitwise (data taken from week ending 28/11/2009) http://bit.ly/3qGO8b YouTube.com/user/SR2Blog YouTube was the sixth most-visited website in the UK – ahead of UK msn, the BBC homepage, Amazon and Wikipedia, amongst others. Out of the social networking websites, YouTube was the second most-visited in the UK with 16.16%, only behind Facebook and far exceeding third-placed Bebo. Facebook Page: SR2 Blog Facebook was the second most-visited website in the UK in the same time period. Out of the social networking websites, Facebook had far and away the lion share of all UK visits with 51.05% Twitter.com/SR2Blog Twitter was not amongst the most-visited websites in the UK in the given time period. Out of the social networking websites, Twitter ranked fourth, with 1.9% of all UK visits.
Gazettelive.co.uk Source: ABCE report January-June 2009: http://bit.ly/8zvU0U Daily average of Unique Users/Browsers: 15,419 Monthly average of Unique Users/Browsers: 264, 648 No data available for individual site addresses, though we can see a list of most visited on monthly averages. The Gazette’s hyperlocal site for Redcar (http://ts10.gazettelive.co.uk) remained the third most-visited GazetteLive.co.uk address in every month from January to June. SunderlandEcho.com Source: ABCE report January-June 2009: http://bit.ly/6yWtIe Daily average of Unique Users/Browsers: 11,332 Monthly average of Unique Users/Browsers: 182, 106 C2DE: 62,130 AB: 11,486 C1: 21,598 C2: 20,812 DE: 41,318 Source: http://bit.ly/5mh6L9
Sunderland Echo Readership
Statistics compiled by JICREG, taken from January - June 2009, shows the following about the readership of Sunderland Echo. Female readers: 50,453 Male readers: 44,761 Age 15-24: 14343
Age 25-34: 13,494 Age 35-44: 15,384 Age 45-54: 12,557 Age 55-64: 15,026 Age 65-74: 13,828 Age 75+: 10,582 ABC1: 33,083
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