What Happened at The Union?

Russ Steele

Since The Union PayWall went up I have been tracking the daily visitors. The number of visitors was declining as I reported HERE. Then in the last week of February the daily readership skyrocketed. As you can see on the graphic below.

What happened to cause all this change in readership numbers? Look at the global numbers. While US readership is declining, the global readership is increasing. Why?

I would be interested in reader opinion why the sudden increase in global readership?

One thought came to mind, The Union’s parent company Swift Communications hired some readers in some low cost labor nations to log in several times a day to read the paper online?  But, when you look at were the readers are coming from that argument does not hold up. Look where those readers are logging in from:

Note this is only the top sixteen, there are another 170 + locations logging on to The Union’s PayWall webpage.  The question is are they paying?

Looking at all the out of county visitors it appears The Union is a better promoter of Nevada County than all the tourism web sites all together.

Why the sudden global interest in reading The Union on line?  What is The Union offering?


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

8 Responses to What Happened at The Union?

  1. My guess is after Pelline left the interest blossomed. LOL!

  2. gjrebane says:

    The only commercial aspect of Nevada County that reaches way beyond its borders is the local marijuana crop. And now we are discussing a county growing ordnance that may affect the supply of this narcotic. Is that worth tracking from consumer locales? Hmm…

  3. Is it possible that Nevada County has a world wide customer list, and all those people coming to The Union are concerned about the impacted by the forthcoming ordinance on their future supply? They could be following the progress of the ordinance which could have a direct impact. I cannot come up with another explanation. Once the ordinance is signed, will the Union audience vanish? Stay tuned this is history in the making.

  4. Towntalk has been totally dominated by the pot issue for months now.

  5. Places where I am placed in moderation, I visit very seldom.

    • Russ says:


      The first post of all who post here are moderated, plus those posting naked URLs. If you IP address changes you maybe moderated more than once. Sorry, those are the rules.

  6. Russ says:

    When we started the Nevada County Community Network one of our volunteers was a freelance tech writer. He was give some of the earliest IP monitoring software to evaluate, and we installed it on our server. This software package discovered that our fledgling Internet Service had a huge number of international visitors.

    Our theme was the Gold Country, and the word gold was used often in the text. It turns out the primary search term used around the world was “gold.” Since we used the term liberally, the early search engines were bringing thousands of visitors to our servers.

    It could be the term “marijuana” that is bring thousands of international visitors to The Union’s webpage.

  7. Michael Anderson says:

    I have to wonder whether something changed with how the data are collected and reported on that apocryphal day at the end of February. The ranges between low and high are roughly the same in both data sets, just magnified during the March 1 – May 1 time period.

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