We are celebrating our first anniversary today. We actually began operations in this incarnation on April 19, but we’ve decided that today is easier to remember, and probably represented the first day we had most of the bugs worked out and were getting a relatively clean read on our Web statistics.
We’d like to thank all of our visitors, especially those who make us a part of their daily routine. You make doing this work seem worthwhile.
I owe my deepest thanks to the people who are elbows (and sometimes neck) deep in the works of the blog every day: Andrew Gerns (Mondays); Ann Fontaine (Tuesdays); John B. Chilton (Wednesdays); W. Nicholas Knisely (Fridays); Helen Thompson (Saturdays); Chuck Blanchard (Sundays) and Mel Ahlborn (art).
In our first year, we received about 1.36 million visits and 3.36 million page views. Our biggest sensation was an essay on a Japanese tourist begin kicked off a train for taking pictures, which drew nearly 60,000 visitors to the site in November—not quite double the 30,000 visitors (and 125,000 visits) per month we’ve been averaging since then. More people visit The Lead, our news blog, than any of our other offerings, but all of the blogs receive an average of at least 250 visits per day.
While people visit to keep up with the Anglican controversies and news of the Episcopal Church (and to read rip-snorting essays like this address by Marilyn McCord Adams to the Chicago Consultation), we’ve also had some off-beat hits like this April Fool's piece on the Episcopal Church being named the official denomination of Major League Baseball and Carol Barnwell’s interview with one of the students portrayed in Denzel Washington’s recent movie The Great Debaters.
Now comes the part where we ask for money.
The Diocese of Washington provided what might be called our start-up capital, but we no longer draw on its budget. As we’d like to redesign the home page of the Café and several of the blog pages (so that all of features and recent postings are visible at a glance) and as we’d like to throw you all a party at General Convention in 2009, we could use a little financial help.
Please consider making a donation to the 2008 Bishop’s Appeal, and marking your contribution “Episcopal Café.” You can do the job here.
Thanks again. Now back to the news.