RoathCardiff celebrates its first birthday

We’ve hit our first major milestone at RoathCardiff – we’re a whole year old this weekend.

The @roathcardiff twitter feed had been around for two years and a few of us who’d met through the Roath 4am Project thought that it was strange that such a vibrant area didn’t have a hyperlocal community blog.

So over several meetings at the Albany – still HQ for RoathCardiff – we spent last summer setting up the blog. The very talented Steve Coleman created our lighthouse logo, we had our first stories ready and we finally pushed the button to launch it on 23 September 2011.

The launch team was Geraldine Nichols, Matt Appleby and Huw Thomas (@roathcardiff on twitter) along with Nicole Rugman and then after launch Jessica Best. Early on we’d been helped by Ed Walker who left for a job in London before we launched.

Between us we plan and write the posts, develop the site, run other social media channels like Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Flickr and do all we can to get out and about in Roath to cover what’s going on. We’ve also been joined by trainee journalists from Cardiff Uni. But anybody is always welcome to write a post for us and we’ve had some great guest posts – just check out our local history stories over the last few months.

Our Roath People feature has been one of the most popular on the site and it’s been a great way to meet the community in Roath. With a nod to our twitter roots it’s a 140 word post about people’s life in Roath – what they like about it, how they came to live here and those secret little hints and tips that we all love to share.

Other projects that we’ve been involved in this year include the Made in Spring Fiesta where we mapped what people loved about Roath, the 4am Project, ongoing Social Media Surgeries and the Made in Roath arts festival. We’d love to do more this year and are always on the look-out for new projects to support.

One of our main aims for the site is also to support Roath’s independent businesses. We’re hoping that in our second year we can get our Trade in Roath scheme off the ground – encouraging people to shop locally by offering discounts to anyone who shows they’re using a RoathCardiff cloth bag. They’re pretty cool bags 🙂

Over the year we’ve tried to cover a variety of news and events. Our most popular posts have been dominated by an interest in food and drink – the opening of the Andrew Buchan,  the Great Roath Cake Off and the launch of Cafe Rio.

It’s always entertaining, though, to see what search terms are bringing people to our site. Mostly people looking for the sorts of stories that have been most popular, but there’s been a few wacky ones that have left us scratching our heads, including:

Brazilians in Cardiff

Bra less Greer

Cardiff erotic cakes

Ceremonial civic swords

And people also come to us asking Google interesting questions – captain scott was he from cardiff? how far around roath rec? population of roath? is roath a nice place to live? We’ve recently upgraded the contact form on the site so you can always come to us to ask questions more easily now. (btw: no he set off from Cardiff, about 1.3km, about 24,000 adults, yes indeed).

We had a great little birthday bash in the Albany last weekend – thanks to all who came – and we’re excited about what we have in store for our second year. But most of all we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has written posts, sent us ideas for stories, invited us to judge cake competitions, shared their Roath knowledge and generally supported our efforts.

Thanks very much

Matt, Geraldine, Huw, Nic and Jess x

Our first birthday Roath cake

Please get in touch if you’d like to write a Roath People post, in the meantime, here’s ours:

Blog team:

Matt Appleby

Geraldine Nichols

Huw Thomas

Nicole Rugman

Jessica Best

Founder of @roathcardiff

Helia Phoenix