This is how the trouble starts.
Going into any weekend, and especially a long holiday weekend, I make sure on Thursday I have an easy-to-execute plan for the first day the following week. The last thing I want is to start planning the Monday (or Tuesday) blog at 8 p.m. the night before.
I mean, only a fool would do that.
I had an idea. I really did. An easy-to-execute blog that would take me 15 minutes to research and I’d be done by 7 p.m. tops. Great start to the short week.
But two minutes into the work I had ANOTHER idea that seemed better than the first, unfortunately it required me to research the entire 2022 Just Wright Citrus catalog, which could not be accomplished in 15 minutes. More like two hours.
Here’s what I was looking for:
Likes. Lots of likes.
The bottom of each blog, just before clicking back to the Facebook page, gives readers a “like” option. I don’t know if it’s indicative of the number of people reading that blog, but that seems likely, right?
So I started looking for blogs with a higher number of “likes.” I spotted, in general, any blog with over 100 likes. Some observations:
— A blog in late January about elected leaders supporting Florida's Turnpike extension brought 250 likes. Nearly all blogs regarding the turnpike extension had high reader interest. From the start we questioned the logic of this road and whether it was a good fit for Citrus County.
I wrote another blog in February, “Shaking hands with Miami” that had a huge response: 310 likes. Again, we called attention to the fact that the years-long conversation that took place about the regional economic logic of the Suncoast Parkway extension was nowhere to be found on the turnpike project.
(And that’s one of my favorite headlines.)
The point being that Just Wright Citrus readers were tuned into the turnpike talk. We had some great conversations on the Facebook side. By the time elected leaders had their say, it was an easy call.
— Most of the Library Guy blogs topped 150 in likes. Boy, readers jumped on that one right away. His attempts to cause trouble in the county library system brought immediate interest among Just Wright Citrus readers that never waned.
Two August blogs in particular: “A deep look into the face of hatred” and, a few days later, “Library Guy meets his match.” Both with over 200 likes. The first introduced Citrus County to MassResistance, so we knew what we were up against. The second was about a vote denying a hostile takeover of the library board.
Ken Brown, a Crystal River city councilman, earned MVP status for standing up, not only to the Library Guy Gang, also to county commission Chairman Ron Kitchen Jr.
Make no mistake. Ken and the others who voted to do the right thing were buoyed by reader interest in this blog.
— Politics didn’t generate much reaction, which isn’t surprising. Those of us who get excited about such matters forget that most people don’t. That said, one August blog, “An odd endorsement for Finegan,” spiked at 256 likes.
— Blogs about my personal life and the blog itself do rather well in reactions. It proves that we continue to build trust. The support I receive is overwhelming, actually.
— July’s “Blog debut: Mike ‘the liar’ Wright” garnered 322 likes, second most of any this year. Gotta read it. Sheriff Mike Prendergast on a Monday. Instant classic.
— The blog with the most likes isn’t about politics or libraries or really anything government. It’s the 447 for “Ginger West warmed our hearts,” which I wrote last week following the death of this community’s dear, dear friend.
All these numbers tell the story of an engaged community. Let’s keep the conversation going.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.