Here in Tacoma, news gets around pretty quickly, but not as quickly as in West Seattle. After interviewing Tracy Record, the woman who owns and operates the West Seattle Blog along with her husband Patrick Sand, I felt exhausted just thinking about the energy they expend to provide nearly instantaneous news reports on every little thing that affects residents, including the reason behind the sirens they hear, the latest on a burglary down the street, lost pets, traffic problems, and power outages. Need a good referral for a handyman, babysitter, or auto mechanic? You can find it there, along with a lot more.
As I worked on an article for the online neighborhood improvement journal "Neighborhood Life," I kept checking the blog, out of curiosity. Updates on a developing news story appeared every few minutes and included not only the latest details but also traffic routes to avoid and suggested alternatives. Even as I wrote about how the blog impacts life in our neighboring community across Puget Sound, I felt the tangible pulse of its energy and understood why so many people consider it vital to their everyday lives.
In the article, I quoted Record concerning the phenomenon she and her husband created:
“The growth has been more heartening than surprising,” Record said. “Currently 30,000 homes/businesses check in at least once a week. We are getting more than 900,000 page views a month. WSB is the most-read news source in West Seattle.” Over 9,000 of those homes and businesses visit it at least once a day according to Quantcast, a service that provides publicly comparable statistics, including all those in her statements. WSB also stands out as the only local news source updated around the clock, sometimes as often as every few minutes.
|Iconic theater in the Admiral District|
You can read the entire story by clicking on this link for Neighborhood Life, the journal of a non-profit that began in Tacoma with the goal of improving neighborhoods across America. Now it enjoys a nationwide following. And while you look over this Spring 2011 issue, don't miss the photo feature on West Seattle. My trusty Canon and I happened to be there on a rare sunny day at the end of March. Enjoy!