As one does at year-end (or a little late in my case), here’s a capsule look at what happened on Greenbelt Online during 2023, and changes coming in 2024.
Top Traffic Pages
- The Top 10 traffic-getting pages on the site in 2023 were: Home, how to prune your our hedges, how to shop for plants after Behnke closed, the apartment choices in Old Greenbelt, “Maglev’s Diminishing Prospects,” the “Craaazy Art Cars” in our parking lot, the Unofficial GHI Resource page, information about Aquatics and Events at the GAFC, and a day-trip recommendation for Colonial Beach.
- The site received roughly 35,000 unique visits in 2023.
New Stories, Directory Listings and Resources
- We have a new feature! Starting with the November 2023 announcement that Greenbelt would be the site of the FBI’s new headquarters, news and links on that subject have been gathered in this chronological archive (with resources), to be added to as things happen. It serves as a resource for residents, the media, and anyone else interested in the topic. Blog updates on the topic can be found here.
- We published 28 new feature stories on the blog, written by editor Susan Harris (me), Owen Kelley, Jeff Lemieux and UMD student Emily Jacobs.
- We’ve added the Greenbelt Community Orchestra and folk duo Mike and Barb to Creatives Directory. Coming soon – pianist Peter Reppert.
- We’ve added the (newly named) Greenbelt-Beltsville Garden Club to the Directory of Greenbelt Organizations. (We offer FREE pages like this for nonprofit groups based in Greenbelt. It can serve as the group’s only web page, or be another search result for your group. Who’s next??)
News from Behind the Scenes
It was wonderful working with these two very bright and talented college students during the fall ’23 semester.
Danielle Towers, on the left, is a photojournalism student at G.W. She’s fallen hard for Greenbelt and has chosen it as the subject of her senior thesis, which will be displayed at the Corcoran School of Art. (We’ll publish a longer version of it right here in a blog post.) Danielle also volunteers her work for the Greenbelt News Review, and her photos have illustrated several stories there.
Emily Jacob studies at the Merrill School of Journalism on the College Park campus of UMD. She’s earned class credit for her articles published here and for the Greenbelt News Review.
We had a little trouble with the service that delivers new blog posts to our email subscribers (Mailchimp), which is that emails were mistakenly paused from March until October. Sorry about that! We compiled the missing articles and sent them to subscribers in two batches so they wouldn’t miss a thing.
Alison Gary, the incredibly successful blogger and influencer at Wardrobe Oxygen (with offices at Greenbelt’s Granite Building) joined our Editorial Board (see Who We Are). We’re lucky to have someone so savvy helping this site reach a larger audience. Alison is also listed among writers in our Creatives Directory.
For most of 2023 we published weekly or bi-weekly round-ups of appealing Events in Greenbelt and nearby towns in our part of Prince George’s County – but no longer. A lively, complete calendar of events (for entertainment, etc, not committee meetings, etc) is a very useful marketing resource for the city and environs, one that we hope someone else will continue, but the three hours it took to create and promote them was time not spent on more lasting content, like feature stories and resources.
Thanks to Greenbelt Homes, Inc. for including this website as a “news and events” resource on its new website, along with the News Review and the City of Greenbelt website.
We were able to pay our yearly expenses (about $1,500) from funds raised previously, so we didn’t need to ask for support in 2023 (beyond the annual contribution that I make). We continue to display the logos and names of sponsors from the last ask, with our continued thanks!
What’s New for 2024
We’ve come to learn that Eleanor Roosevelt High School has an amazing journalism class, under the direction of teacher Heather Seyler. Her students create the Raider Review paper, plus videos, podcasts, and probably more.
The exciting news is that I’ve talked with Heather about Greenbelt Online and it’ll now be offered as a publication for which her students can receive credit for their submissions! We’ve sent her a long list of topics that our general readers would find of interest, and look forward to seeing stories and features about the school and its students.
See your name here! We welcome your contributions to this site – on any topic related to Greenbelt, or a day-trip from Greenbelt. Here’s info about writing for us.
FYI: Quick History of GreenbeltOnline.org
This blog launched in the summer of 2012 as “Greenbelt Live.” It was then imported as part of this larger website after a meeting called by George Boyce at the Greenbelt MakerSpace, with Tanya Amaya volunteering to design the site and yours truly volunteering as editor. We launched as GreenbeltOnline.org, a nonprofit community website, on January 1, 2017.