Baristanet: Over 15 Million Served!

BY  |  Monday, Jan 30, 2012 10:17am  |  COMMENTS (16)

A little over two years ago, Baristanet passed the 10 million visits marker. Over the weekend, I noticed another significant number: we had just passed 15 million visits to the site. (That’s 34.4 million pageviews!)

It’s hard to believe that in May 2004, when we first started publishing Baristanet, the idea of getting local news online, in a timely fashion, was utterly novel. The Montclair Times barely used its website in those days, saving all its content for Thursdays. And Patch did not exist. When Scot Surbeck sent us this photo of a car fire in Watchung Plaza in 2005, and we published it the same day, people found that timeliness extraordinary. Now it’s expected. And we’ll get scolded if one of our competitors has it first.

But it’s not just news that we do at Baristanet. We think that in 2004, we started a conversation that has been humming along ever since.

In a TED talk in Victoria a few weeks ago, David Leach talked about kibbutzes and kibitzing, and the importance of what sociologist Ray Oldenburg calls the “Third Place” — not home, not work, but another place, where people can gather to talk.

“Community is as much an action as it is an area code,” Leach said. “It’s a conversation.”

After racking up 269,015 comments over the past 7 1/2 years, we think that Baristanet has become that third place. Despite criticism of anonymous commenting by Montclair mayor Jerry Fried and others,  a recent study found that the highest quality comments on websites are actually from people who use pseudonyms. We certainly like it when people sign their names, but our pseudonymous commenters have been invaluable as well. We recently had a great conversation about Glen Ridge’s decision to award its 10-year fire services contract to Montclair. So far, 73 people — including declared council candidate Harvey Susswein — chimed in.

So thanks for visiting, commenting, sending us tips, waving to us in the parade, and joining us as Baristanet advertisers. Remember to follow us on Twitter and to like us on Facebook. Stop by any time, any time at all. We’ll leave the lights on for you.




  1. POSTED BY frankgg  |  January 30, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

    Thank you Baristas for seven.5 years of tireless and delicious sound bites!!!! oxoxo

  2. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  January 30, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

    Over the weekend I checked my Apple Analytics and noted that I’ve visited over 70K times in 7.5 years (about 25/day).

  3. POSTED BY Conan  |  January 30, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    Thank you Baristas! It has been my pleasure to be a regular for at least six of your seven years running. Before Baristanet, my Third Place was usually a bar of some sorts, which can be bad for the health, bad for the pocketbook, and sometimes even more full of [expetive of choice] then some of the regular posters to this blog (and I include myself in that august and eclectic company). But, I say, if someone has incriminating pictures of a wealthy Montclair developer who happens to own one or more liquor licenses in Baristaville, let’s extort one from him and open a bar called The Third Place. I get thirsty doing all this heavy lifting…

  4. POSTED BY Iceman  |  January 30, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    Thanks, Barista’s, for the forum to allow all of us to express our views. I’m in the political minority of the blog posters but I have never felt that the free expression of my views has ever been discouraged of stifled.

    Now, if Conan can get the ‘The Third Place’ opened let’s have a party.

  5. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  January 30, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    I, for one, would not be pleased if someone tried to discourage or stifle your views, Iceman, even though we disagree on most things political.

  6. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  January 30, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    Congrats, Baristanet! I echo everyone else’s remarks but would also like to thank you for giving voice to pet adoption and animal rescue causes!

  7. POSTED BY kit schackner  |  January 30, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    Yes, thank you Baristanet for 7 years of being my source for local news, and my source for local conservative points of view.

  8. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  January 30, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    I’m still trying to determine how, with ROC, cathar, deadeye, herb, MM, CMEinmontclair, kyle, whatsup, the prof, and so many others, Iceman feels that he’s in the “minority”.

  9. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  January 30, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    Hey cro, and for the female conservatives, don’t underestimate DagT, Nellie, and MM/Martta Rose, all three worth reading.

    But Ice may “feel” he’s in the minority just because he’s in Greater Montclair. Unlike Ice, I’ve always thought of Baristanet as the prime place where local conservatives can express themselves on line.

  10. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  January 30, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    Im the real minority, one of few on Bnet willing to call out left and right alike. Maybe Im the fool, but at least my kind will get decide who the next president of the US will be much like we did in 2008.

  11. POSTED BY Nellie  |  January 30, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    Imagine how boring this site would be if we all shared the same views. Congrats, Baristanet, on this milestone.

  12. POSTED BY PAZ  |  January 30, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    Congrats to Deb, Liz & the gang! Alas, my old B’net car magnet wore out. Any new ones on the horizon?
    This site has kept me occupied on those lonely nights in hotels somewhere across this country and beyond…. It’s room service, a movie and B’net.

  13. POSTED BY wayne robbins  |  January 30, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

    I’ve known B’net since the start up – then, and now, it provides a service to the community, and all of us, that post, read, comment,share, learn, and enjoy, that you can’t find anywhere else. And I always made sure I got footage of the B’net floats, in all out town parades.

    I was away from Montclair for a bit, sorta still am – and I stll check it everyday ( sometimes more then twice ) to see what’s going on in town, most of the time, as ‘it’ is happening.

    Thank you to all who make up the B’net family…may there be another 15 Million.

  14. POSTED BY walleroo  |  January 31, 2012 @ 12:00 am

    After racking up 269,015 comments over the past 7 1/2 years…

    Wait, wait, wait. Seven and a half years? Has this been going on that long? Good grief. I think I’ve personally made 100k of those comments.

    Seriously, the Baristas, as much as we love to knock them, I guess because we got’em on the spot, are very smart and have accomplished much. Kudos.

    As much as an innovative new medium, I think of Baristanet as a kind of home for wayward personalities, a PAWS for wretched suburban souls yearning to be free of their laptops, of which I am proud to be one (but obviously not so proud I would cast off my anonymity).

  15. POSTED BY cathar  |  January 31, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    Yes, 15 million visits is a milestone, one well worth congratulating the Baristas for.

    But I also think that, along withe the understandable self-congratulations, there should be some, so to speak, re-dedication to journalistic principles on this site. For the truth is that, despite the 15 million visits, Baristanet often still doesn’t seem to have appreciably improved much over its tenure since 2004. There’s still too much stuff which has no real reason for being (as opposed to “fluff,” which is necessary), and a lot of general sloppiness over proofreading, facts, etc. And there is always the nagging sense that the proprietors play favorites, both in terms of those who rate coverage and advertiser mentions. These issues, to me, prevent a pretty good site from achieving genuine excellence. I’d thus be curious to hear what others have to say about this.

  16. POSTED BY DagT  |  January 31, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    Very well done Baristanet! Thanks for all the news, views, and personalities which have given me more than a few moments of thought and pleasure.

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And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

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