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Eye On Annapolis celebrating 10 years!

| August 11, 2019, 06:00 PM

Rams Head

Every now and then we need to pat ourselves on the back. 2019 marks the 10th year of publication for Eye On Annapolis and I wanted to take some space to thank everyone who has supported us over the last decade!

For those that aren’t aware, Eye On Annapolis was started on a dare. I had been asked to consult with another (now defunct) online publication to help them grow an audience. I had been working with MSNBC and they had some great ideas. Anyhow, the suggestions I provided were not implemented and when I asked “why not?”, the publisher said that he felt my suggestions were worthless and that he had nearly “300 people a month” on his site. Whatever. And then he said the fateful 7 words, “I doubt you could do any better.” Game on!  That was February 21, 2009.

February 22, 2009 our first welcome post went live, followed by our first real post about the Annapolis City Manager–read by a whopping 23 people!

Numbers

From there we never looked back.  Below are some fun facts (well, at least for me):

  • 10,584,719 – Total visitors to Eye On Annapolis (August 8, 2019)
  • 19,345 – Articles and postings on Eye On Annapolis
  • 90,348 – Number of visitors in 2009
  • 2,273,796 – Number of visitors in 2018
  • 2,500,000 – Projected visitors for 2019
  • 4,583 – The number of prizes we have given away in contests on the site, Facebook, Twitter and the podcast
  • October 2018 – Busiest Month (largely due to the election which turned out to be a stunner)
  • September 29, 2018 – Most read article on the discovery of a missing teen’s body found in Baltimore.

Memories

Some posts will always be memorable for different reasons. One of my personal favorites was an editorial that I penned that struck a chord with readers (89,650 of them) was about the way the City accommodated the Annapolis Yacht Club after their fire.

April Fool’s is a dangerous day. After all these years, you would think people would be skeptical; but no.  Some of the favorites we pulled were that Mayor Cohen entered into a Market House (always a great target for a good joke) lease agreement with McDonalds. Predictably, Ward 1 lost their minds and flooded City Hall with calls prompting the Mayor’s Office to investigate and respond!

Market House and McDonalds proved to be a great coupling for April Fool’s jokes in 2017 and 2018 as well. Both times prompting calls from the Mayor’s office.

But perhaps the best April Fool’s Day was in 2012. This one came very close to a visit by Federal agents and a good friend of mine, Tim Hamilton (my co-host on The Maryland Crabs Podcast), losing his job at Homestead Gardens. We reported that President Obama wanted to do a Presidential Debate at Homestead. Well, Homestead began receiving calls from Governor O’Malley and pretty much every Democratic elected official looking for seats on the dais. And while Tim was trying to calm down Don Riddle (owner of Homestead), I was on the phone explaining to the Federal Election Commission that it was a joke and all anyone had to do was click on that last link. A few tense moments, but definitely a win as far as I was concerned!

But despite (or perhaps because of) the fun and games, we have continued to grow.

Growth

Throughout the past decade, we have gone through three progressively larger servers to handle the traffic, had three major site redesigns, and looked for additional ways to communicate.

We have two Facebook pages– All Annapolis is our prime page and for those that are interested it is manually curated and you can find some (not all) of our stories cross posted there. We also have Eye On Annapolis which is not monitored very well but does have all of the stories. You can follow along on Twitter as well at @eyeonannapolis. And to be honest, that’s plenty–we do not play in the Instagram or Snapchat worlds. We do have a YouTube channel but it is not as robust as I’d like.

In 2017, we added our Daily News Brief podcast which highlights local news and weather every Monday through Friday at 7am.

Communication

We try to make it easy to communicate with us too. Check out all the ways!

Newsletter – Comes out every Friday at 1230pm with a list of upcoming events. You can always unsubscribe.

Daily News Brief – This is a M-F 10 minute podcast with local news and local weather! Free subscription wherever you listen to your podcasts. Now, 560 episodes later, we’re still going strong! You can find all sorts of podcast links at the bottom!

Legacy Business Spotlight – In April of 2019, we launched the Legacy Business Spotlight Podcast. This has been an awful lot of fun. It is a short conversation with local (Anne Arundel County) businesses that have been here “forever.” Say you ran into a former Annapolitan in some far flung locale and you were bombarded with “hey is _____ still there on Main Street?” questions.  That’s a legacy business! We release EVERY Saturday at noon and I am learning so much about our business community. Like all of our podcasts, they are free and you can get them anywhere you get podcasts.  This one is not a separate show and it will come to you if you subscribe to the Daily News Brief. And if you have an idea for a business to feature–send me an email!

