New Rochelle Talk of the Sound Hits 30,000 Visitors at Six Month Point

Written By: Robert Cox

New Rochelle Talk of the Sound was officially launched on September 1, 2008 with little fanfare and even less readers. In just six months of operations, our innovative hyper-local news site for New Rochelle has become the fastest growing ” New Rochelle” web site is the largest New Rochelle blog on the Internet.

We broke through the 30,000 visitor barrier exactly at our six month point — with most of the traffic coming in the past three months. Our average since launch is about 5,000 visitors a month but about 8,000 readers a month over the most recent three months.

The site as a whole is among the Top 50 search results for “New Rochelle” in Google with a Page Rank of 1 (out of 10). The story we broke on “Girl, Interrupted” is among the Top 15 results with a Google Page Rank of 6. When we began last summer, there were 2.3 million sites ahead of us. Today there are just a handful of sites ahead of Talk of the Sound in Google include the City of New Rochelle, the Wikipedia entry for New Rochelle, College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle BID, City School District of New Rochelle, New Rochelle Police Department, Iona College, the Topix New Rochelle entry, the New Rochelle Public Library, the New Rochelle Humane Society and the New Rochelle Opera.

We are currently on track to achieve most of our goals for the first anniversary on September 1, 2009 and ahead of schedule in many ways. We now have hundreds of registered members, dozens of contributors, with over 3,000 blog posts and comments. We reached a national audience with our story on book censorship at New Rochelle High School and the distribution of campaign material to second graders. We have broke stories with original reporting by contributors including the case of a student and parent mistreated by school officials after the student broken both arms in a fall on a school playground.

Over the next six months we need to continue the general trend by bringing in more contributors, especially those who are publishing more positive news about New Rochelle. We have reached out to the New Rochelle BID, the former City Soundings Editor and other pro-New Rochelle groups but none has responded to our request for input. We have identified several local bloggers who are interested to write more about what is happening in downtown New Rochelle so we hope to bring you more of this sort of coverage.

In this next phase, we need to work with more community organizations to get their announcements on Talk of the Sound — PTAs, Churches, Schools, Community groups and non-profits, neighborhood associations. If you are involved with one these groups contact us to discuss how “cross-posting” information to Talk of the Sound can result in more traffic to your site and more attention for your events and announcements.

We need editors. We got our first volunteer editor last month – a sports editor who is currently reaching out to the various sports organizations in New Rochelle to get their content cross-posted on Talk of the Sound. If you would be interested to take on a particular “beat” or editor a particular section of the site please contact us.

To our readers — thanks for making the first six months of Talk of the Sound such a great success. We look forward to your continued support as we work towards our one year anniversary.

4 thoughts on “New Rochelle Talk of the Sound Hits 30,000 Visitors at Six Month Point”

  1. The readership of newspapers
    The readership of newspapers is going down while the readership of blogs and other online news sites is going up. It is telling that NONE of the stories in the Top 20 for New Rochelle come from There is a reason for that; they have a business model where 99% of their content is hidden behind a “pay wall”. The only content available from the Journal News is for the last 2 weeks. In a world where more people get their news from the web than newspapers, this is a very big deal. When you factor in that young people barely touch newspapers and spend a huge amount of time online, the significance of the failure of New Rochelle’s “paper of record” to keep all of their content available online becomes apparent. The fact is that New Rochelle should not have a “paper of record” in the 21st century. Every document produced by the City of New Rochelle as well as every related entity – BID, IDA, etc. – and the school district should be published on the web where it can be searched.

    Taking its content offline is bad journalism and enables bad government. Suppose that a city official makes a statement to the Journal News and then six months later that same official contradicts their previous statement. In 2009, it should be possible to copy and paste the quote into Google and find all previous statements made by that official. In the current situation, the past is almost immediately buried.

    As for people being willing to ferret out issues, be aware that the development of Talk of the Sound is a process that evolves over time. This site came from nowhere last summer to tens of thousands of readers in 26 weeks; that’s pretty good. The trend line is even better.

    The intent here is to model for New Rochelle residents what a hyper-local web site looks like. Each new type of post from each new type of contributor will help get across the idea that this site can be about whatever New Rochelle residents want it to be about. My personal hope is that 80% of the site’s content will eventually be announcements from various organizations about local events and reports on those events. The other 20% can be a mix of opinion and commentary. Right now that mix is the other way. That will change. Just in the past few weeks we have had local schools, student groups and businesses come to us to publish on Talk of the Sound. I expect we will see more of that and ultimately achieve our goal of 60,000 readers a month.

    There is plenty out there to tackle – whether it be writing up reports about City Council meetings or a PTA fundraiser or an account of a little league game.

    For those with web sites already, think about Talk of the Sound as a way to promote your own web sites by cross-posting news and information here. We have more traffic than almost every site in New Rochelle so posting on our site will only help you raise more awareness of your organization.

    1. Congratulations on moving
      Congratulations on moving New Rochelle forward ! It is amazing to see some of the things reported that the citizenry might never see if not for this site. Maybe you agree or maybe you don’t, but you will see a side to the issue that won’t be in the Journal News. Noam and company can’t control this venue and it’s driving them crazy. I’ve passed this site along to everyone I could to get us all involved. Thanks and good luck!

      1. Thanks for your support.

        Thanks for your support.

        You have hit the point exactly right when you say “Maybe you agree or maybe you don’t, but you will see a side to the issue that won’t be in the Journal News.”

        Critics of this web site seem intent on ignoring their own experience which is ALL points of view are welcome on this site. The site is still in its infancy and the idea of a citizen media site like this is new to all but a few New Rochelle residents. Eventually they will come to see that this site exists as a “marketplace of ideas” where issues can be discussed in an open forum where no bureaucrat or elected official gets to control the microphone and all participants get an equal opportunity to fully articulate their points of view.

        That said, my hope for the site is that it become a clearinghouse of what is GOOD about New Rochelle more than the challenges we face. We have some great youth sports programs, restaurants, entertainment venues, retailers and many wonderful events sponsored by local organizations, the downtown BID, the public library, the schools and many other community organizations. Eventually, these folks will start to realize that with many thousands of readers on this site every month, we are the best way to raise awareness of the good work they are doing in our community.

        Today 80% of the articles on this site are raising concerns about various problems in this city and 20% is announcements and information. This is typical in developing a hyper-local news site like this one. A year from now I hope we can say that 80% of the site is devoted to positive news about New Rochelle and the remainder is a full and frank discussion of issues.

  2. Most of the News about the
    Most of the News about the City of New Rochelle seems a bit orchestrated by the Journal news or the City itself as they spin their spin only.
    With a blog like this although not ” News” so to speak it enables issues to be bantered about rather than engineered by those who spin.
    I expect this enables Johnny Q Public to take some in City Hall to task. Its making City Hall nuts its killing them to remain mum, they want to respond but they won’t for fear of encouraging even more people to hold them to task. Much of New Rochelle’s government is out of touch with the reality of today’s times. Spun by a Mayor, his small group of City Councilpersons voting in a block, giving them total control of a somewhat sinking ship.
    Goood work I only hope more of those 30,000 people begin to chime in becasue right now there are only a handfull willing to ferret out these issues.

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