A Mirror in the Crowd

mirrorAbout six months ago I posted a reflection on who was coming to the Crowd and what they were looking for (porn as it turns out).  With the election behind us and year-end being a time for looking back and summing up, I thought I’d take another look at our traffic patterns and the search terms that most often bring people to our doors.

Politics, politics, politics.

As the graph below most clearly illustrates, the Crowd was way into the election and tended to follow its twists and turns day-by-day.  We saw steadily increasing traffic throughout the summer and fall, culminating on election day, and then a big fall off in site visits, back to the levels we saw at the start of the summer.

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I suspect a lot of us are just a little burned out and need a little break from the subject (not that I don’t appreciate those frequent personal e-mails from David Plouffe).

The traffic patterns also are a reflection of how much the authors are posting; prior to the election, we were posting much more frequently than after (on 10/29 alone, for example, we posted 9 items).

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Giving the People What They Want…

Like any blogger, I’m completely indifferent to the statistics generated by you, our loyal readers. I never look at the page view counts more than 10 times a day and I doubt anyone would say my fixation on incoming links meets the clinical definition of an OCD disorder. OK, maybe a couple of psychiatrists, but we all know what they’re like.

As a result, it was something of an eye-opener today when I pulled up a list of the search terms that most frequently bring new readers to our digital doorstep. These are the phrases entered into various search engines that produce links to various SRC posts.

Here are the top 5:

#5: Looking for Harry Chapin. Turns out 15.7 percent of our new visitors come to us looking for the lyrics and/or the cultural significance of the late Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s In the Cradle” that was part of the balladeer’s 1974 Verities & Balderdash. I used a line from this song (“When you coming home, dad, I don’t know when“) in a post last year and we’ve been creating serendipities ever since. As a public service, for those of you still looking for the lyrics so that you can do maudlin karaoke after too many beers, you can find them here. I speak from personal experience on this point, having once spent a drunken evening singing duets with a guy who is now a federal judge (one of many reasons he didn’t tell the FBI about me I suspect).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Harry, who died too soon in 1981, I highly recommend his Greatest Stories Live album. Don’t get the iTunes version as it has only half the songs on the original album for some reason.

#4: Looking for you. About 16.4 percent of those visiting us from the search engines are looking for our readers and commentators and are Google-stalking you through your posts on the blog. Thank you, one and all, you class up the joint. Please keep posting unless you’re in the Witness Protection Program.

#3: Looking for us. Maybe. 17.4 percent of search-engine visitors are looking for “The Same Rowdy Crowd” or one of the Gang of Eight (or whatever we are) who author this madhouse.

Of course, there’s a distinct possibility that they’re actually looking for the song we stole our name from – “Sharon” – or the singer/songwriter David Bromberg. Lyric-hunters click here for the singalong.

“Sharon” has a special place in my heart as it was part of the soundtrack of my first freshman year in college. I have to admit, though, that I haven’t clicked with much of his other music. That said, I recently discovered a wonderful album, Live From Bonnaroo 2007: David Bromberg & Angel Band, that I highly recommend. It has a nice version of “Sharon,” but a truly amazing rendition of “Driving Wheel” as well. I can only find it on iTunes, but it may be available elsewhere.

#2: Looking for the news of the day. Fully 23.7 percent of you come looking for the news of the day or commentary thereon as evidenced by the mishmash of keyword searches for things like “worst speeches” and “Al Franken.” This is gratifying as it’s one of the reasons we started this thing in the first place (I’m sure it was in the top 20 reasons). I suspect a few people who found us this way have stuck around to become regular readers and contributors. Again, thank you one and all.

And the #1 reason people come looking for us…

#1: Porn. Yes, it turns out the SRC is just another portal to the giant global porn machine.

Specifically, nearly 27 percent of our search engine visitors are looking for “striptease news” or some variation thereof.

How’s that one-handed typing working for you? Personally, I find it hard to work the shift key (“ba-bump” goes the first pun).

I’m guessing those of you so inclined (there’s #2) are looking for the either the soft-core Tease News out of Australia or the harder (yep, that’s 3) Naked News. We pop up (there’s another one…<rimshot> ) on these searches because Benidt posted last year a commentary on one of local station’s use of “teasers” to keep viewers from tuning away entitled “News Strip Tease.”

The man’s a freakin’ genius.

Naked News is subscription-based so no way am I sharing my user name and password (though you can find some samples on YouTube if you’re truly interested), but as part of the SRC’s commitment to giving our viewers the programming they’re telling us they want, here’s a sample from Tease News:

You have to give the anchors and correspondents their due; they manage to multi-task their newsreading and their disrobing pretty gracefully. This is, I suspect, harder than it looks (completing a punning superfecta).

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