The Maryland Crabs Podcast – This is a bi-weekly podcast with some short “crabcake” episodes thrown in. Tim Hamilton is my co-host and he was really the force behind getting this off the ground. Always of interest to Marylanders and topics range from weed to music to comedy to talks with the Governor to drinking at the Ebb Tide!

Letters to the Editor – Got something to say? Feedback? Opinion? Interested in advertising? Write us!

Community Calendar – We have a calendar. Check it for all the area events and you can even submit your own!

Special Thanks

And there are SO many people to thank for the success of Eye On Annapolis.

First off, thank YOU!  Thank you for reading and for sharing our stories and following us wherever you follow us!  Without you, there is no Eye On Annapolis; and for that I am grateful!

To the PIOs and the organizations that work with me to find and spread the news and events. There are way too many to mention, but of note the the PIOs for the City of Annapolis (Jan, Rhonda, Susan, Mitchelle), Annapolis Police Department (Ray, Amy), Anne Arundel County (Dave, Linda, Owen, Brandi, Roz) Anne Arundel County Police (TJ, Justin, Ryan, Jacklyn, Marc)–you all are the best!

To Former Mayor Josh Cohen for being my very first advertiser. I had no idea about pricing. So, as he entered into a primary election the deal was $50 until he lost!

To all of our advertisers. Thanks for putting food in my kids’ mouths and shoes on their feet. But a special thanks to the ones that have been there from the beginning– Homestead Gardens, Zachary’s Jewelers, Rams Head On Stage, Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Bowie Baysox, Maryland Hall, Kegs and Corks Beer & Wine Fest, Mid Atlantic Expos, Visit Annapolis, K&B True Value Hardware, and ABC Events. You all rock.  If you are interested in advertising…shoot me an email.

To the great photographers that have worked with me over the years. I can wholeheartedly recommend each one of them unconditionally! They all have special eyes!   Glenn from Glenn A Miller Photography, Kevin from a digital cure photography, Christa from Christa Rae Photography, Mike from Smile on Life Photography, Owen from Owen Paterline Photography, and Annalise Dietz.

To the folks that have written op-eds, guest columns, or regular columns, your insight and opinion is invaluable. Particular thanks to Dr. Freedman from Evolve Medical Clinics, Jim Snider, Ralph Crosby, and the rest!

And for the people that really help to keep it going from day to day…

George Young is a local weather forecaster with DMV Weather who forecasts the LOCAL weather every Monday through Friday on the Daily News Brief. You really ought to have his app (it’s free) and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. He’s got his finger on the pulse of the weather and rarely misses a call!

Kevin Chaney is my go-to for sports. He has started ShellBack Sports that is growing into THE source for local (think high school) sports and area college games. Kevin is next to me at every home Navy Football game as we tweet, live blog, and produce podcast updates throughout the season. Definitely check out Kevin’s site, his Facebook page and give him a follow on Twitter. He also plays in all those other social media apps too…always ShellBacksports!

Catherine Carouge from MH Media Strategies in Eastport is a creative genius. She is my go-to for all things graphic. Catherine has an innate ability to somehow get into your mind and create exactly what you want, regardless of how poorly it may be explained.  If you are looking for creative, she’s your person!

Tony Pipta and PJ Riordan from Merisign in Annapolis keep the site running smoothly. Invariably, I will push a wrong button late on a Friday night and send Eye On Annapolis into oblivion. These are the guys that can fix it, tweak it, back it up, and make it run right. If you have any technical needs–these guys are likely the answer!

And a thanks to Tim Hamilton. Over the years, we have found that both our best and worst ideas come out very late at night over a text message and perhaps one too many beers. The Homestead Presidential Debate was one of them. Tim is the force behind The Maryland Crabs Podcast and indirectly the Daily News Brief. He had been wanting to start a podcast for years and I never had the time. Finally, in order to shut him up, I agreed and in September of 2016, The Maryland Crabs Podcast was born. And in September of 2017, the Daily New Brief was born. So to Tim–thanks; but please don’t let it go to your head!

And, finally,  I also want to thank Governor Larry Hogan. Back when we started, he was just a guy running a local business. Today, he’s our Governor and on the National radar. But, he did take the time to send over a citation for our anniversary. I guess that is the political version of a birthday card, so we’ll take it!  Thank you Governor and it hangs prominently in my office! Let’s do lunch–or another podcast soon. (He was our 17th episode)

But seriously— many thanks to all! You all rock!

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Rams Head

Category: BLOG NOTES, Events, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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