2017 was another amazing year for Germantown Pulse as more local friends, and neighbors discover that they can get their local news and sports information from the only news source devoted specifically to Germantown and the UpCounty area of Montgomery County.
While the readership of the Pulse seemed to level off, as we reach critical mass, the involvement of our readers increased, as we launched the membership drive in August. Since August, more than 15 readers have donated more than $60 to become members and earn their place on the Membership Wall. (Five have made donations for which they wish to remain anonymous.) We are very thankful for our members and look forward to the ranks of our members growing in 2018.
Germantown Pulse covered the rising incidents of violence in our community. The nightmarish double-murder of two local high school students, as well, as the major crimes which occurred in the area. The Pulse covered more than enough tragedies in 2017, including two horrible incidents, one a seven car pile up, and the other a collision resulting in the death of a well-regarded panhandler.
The Pulse also advocated for change by asking Montgomery County to investigate traffic accidents at the intersection of Waring Station Road and Middlebrook Road, resulting in changes to the traffic pattern at the intersection and safer roads for our residents.
We also continued to improve our service to the community with the rollout of our new community events calendar The Hub in August and the new local business directory, The BIZ NEXUS. If you have not claimed your local business in BIZ NEXUS, you are encouraged to do.
The Pulse covered the County Council stories which would affect our community. We covered the ongoing extended debate over the fate of M-83 and the Council’s vote to increase the minimum wage to $15. We are ramping up our coverage of what promises to be a news-filled and entertaining election cycle in 2018, as more than 20 people are running for four at-large seats on the County Council, and County residents will elect a new County Executive.
Germantown Pulse had extensive coverage of the new Seneca Valley High School construction project, which officially broke ground in September, and will change the landscape of Germantown for decades to come. We also covered the changing of the guard at the 5th District MCPD Headquarters, as Captain David Gillespie left to become the Chief of Police in Melbourne, Fla. and the new Commander Mark Plazinski took over. We also covered the joy of Ronald McNair Elementary School being named a National Blue Ribbon School.
The Pulse covered the journey of Harvey the Swan, as he left Lake Churchill in Germantown to return to Canada to find a mate and settle down.
Germantown Pulse was there for the triumphs of our community as well. We were there when the Seneca Valley basketball team made a second-straight trip to the Maryland State Championship in March. We told the community about the Northwest baseball and softball teams both winning Maryland State Championships over an amazing weekend in May 2017. We followed the Screamin’ Eagles, the Coyotes, and the Jags on the gridiron all season. Germantown Pulse helped the community celebrate the Northwest Lady Jags epic third-straight Maryland State Championship title.
Germantown Pulse readership continued to be strong. Our pageviews totaled 764,072 which was just a slight drop of 1.5 percent from 2016.
The weekly average for pageviews was 28,442 in 2017, compared to 14,794 in 2016, which means there were more news stories read each week in 2017, than in 2016.
We also averaged 30,936 unique visitors per month in 2017, which is amounts to about one-third of all Germantown residents.
In 2017, we posted 589 articles. We published more than 3,400 local photos in news stories. There are also thousands of local high school sports photos available to view and purchase at the Germantown Pulse Sports Shop.
Germantown Pulse went live on August 1, 2014. We had 19,422 pageviews for six months in 2014. From 19,442 to 764,072 in four years.
We ended 2017 with 7,500 Facebook followers and 3,299 Twitter followers.
In 2017, Germantown Pulse reached 266,166 unique readers in the UpCounty Montgomery County Area. For the last two calendar years, the Pulse has reached an average 279,140 unique readers and had 1.5 million pageviews over two years. We serve Germantown, Boyds, Clarksburg, Poolesville, and Damascus for news, and we cover Seneca Valley, Northwest, and Clarksburg high schools for sports.
The coming year promises to be another amazing year of good things for Germantown Pulse; we are actively working on developing a smartphone app to expand our ability to reach readers with breaking news updates.
Thank you to our readers, and especially our members and advertisers who allow Germantown Pulse to continue to grow and provide residents and readers with hyper-local news, sports, and information.
We wish all of you a very Happy 2018!!!!
Photos by Germantown Pulse and Kim Grimes.