Gunkholing: 2020 is going to be our best year yet!

Cape Cod Life  /  Annual Life 2020 /

Writer: Brian Shortsleeve

Allyson Plessner came to Cape Cod Life in the summer of 2017 as a summer intern after graduating from the College of Charleston. It was not long before we saw her talent and passion; two qualities that are essential here. She accepted a position as a staff writer in September ’17 and by August of the following year she was promoted to Digital Editor. Each step of the way, Allyson has eagerly pursued her quest to learn and grow, so much so that she is now teaching us. Below, Allyson lays out the growth and future of all things digital here at Cape Cod Life.

For over 40 years now, Cape Cod Life Publications has presented a strong presence in the world of print. Now in our 41st year, we’ve had the honor of connecting with generations of readers who have a strong love for the region. As we enter a new decade in 2020, it has become increasingly evident to us that the world looks significantly different than it did 41 years ago, and we are ever-grateful for the technological advances that allow us to connect with audiences across a whole new range of platforms. Our digital footprint is something that we take a huge amount of pride in, and through our website and social media, we are excited to be able to engage with the same audience we’ve been talking to for years in print…plus many millions more. Our mission from the beginning has been to share the very best of the Cape and Islands—from incredible photography to engaging stories—and our online presence has given us a treasured opportunity to bring our readers into the conversation, to share their photos, opinions, and reactions in real time. In 2020, we have even more exciting ventures in store that we are confident will allow us to continue to be your premier guide to the region, putting everything you love about the Cape & Islands right at your digital doorstep. 

On average, sees over 200,000 visitors per year. That is combined with a rapidly growing social media following that has now reached over 30,000 users on both Instagram and Facebook. In 2019 alone, our Facebook posts reached over 1 million people. Our audience on Instagram is the fastest growing of all of our social media sites, with an average growth of 500 to 1,000 new followers each week, and our Twitter grew over 1,300%, reaching thousands of engaged users. We are consistently amazed by and appreciative of the ways in which the online world has allowed us to reach people and to establish real connections.

Using these platforms is a very real, immediate way to get feedback from people across the world who feel connected to the Cape and to the content that Cape Cod Life produces—people who we are excited to engage with. In 2019, our social media sites combined directed over 23,000 people straight to our homepage alone, putting eyes not only on our content but on the advertisements placed by our local partners, and our higher than average click through rates show that people are enthusiastic about what they are seeing. 

One of our most notable ventures is our Annual Best of Cape Cod and the Islands awards. Every year, we reach out to thousands of people who feel a passion for the region for their opinions on the best places to eat, spots to see, and things to do across the Cape and Islands. Cape Cod Life’s priorities have always been about the reader’s experience; these awards are our annual opportunity to hear from that readership and share their voices using our platform. With the growth of our digital presence, we’ve decided to take that mission one step further in 2020. Our online database of Cape Cod Life’s original “Best Of” awards is getting a makeover! The experience will be far more user-friendly, with interactive listings showing you photos, bios, contact information, and more about the places you love “Best.” Our goal is to provide a true guide to the region, a “one stop shop” of all the people, places, and things that make the area so supremely special.

So, we hope you’ll join us in this new decade as we expand our digital presence even further and continue connecting with people across the world that all have something special in common: The Cape and Islands. ~ Allyson Plessner

To keep up with Cape Cod Life online, visit or follow us on social media @capecodlife.

Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the owner, publisher, and founder of Cape Cod Life Publications. His personal column, “Gunkholing,” has appeared in all issues of Cape Cod LIFE since the very first issue in 1979.