If there’s a common theme among the LkldNow articles that generated the most interest in 2018, it’s civic engagement and food. That’s gratifying. LkldNow was started to get people more engaged in Lakeland through news and information. And the food part? Well, I’ve noticed that our readers love finding out about local restaurants. Here’s a list of the 2018 top 10, based on page views on lkldnow.com, with my comments attached:
1. 2018 Elections: Research Local Candidates and Issues. Our Elections Guide got nearly twice as many views as the next-most-viewed article. It was really a guide to researching the candidates. I was a bit surprised it was as popular as it was because it requires more work on the part of the reader, but I’d like to think our readers realize that citizenship requires effort.
2. Lakeland’s First Marijuana Dispensary Opens. We don’t do enough health coverage. Somehow, this one resonated with readers.
3. Man Chases 11-year-old Girl in South Lakeland Neighborhood. This is an outlier. We really don’t cover a lot of routine police news, leaving that to the Morning Paper and other outlets. This one, suggested and written by one of our free-lancers, was never picked up by other news orgs.
4. Posto 9 Owners: Restaurant Has Closed. Our readers love to learn about new eateries. (See Nos. 6 and 7.) It looks like they also want to know about much-hyped businesses that blast off, then implode.
5. We Vote in August and November; Here’s Who’s on the Ballot. This was a precursor to our popular Voters Guide, and remained a quick look at what was on the ballot.
6. Couple Plans Artisan Food Hall in Lake Mirror Brewery. Trendy food. Craft beer. Iconic locale. Stuff our readers love.
7. Lakeland Couple Bringing Pita Pit Franchise Downtown. More downtown food.
8. Note to Readers: Thank You. Wherein I thanked the greater Lakeland community for their support as my family endures a horrific tragedy. We’re still in mourning, and I thank Chuck Welch for filling in until I’m ready to face the world again.
9. News Release: IKEA Warehouse to Bring 200 Jobs. Popular retailer + local jobs.
10. Introducing the Man Who Has Lakeland Laughing. Lakeland’s favorite parlor game in October was guessing the identity of the anonymous satirist behind The Lakelandist. A lot of people thought it would take out the mystery to know. But they read the article when Joe Cruz, a genuinely nice guy, decided to go public.