This blog post about our NewsTrust Baltimore local news experiment was written by local editor Mary Hartney and originally published on our Baltimore blog on March 15, 2011. It is republished here for the benefit of our national community with some additional material.
As we hit the midpoint of March, we're a month and a half into the NewsTrust Baltimore pilot, and this is a good opportunity to take a step back to see how this social news experiment is going.
Let's start with the stats. In the first six weeks of this project, we've had more than 6,000 visitors to the site, with more than 12,000 visits, and nearly 60,000 page-views. On average, NewsTrust Baltimore users spend nearly 6 minutes on the site per visit -- wow! That tells me that our members are very engaged, which we also see from their thoughtful comments and reviews. We have nearly 500 members at this point, and more than 300 of those are reviewers. We're delighted that these numbers exceed our goals!
We've set some additional goals for ourselves for the extension of this project, which will run through July, and we're well on our way to hitting those marks. Our media and educational partners continue to help us grow, by promoting this project, sending us visitors and asking their communities to review stories on NewsTrust Baltimore.
We're grateful that our members continue to support this social news experiment, as well. NewsTrust Baltimore reviewers are leaving thoughtful reviews across the site -- check out these blog posts for examples -- and helping post stories from a variety of news sources covering Baltimore and Maryland.
As we move forward, we want to stay connected to our community, and we always welcome your feedback. Are we missing any sources that you like to read online? Have we missed news stories that are important to you? Would you like us to work with your school or educational program? Let us know how we can help and improve. You can always leave a comment on the blog or send us an email at baltimore-at-newstrust-dot-net.
If you haven't already signed up for NewsTrust Baltimore, please do so. To stay up to date with the latest news and information about this project, we recommend you sign up to get our daily and weekly newsletters, which you can sign up for in your "my account" area, in the emails tab. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Thanks for helping make this experiment a success!
Here are reports on the first six news hunts we conducted in Baltimore:
- Politics News Hunt Results
- Business News Hunt Results
- Sci/Tech News Hunt Results
- Living News Hunt Results
- Community News Hunt Results
- Transportation News Hunt Results
To learn more about these programs, read our News Hunts overview page.
Here is an excerpt from community manager Gin Ferrara's blog post on March 17, 2011 about the first NewsTrust Baltimore community meet-up:
On Tuesday evening, March 15, we stepped away from our computers and headed down to Teavolve in Harbor East for our first meetup with the NewsTrust Baltimore community: partners, journalists, members, and Baltimoreans invested in good journalism. We wanted to celebrate the extension to the pilot and to have the chance to just chat with each other about Baltimore, journalism, and our role as members of the broader community.
Check out our photo slideshow from the event:
Read more about the meet-up on the Baltimore blog.