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Last month, voiceofsandiego.org passed more than 220,000 unique visitors for the first time, according to Google Analytics. In other words, that many completely different people visited the site at least once during the month. While they were here, they viewed more than 570,000 pages.

You can see the rise since August of 2008 in this graph (click for a bigger version):

Counting the number of unique visitors is just just one of many ways we measure our progress at voiceofsandiego.org. It tells us whether we are bringing in new readers and users.

Through our public events, careful nurturing of other websites that will display our headlines, and, of course, by encouraging people to share and send our stories to others, we have over the last couple of years seen a real growth. Network effects are coming into play, social media is doing what it’s supposed to, and our members and readers are evangelizing our work on our behalf.

Last month in particular was a real eye-opener, thanks to great stories like government reporter Liam Dillon’s about Jehovah’s Witnesses who scrub Qualcomm stadium every year, freelancer Randy Dotinga’s about a football star suing because his backyard collapsed into a canyon, and education reporter Emily Alpert’s about a young woman who went from being homeless to enrolling in Harvard. Emily’s also largely responsible for education being our most popular site section every month.

If you’d like to see more about our traffic, our stats are publicly available at Quantcast. They calculate differently than Google does, but you can still see the steady upward rise.

You can also read about how Google Analytics tracks and calculates unique visitors.

I’m Grant Barrett, engagement editor for voiceofsandiego.org. Drop me a line at grant@voiceofsandiego.org, call me at (619) 550-5666, and follow me on Twitter @grantbarrett.

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