Does anybody read the Friday Memo on LoGroNo?

I’ve been doing weekly recaps of City Administrator Joel Walinkski’s Friday memo for forever. Actually it was Griff who started it.  We wanted to disseminate the information in the Friday Memo (a PDF link posted on the City website), highlighting items of note with the ability to link to other documents and materials.  Eventually the Northfield News and others began posting links to the Friday Memo, and recently the City started including hyperlinks in the memo PDF itself.

I’m wondering if Griff’s original idea has now outlived its usefulness. Since there are rarely any comments on the Friday Memo posts, I’m not sure we’re doing much of a service; not enough, that is, to justify the hassle factor (for me).  So I’d like to know, if I discontinue doing the Friday Memo posts, does anyone care?

I haven’t done the last two, and the only person I’ve heard from about it is Griff.  🙂   I’m happy to continue if our commentary is an added value, but if not, the information is available multiple places now. I’d like to know what you think.

18 Comments

  1. John S. Thomas said:

    This is really interesting. Joel is speaking highly of the city’s website and how it scored 20,072 visits with 44,262 page views.

    If you scroll to the end of the document, and look at the actual metrics, 14,333 of those page views, some 32.38% go to library views.

    It also shows that over 52% of the users to the site have to use a search engine to find the site.

    Also, 2.21 pages per visit is basically the homepage, the page they are looking for, read it, and they are gone.

    To find the library catalog, it is homepage, Library, Find books & materials, then click on Library catalog, and they are gone to a different website. If that is the case, using 3 as the average, then nearly 5,000 of the 20,000 visits were from folks looking for the Library. That is actually pretty extraordinary.

    I would be really curious to see the top 10 paths, or pages followed metrics.

    Tracy, keep the link. 2,116 of the visits were from referring sites.

    Thanks!
    -J

    May 17, 2010
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  2. kiffi summa said:

    John: This is a very interesting analysis/tracking of the city’s website. I believe many of the library visits are actually renewing or requesting materials online; even non- techy me does all my renewing online now as that seems to be the most efficient way to do it, rather than tying up a librarian on the phone.

    Tracy: I would think that most people who have the skills to visit LG, would also be able to visit the City website, and read the CA’s weekly memo there… so then it is a matter of whether LG wishes to provide that link…

    May 18, 2010
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    • Tracy Davis said:

      Kiffi, do you think LoGroNo having the memo as a regular feature helps people to find the memo? The City website organization often leaves a bit to be desired, although the Friday Memo is more prominent than many things there.

      May 18, 2010
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      • John S. Thomas said:

        The city’s web metrics software should actually be able to tell the number of times the city memo was accessed by locally grown as a referrer… Perhaps you could charge the city $0.02 per click through?

        I should be careful. I am going to get Griff started! 😎

        It is obvious from the metrics, that folks cannot find the cities webpage without using a search engine. That tells me that they are not publishing the link well enough, both online and in print.

        May 18, 2010
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Tracy, I think your headline is misleading because it implies that we’ve placed the Friday Memo here on LG for people to read. I’ve long objected to the Nfld News downloading the Friday Memo PDF from the City’s website and uploading it to their own site because they continue to have a policy of refusing to link to anyone outside their website.

    As for the service we provide by blogging the Friday Memo, it’s really just to make people aware of the issues/info in it while at the same time urging people to be aware of City Hall-related meetings that are upcoming. I’ve never seen it as a blog post to stimulate discussion since it’s not issue-specific.

    May 18, 2010
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  4. Ross Currier said:

    But Griff, didn’t Tracy just stimulate discussion between John and Kiffi?

    And I will add that John’s discussion stimulated my thinking. His suggested analysis of the paths and related metrics could be a source of quantification for prioritization.

    May 18, 2010
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  5. Chaunce Stanton said:

    For what it’s worth, I do read Joel’s Friday memos thanks to LG, and I mentioned it to Joel recently, too. Told him if he added a few pictures and jazzed up the formatting, he’d have himself a newsletter!

    May 18, 2010
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    • John S. Thomas said:

      Careful, they might submit it for bid, get three consultants to show them how to format it, and publish it for $$$ a year… What we have is just fine! 😎

      May 18, 2010
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  6. Tracy Davis said:

    Hmmmm….. interesting comments, all.

    Griff – what’s your case for our continuing to link from here?

    May 18, 2010
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    • kiffi summa said:

      I’m NOT Griff… but I do think, Tracy, that it is a public service since there are often discussions here that relate to City Hall….

      May 18, 2010
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  7. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    Tracy,

    It’s due to your posting the Friday Memo that I got into the habit of reading it. Keep it up, please.

    I’ve been wanting to talk to you about the proposed motocross raceway and the ordinance change required. We are short on time, with the vote on Tuesday morning, May 25.

    Why has City of Northfield not discussed this? City of Dundas has, and issued a comment at the public hearing May 6.

    May 18, 2010
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    • Tracy Davis said:

      Stephanie, I think part of the reason the Planning Commission hasn’t formulated any kind of statement is that we’ve been buried in the new zoning ordinances and that’s been fairly consuming. I agree that it might be helpful for the PC to be more proactive on regional zoning issues, but in prioritizing our meeting time, we’ve just had to make decisions otherwise.

      I posted a followup question to you on the Motokazie thread.

      May 18, 2010
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  8. Tracy Davis said:

    Thanks, Chaunce, John, Stephanie, Kiffi…. I’m still waiting for Griff to make his case.

    May 18, 2010
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  9. Griff Wigley said:

    Tracy, I made my case above: “it’s really just to make people aware of the issues/info in it while at the same time urging people to be aware of City Hall-related meetings that are upcoming. I’ve never seen it as a blog post to stimulate discussion since it’s not issue-specific.”

    I’d add that I think it helps to remind people that although we discuss the big issues of the City here, the formal democratic process requires that people pay attention to what staff is doing/saying and that citizens need to show up for the face-to-face meetings. So the fact that we take time to blog about the Friday Memo that contains A) staff comments; and B) content relevant to upcoming meetings is valuable.

    May 18, 2010
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  10. Tracy Davis said:

    Between John’s comments about the traffic sources to the City website, and the fact that Chaunce and Stephanie find it of benefit, and Kiffi think’s it’s important, you’ve convinced me. I know from the “law of internet averages”, which I just made up, people who voice opinions speak for several others who don’t make the effort in time.

    (Of course Dave Ludescher interprets that same “law of averages” to mean that people who DON’T show up at meetings and DON’T comment at open mike and DON’T comment on blogs and DON’T write letters to the editor are really the silent majority, who believe whatever he wants to attribute to them. Right, Dave? 🙂

    I’ll keep doing it. I’ve missed the last 2 weeks, but have it in my tickler/reminder system, so will try to post over the weekends as I’ve been doing.
    .-= (Tracy Davis is a blogger. See a recent post titled Roundup ~ last week’s best posts & resources) =-.

    May 19, 2010
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