It’s that time again.  Time for one of my favorite annual columns…

Before there was planking and #WINNING, Gangnam Style and Call Me Maybe (and Friday for what it’s worth); back when Casey Anthony was just a crappy single mother and pirates still sailed the Somali Coast; the internet was changed forever.  On November 7, 2010 the Queen of England started her official Facebook page.  Well that and this here website got off the ground. 

So I return to my Google Analytics to take a look at this past year that was to shed some light on what we’ve learned.

  • It’s been a good year as far as readership is concerned. received just shy of double the hits in 2012 that it did in 2011.  I hope that’s a sign that you good folks have enjoyed what you’ve found and hopefully come back for more.  For this I could not be more grateful.  This website is my own little creative outlet and I’m tickled pink that a handful of people the world around find it worth their precious time to click through every now and again.  From the bottom of my heart I thank you.
  • Readers from 97 different countries or territories visited in the past twelve months.  The good people of Myanmar tend to stick around the longest while the Finnish tend to click through the most pages.  I’m most pleased in the fact that my home away from home, the United Kingdom, has nearly caught Canada as the second most frequent visitor.  Bloody good show ol’ chaps.  Well done.
  • I think these iPad things are catching on.  They are the second most used device (behind the iPhone) for viewing  I’m thinking I might invest in that Apple company before they really take off.
  • 5 people have used an internet browser that goes by the name of “SeaMonkey” to visit.  I am at a loss…     
  • Meanwhile Google is the most popular search engine by a factor of six.  Bing, it may be time to just hang it up.  It’s getting to be embarrassing. 
  • A quick shout out to the Twitter crowd.  I dove into the Twitter-verse earlier this year and have found it compelling.  I do far more reading than posting directly but I definitely enjoy the medium.  The immediacy of information is fascinating.  My critique would be that fact and rumors are “reported” with the same weight on Twitter which I think is a long term pox upon the world of journalism.  For those hearty few that choose to follow me (@ChicagoChiGuy) I thank you for your patronage.  If you have suggestions as to how best I can enrich your experience I’m all ears (sorry, no dick-pics though – they’ve come back to haunt me far too often).
  • It’s now time for everyone’s favorite bit:  Keyword Searches That Brought Them Here.  Essentially these are words or phrases that were typed into a search engine that eventually led people to this site.  How some of these came to pass I’ll never understand:
    • Cubs Game Blow Jobs
    • Island of Misfit Toys Lumber Guy
    • Laura Dern Ass Pics
    • Tattooed dick. (two people actually used this search to find their way to this site)
    • Daggering with a dude
    • Attractive poutine
    • Big bull nuts
    • Big fat gay poppies
    • Can you give me information about Anthony rizzo that is a player on the Chicago cubs?  Is he married and have any children?  My maiden name is rizzo and I am curious.  (I kid you not)
    • Crotchal region
    • Demi Moore is strange
    • Early plastic masks for cancer patients
    • Ebola virus 3D
    • Handsome young man in a bar relishes a piece of cake model name

And my personnel favorite…

            ο  I broke the sound barrier still no rainbow

  •  If I were in the website design business I would give some serious consideration to approaching someone about creating a URL to address the following subjects.  An uncanny number of people come to because I assume I’m the only one who has mentioned the topics below on the internet:
    • Rango’s Girlfriend – Over 130 people in the past year alone clicked on to find out more information about her.  I mentioned her once in a post from 2011 and am now flooded with additional interest about her (she made this list in last year’s column as well).  Her name is Beans, she’s a desert iguana, and she is voiced by Isla Fisher.  That is all I have for you people.
    • Queso Fundido – It’s frickin’ delicious and I’m glad so many of you agree.  For those who have yet to imbibe, find a local mexican restaurant and order it (ideally with chorizo baked in) and welcome to Flavortown – population: you.
    • Luol Deng’s Girlfriend – I have absolutely no idea what Loul Deng’s marital status is or whom he is dating.  I really don’t think I’ve ever even thought about it (or written about it for that matter).  It’s actually kind of surprising that a relative star athlete, who has been in this city since he was 19, has stayed out of the gossip blog network as well as Luol has.  I’ve never heard a single word about him being spotted on Rush St. or whooping it up until all hours.  If you have any good juice on this subject please let me know.
    • St. Louis Rib Festival – This is the equivalent of the Taste of Chicago not having its own web page.  I wrote a not-so-flattering piece on my experience at the 2011 version and quickly zoomed to the top of places people could go to learn more about the event.  Very strange.  Well, per this article it appears that the event was cancelled this year due to poor attendance.  I’d like to think I played my small part in that.  Suck it St. Louis.   
    • Diane Keaton’s Black & White Photo from the movie The Family Stone – an inordinate number of people are interested in finding this image via Google on a daily basis.  I still don’t understand how they took it (she’s young and pregnant yet never has born a child to my knowledge) and apparently I’m not alone.
  • Finally I would like to touch on the subject of the Dave On Wheels fiasco from last month (October 2011).  I originally wrote about the situation on October 12th (a Friday) when a feel good story I had read about on came to an end with the news that David Rose (aka Dave On Wheels) passed away.   I had already posted my Friday Fun column the night before and thus made the very rare two-post-day on my lunch break at work.  Apparently a lot of people were touched by this story as well and experienced an unusually high traffic volume that afternoon.  On Monday October 15th word began to leak that that the whole Dave On Wheels character had been a hoax all along.  Again, I happened to check the Chive right at lunch time and must have been one of the first to read their update on the situation and posted a quick update myself.  That update lead to traffic at quadrupling my all-time high in a day (and the post went up around 1:30 in the afternoon).  It was incredible.  While people the world over (Croatia of all places was particular invested in the story for some reason) searched for answers became a primary landing spot for them.  That evening I wrote my “what did we learn from all of this” piece which was also warmly received.  Since those few whirlwind days of mid-October things have returned to a bit of normalcy as far as web traffic is concerned however I would say that daily readership has experienced about a 10% uptick since the whole Dave On Wheels epidemic took place.  I take it that this means that my falling into the eye of this minor internet buzz storm brought an inordinate number of people to and the fallout is that a handful of them liked what they found and continue to come back for more.  It’s pretty incredible if you think about it as it truly boils down to one of those right place-right time scenarios that you hear about in life.  For a website that does absolutely no marketing (aside from my Twitter account) or self-promotion, the plan is working in that the grassroots approach is slowing showing signs of gaining traction.  I think that’s pretty cool and cannot thank all of you enough – both those that have been here from the start and those who came across as part of the Dave On Wheels event (or any other passing trend for that matter) and chose to stick around for a while and come back.  It’s really cool for me to see regular readers pop up in corners of North America (and the world for that matter) who I have no direct relationship with beyond your apparently enjoying the words and links I put out into cyberspace.  Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.  And if you know of any other fake crippled people looking to be exposed please send me their information.



P.S. – To all of Chive Nation: You guys are amazing.  You don’t need to hear it from me as you’re more than a self-sustaining entity at this point, but please continue to spread the positive vibes in what otherwise can be a very cynical world (if you let it be).  Keep Calm & Chive On