Posts Tagged ‘traffic’

As Washington braces for a winter storm (and the metro area’s inability to deal with winter storms), my mind wandered back five years.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, almost exactly five years ago, Mimi and I drove nine hours to get home from the heart of Washington to our home in the Virginia suburbs. In good traffic, the drive usually took less than 45 minutes. In normal Washington traffic, an hour was not unusual, an hour and a half certainly possible.

But when it snows in Washington …

I am not the only one to remember that evening (or my whining about that evening):

Nine hours, 11 hours. For recalling a nightmare from five years ago, two hours seemed a minor exaggeration.

David Heyman (who will appear more in this tale later) also recalled our shared 2011 Odyssey:

My daughter-in-law, Ashley Douglass, took three hours to get home in some light snow Wednesday evening, prompting her husband, Tom, to ask if I had the link from my account of the 2011 trek to share with her. He thought it was on this blog, but it was on TBD.com, the Washington local news site I helped launch less than six months before that snowy day.

The TBD archives were preserved a few years, but have vanished from the Internet. I couldn’t even find my story of the snowy commute on the Wayback Machine (which preserves snapshots from websites, but not full archives). But I did save the html files.

Some background on that day before I share my five-year-old tale: This was the year after Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse paralyzed Washington for days. But not every winter storm forecast for DC materializes as predicted. At least a couple times earlier in January 2011, weather forecasters had warned of potentially snowpolalyptic storms that either missed Washington entirely or only provided a light dusting. So when we were warned of the Jan. 26 storm, most of Washington shrugged and headed to work as normal. But this time the forecast actually lowballed the storm. By mid-afternoon, huge, wet flakes were falling fast, sticking to the streets, and the federal government (and nearly everyone else) shut down early, sending virtually every vehicle in Washington into the streets at the same time.

I’ve spent most of my life in the Midwestern states of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and North Dakota. I know winter storms, and laugh at Washington’s inability to handle light snow. But this was a genuine winter storm, falling fast and hard and wet on a metro area whose drivers and cities don’t know what do with a mild winter snow that wouldn’t cancel school in Iowa.

So here is my account of my commute from hell (on a day off even!) five years ago (with a few updates): (more…)


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September trafficI set a record for unique visitors on this blog in September, even though I was well short of my record for page views.

Neither of those facts is a big deal, especially given the trifling totals for the blog on both counts, but I like to analyze my blog metrics to see what I can learn, (and the analysis will no doubt be October’s least-read post). The blog had 23,508 unique visitors in September, just a bit ahead of the previous high of 22,584 in January of this year. September’s total views, 33,222, were a little less than the record of 36,179, set in February, and also lower than January’s total, 35,739.

So why did I set a personal record for uniques without also setting the record for views? A few observations: (more…)

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I set another traffic record for the blog in October, with 18,245 page views. I slipped past September’s total of 17,635 page views on the last afternoon of the month.

I don’t have as many observations on the record this time as I had about September’s record. But here are a few:

  • It’s easier to set a record in October than in September, thanks to the extra day. I doubt if I’ll get another record in November, given the holiday and that it’s another 30-day month.
  • Weekends don’t necessarily impact traffic. October had five weekends and September had four, so September actually had more non-weekend days, 22 to 21. My four slowest days in October, the only days with fewer than 300 views, were all on weekends. But I also had 916 views on Sunday, Oct. 16, the day I published the most-viewed post of the month. I also had good traffic the next weekend, 1,200-plus over the two days. I published my third most-viewed post of the month that Saturday. When I publish something good on the weekend, people find it. (more…)

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This is a trivial and self-indulgent blog post about my blog. I’ll share some facts and observations about the busiest month ever on my blog, 17,635 page views, passing my previous record of 16,119, set in June:

  • Joining Journal Register Co. has significantly boosted traffic to my blog. Five of my seven busiest months, including the four busiest, in terms of traffic have been since I went to work for JRC in June.
  • Posts about social media, especially Twitter, have always attracted good traffic on this blog. My live-tweeting post (Sept.6) drew the most traffic for the month, 2,171. Second was my Sept. 17 post on persuading curmudgeons to use Twitter, 1,437. Fourth was my Sept. 8 post listing social media resources for journalists, 1,138. Even my Aug. 19 Twitter tips for journalists continued to do well in September, 733. And my Aug. 25 post on engaging through newsroom Twitter accounts got 331 September views. My Sept. 1 post, encouraging sports staffs to promote and curate Friday Night Tweets, didn’t do as well, just 241. Various other new and old Twitter-related posts combined for more than 1,000 views. Altogether, that’s more than one-third of my traffic coming to posts relating to Twitter. (more…)

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