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Top 'hits' in '23 point to site's resilience

After a two-year absence, YourArlington is again publishing its “top hits” – that is, the most-read stories in the past 12 months. In late 2021, the site had just launched its donation effort after becoming a nonprofit earlier that year. As we greet 2024, let's look back and see what drew Arlington readers the most in 2023.

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Here are facts worth knowing  about key changes to the website this calendar year.

On July 1, Judith Pfeffer took over as editor, as founder Bob Sprague stepped back while continuing in his role as president of the board of directors that oversees the nonprofit that YourArlington became two years ago. In addition, Brynn O'Connor became assistant to Pfeffer. YourArlington again had a booth at Town Day and in November held a successful fundraiser -- its first, but not its last.

Now 17 years old, YourArlington, continues to see its public impact grow.

The news site continued a tradition that no other established town media outlet, except for ACMi, follows -- regular reporting, by editors and freelance writers, on a wide variety of public meetings. (Note that, beginning in the summer of 2023, Inside Arlington, an online outlet that scrapes ACMi videos using artificial intelligence, began publishing data from public meetings.)

YourArlington introduced a new component in autumn 2023 -- a weekly police blotter by town resident Chris Wilbur; among the top-15 most-read pieces of 2023 are two of his blotter columns.

If you ever wonder what content your donations support, here is a look at the impact in 2023.

What's a “hit”?

Of the 25 pieces -- of news and opinion, listed below -- just the top 10 totaled 162,094 hits.

So what's a “hit”? Each time someone opens a YourArlington item, the server at SiteGround, the website's host, records it. The numbers in the listing derive from our server, and each new hit adds to any story's total. Hits, sometimes called pageviews, are one way of measuring impact.

The numbers below are as of the early morning of Dec. 30. 

The top-15 most-hit stories in 2023

1.) Mass. Gov. Maura Healey is now an Arlington resident,  Aug. 15, 23,329;

2.) Healey kicks off Democrats' in-person caucus, June 16, 18,980;

3.) Arlington Democrats met in person July 17, July 1, 18,877;

4.) Council on Aging thanks volunteers for their service to local seniors, June 16, 18,860;

5.) Minuteman students walk out; union votes no confidence in superintendent, May 10, 14,980;

6.) Town manager trying to steer clear of override this year, Feb. 13, 14,206;

7.) Friedman, Senate approve fiscal 2024 budget, May 31, 13,811;

8.) Rogers nominates Arlington man for black excellence award, April 23, 13,126;

9.) Police blotter Oct. 31-Nov.6: Masked/armed holdup, three ID thefts reported, Nov. 8, 12,540;

10.) Organization honors local Rep. Sean Garballey, Aug. 29, 12,375;

11.) Local legislators back state budget, Aug. 31, 12,364;

12.) $206m town budget proposed; override decision tied to state aid, Jan. 23, 12,099;

13.) Police blotter Oct. 24-30: Officers fix tempest in tea pot (actually, about a coffee pot), Nov. 2, 12,069;

14.) 3 journalists discussed local news in a panel, April 12, 11,653; and

15.) New tool available to look up online property assessments, Jan. 3, 11,494.

The top-10 most-hit opinions in 2023

1.) Alewife Brook path cleanup, CSO tour on Earth Day, April 21, 8,955;

2.) Dear Select Board: Consider this override solution, Jan. 24, 7,356;

3.) Career educator announces School Committee run, Feb. 17, 6,370;

4.) Sharp questions about in-person meeting, Feb. 26, 6,007;

5.) Leone tells why he wants your Select Board vote, Feb. 16, 5,912;

6.) Rat poison linked to owl's death: Take poison-free pledge, Jan. 12, 5,830;

7.) Overnight parking pilot raises host of issues, Feb. 15, 5,462;

8.) School candidate cites love for town, seeks equity, Feb. 2, 5,046;     

9.) Local leaders attend Gitelson campaign kickoff, Feb. 18, 4,975; and

10.) 8 letters support Mahon for Select Board reelection, March 25, 4,301.

Dec. 29, 2021: Top 'hits' in 2021 point to site's impact

This listing, which includes opinion, was published Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023.

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