In Mar. 29 issue, Russell County News
The use of some Internet web sites created and operated in Russell County has exploded over the past year.
This includes the recently revised combined site for the Russell County News and its companion publication, The Times Journal.
Since the new site for the newspapers went active in late January, the number of visitors and daily readers has shown a dramatic increase.
Statistics from the computer server that is used when someones goes to the newspaper site at russellcounty.net shows that over the past twelve months there were a total of 26.5 million “hits” — almost half of those this month of March 2008.
In addition to local and area news and sports one of the very popular items on the newspapers’ site is the webcam showing the square in Jamestown.
There were over 8,200 “visits” in February, which in an accounting of how many times individual visitors have viewed the site.
In March the newspapers’ page drew over a million hits.
However, that number is dwarfed by the activity on lakecumberland.com
, the primary web site for the Lake Cumberland region, which will be entering its 13th year in April.
In the past twelve months, the server stats show over 91.1 million “hits” and over 1.2 million “visits” — about 4,000 visits per day on that site alone.
“These figures put us in the top tier of Kentucky web sites,” claimed G.K. Gibson, the sites’ developer and operator.
The net services are a partnership between Gibson and David Davenport, publisher of the Russell County News and The Times Journal.
Davenport also owns and is Broker for Lake Cumberland Real Estate. The web site created for that operation is also showing large numbers.
The server statistics for lakecumberlandhomes.com
show over 4 million “hits” and nearly 85,000 “visits” in the past year.
Another popular web site operated by Gibson, in conjunction with area radio station WKYM-101.7, is wildcatsradio.com
. The site gathers news stories and headline links for fans of the University of Kentucky mens basketball and football teams.
The server stats for that site show 1.6 million “hits” and nearly 337,000 “visits” since last April.
The web operators also have several other sites online, such as lakecumberlandwebcams.com
, which shows all the live camera views of the lake. There are currently 12 showing views from Burnside to the dam, and Gibson notes that three additional web cams may go online and be added soon.
“I’d be very surprised if there’s another lake anywhere with as many live view from all around it as Lake Cumberland,” he says, adding that the cameras have done “a lot” for negating the impression that the water level of Lake Cumberland is too low due to seepage repair work on Wolf Creek Dam.
“These live cams show anyone interested in coming to the lake that there’s still a heckuva lot of water there,” he said.
Two other sites have recently been added. The lake site has added coverage with the addition of mydalehollow.com
The new sites add popular discussion forums for neighboring Dale Hollow Lake and Laurel River Lake, both of which are part of the same Cumberland River system in the region.
A long-planned part of the venture will the addtion of advertising sales on the sites.
“We’ve looked toward providing real advertising value for some time,” Gibson noted. “But we’ve waited to get the numbers up there, and we wanted to offer real service.”
So many smaller web sites offer advertising by selling space for a “banner” graphic, but don’t give any return information to the advertising buyer.
“We have an advertising ‘engine’ running that not only allows us to smartly place where ads show and how often, but it also gives a huge amount of useful info to the advertiser.”
He noted that an advertiser is not only emailed a weekly report with details such as the exact number of times an ad has been shown on a page viewed by a site visitor, but also the exact number of times someone has “clicked” on the ad to go to the sales page or site of the advertiser.
“They also get their own account site on the ad engine where these figures are available live,” he added.
Gibson notes that a test period of advertising, which has been running since the end of November has shown “very good” results.
For example, he noted, “We’ve shown over 11 million ads in that period, and of those there were over 19,000 ‘click-throughs’ to the advertiser’s site.”
In March alone, according to Gibson, the ad server show that ads for Lake Cumberland Real Estate were shown over 335,000 times, and of those there were over 3,600 “click-throughs.”
“We’ll start accepting ads in the very near future,” Gibson said, noting that it would be clearly announced on the sites.