The Year in Review 2000by Mike Carey, December 31, 2000
As 2000 fades away into 2001, I thought I would look back on the year here at WashingtonLakes.com and talk about where we've been, and where I hope to see us go.
It's been another year of tremendous growth both in readership numbers and in growth of content. 2000 saw over 294,000 visits to this web site. That compares with about 130,600 visits in 1999. We posted 973 fishing reports and many more lake overviews, reader's stories, and fishing pictures. In May we posted an incredible 227 reports, more than 20 on one day. You guys kept me busy and it was great! We also added well over 150 new lakes to the data base.
2000 saw the addition of two sections which I believe really improved the content of the web site (besides all those great reports). I'm talking about the Topo Maps and the Featured Lakes sections. They both became very popular sections, right up there with the Reader's Forum. We have over 280 topo maps posted- to be honest, I've lost track.
I can't continue without singling out a few readers who went above and beyond in helping to make this site better. Mike and Susan Emerson contributed so many pictures and lake overviews for the Featured Lakes section that they could almost claim ownership for that section. Much as I enjoy going to new lakes, there was no way I could do that many lakes on my own. Their help was invaluable. Bob Johansen sent in many great lake overviews and lent his bass-fishing expertise to many reports and overviews. Besides helping me with some ideas and advice. There are so many more readers I am sure to embarrass myself by leaving them out. My apologies, you know who you are. Just read the reports and see which names keep showing up, again and again. These readers, and any reader that sends in reports, are what give this site value. The readers are what make this site what it is.
And to show my appreciation, this was the year of the Contest. Thanks to FishingLife.com, I actually had something to give away. So giveaways we did, over 30 prizes this year. Look for more to come as I am serious in wanting to give something back to the readers that kept this site humming.
Looking ahead to 2001, I am very excited to have added a couple more sponsors, Luhr Jensen and Outdoor Emporium. I'll be trying to add more as the year progresses. It helps to defray the cost of web space and other costs associated with this site. And it increased my hourly wage from .02 an hour to .04. Hopefully no one is too bothered by the banner ads and, I hope, you may actually pay our sponsors a visit to help show support for this site.
Speaking of support, be sure to stop by this year's Sportmen's Exposition and say "hi". I look forward to meeting many of you readers and getting to know the faces behind the names. I'm excited to have a booth and I'll be having some promotional giveaways to share with everyone. I'll also be doing a couple of talks on using the internet to search for fishing reports. So that will be worth a good laugh, as it's been a few years since I've done any public speaking. I'll need your encouragement for sure!
I can't dare to hope this, but if we continue our growth as we have in the last three years, 2001 could see over 400,000 visits and 1500 reports. I keep thinking the growth rate has to level off at some point, and each year I'm pleasantly surprised. I know that's in no small part to all of you spreading the word. I thank each of you for your support of this web site throughout the year, and I pledge to continue to work on making this a site worthy of your book marking and visiting often. Together we can make this the best site for lake fishing information in this state.
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