A year ago, on Dec. 29, the day Woodinville Patch was to go live for the first time I awoke (at 4:30 a.m.) to snow. I immediately headed out to cover the mess that was the morning commute that day, managing to make it up NE Woodinville-Duvall Road without spinning out and landing in a ditch like so many other cars that morning. I tweeted traffic alerts. I Facebooked traffic alerts. To no one. The site was not yet live, not until about 4 p.m.
Ah well, since that morning the Woodinville community has overwhelmingly supported the site and embraced Woodinville Patch as their source for news.
Despite being a mid-career journalist (the polite way of saying I’ve been a reporter since before the days of the Internet), I’ve learned a great deal this year. For instance, sleep is important, I can’t cover every meeting I’d like to, and the Woodinville community never stops surprising me with its enthusiasm and generosity.
I’m proud of the work we’ve done in the past year. We posted 2,017 articles--not all of them were hard-hitting journalism, but all were information the community could use. I’m also lucky to work with a great group of Washington Patch editors who are always there in our virtual newsroom to lend a hand or point out an error.
I’d also like to give a shout out to our community bloggers (you can read them in our Local Voices section) who have written funny, provocative and heartfelt blog posts.
So here is a look back at our top 11 most viewed stories of 2011 ():
1) . The tragic death of the Woodinville High School teacher brought fond remembrances from the people who knew and loved her.
2) The Dec. 30 story examined how Johnnie Lee Wiggins, the suspect in Hockley’s murder, was in Washington when he was supposed to be on probation in Georgia.
3) It’s been a tough year for the Woodinville fire district; was one of many stories we covered on the district in the past year.
4) Woodinvillians do like fun; our June story on was one of the top-viewed stories of the year.
5) The devastating March tsunami in Japan was a global story and our post on was read all over the world.
6) This community is interested in news on local businesses as witnessed by our story in January on
7) The popularity of the story on the let me know that we who live here actually do leave town occasionally.
8) The sparked the beginning of our coverage of the problems between labor and management in the fire district.
9) Our first story on was one of the most read stories in the history of the site.
10) A story we ran on the and the Eastern seaboard from our sister Patch site in Fredricksburg, Maryland, was one of our top stories.
11) A story we will be revisiting again in the coming months on Bothell’s desire to annex portions of unincorporated Woodinville, our first story back in February on the , let us know this is a story to follow.
So that was 2011’s most viewed stories. Stay with us to see what 2012 will bring. Happy New Year, Woodinville and Thank You.