Newsletter enters its sixth year
The Brookmans Park Newsletter is five years old next month.
Thanks to all those who have contributed to it, either by submitting items for inclusion on the site, or by taking part in the community forum.
Throughout the first year, the average number of pages viewed every day varied between 10 and 50.
Now, according to the latest statistics for April (the most recent full month), the average number of visitors to the site each day was 707 and the average number of pages requested each day was 1,276.
Hits versus page views
That works out at almost a quarter of a million hits for April alone. A hit represents every element within a page, including graphics and images. A page view is a page downloaded to read.
For example, if you view a page on the forum, every icon alongside a memberís name, even those little stars, count as a hit, but the page you are viewing counts as only one page view.
People sometime get the two mixed up, but page views, not hits, are always the more accurate measure of a site's popularity.
The most popular area of the site is the forum which was launched in February 2002.
It now has more than 250 registered members, who have posted almost 2,500 messages on more than 180 local issues.
Most users are UK based, but there are also regular users logging on from 49 other countries, including America, Canada, Australia, the UAE, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand and France.
We also have visits from far-flung places like Iran, Brazil, Thailand and Korea. During April we had 89 visits from China, 41 from Japan and 19 from Malaysia.
Content created by the community for the community
Most of the content has been added to the site thanks, mainly, to two local groups who have given permission for their material to be reproduced.
As a result, the siteís extensive history section has more than 16 complete history books and 45 historical features.
Thanks to the Gobions Woodland Trust, the site's environment section has details of all the group's recent reports.
There are sections showing all the birds seen or heard locally over the last seven years, pages showing the fungi likely to be found in the local woodland, details of herbs found in Gobions, pictures of the shrubs found locally, and pictures and details of local butterflies.
However, many other groups, such as the North Mymms District Greenbelt Society, the local Neighbourhood Watch and various youth groups, have donated material to help ensure that the site covers most organisations and interests in the village.
The way we were
It is interesting to see how much the site has changed by looking back to the first story ever produced on the Brookmans Park Newsletter.
The story was published on 28 June 1998, and was about Chancellorís admissions policy.
The site has won the New Statesman New Media Award on one occasion and been commended three times.
Thanks for all contributions
Various people and groups have helped on the technical side and these are all mentioned on the site details page.
The site is run by volunteers working in their spare time who cover all expenses, associated with maintaining the site, from their own pockets.
Thanks to everyone who has played a part in keeping the Brookmans Park Newsletter online over the past five years.
17 May 2003