2010 blog in review


All things considered, 2010 has been a fantastic year. After enjoying a couple months of funemployment when Carlyle closed in February, I unexpectedly landed a rather enjoyable job promoting Bols Genever (one of my favorite spirits) throughout Oregon and Washington. Portland continues to amaze me with its food and drink scene, hitting far above its weight in quality. A modest amount of travel included Seattle, San Francisco, DC, New Orleans, Houston, Tequila, and Upper Peninsula Michigan. Collaboration with other bartenders, including the successful Brewing Up Cocktails events, put me behind ten different Oregon bars this year. I’m ending the year with a new gig at the excellent restaurant Metrovino. More professional writing opportunities have come my way: I do a monthly drink column at Culinate, I blog about policy at the Washington Examiner, and I published a slim volume of cocktail recipes. Though I do miss some aspects of the intellectual life in DC, I’ve never been more certain that leaving the city a few years ago was the right decision.

For this blog, traffic is amazingly identical to what it was last year: 99,423 visits tracked on Google Analytics compared to 99,442 in 2009. Or according to SiteMeter, 116,764 in 2010 compared to 124,155. I don’t know why the numbers are so discrepant. Though the number of visits has stayed roughly the same, my frequency of posting has gone way down. I’m not sure if this information should be depressing or liberating. However, given that much of the old blogosphere conversation has moved to Twitter and that I’m doing more outside writing, overall traffic is of less importance than it used to be.

Google continues to be the number one source of traffic, though direct visits have risen slightly in proportion to search referrals as a percentage of the total. Search accounted for 53% of visits in 2010, referring sites 31%, and direct traffic 15%.

Of this year’s top 10 posts, half of them were written this year, compared to just two of 2009’s making last year’s list. Nonetheless camel crickets, miracle fruit, and the stapler’s secret continue to dominate the top 4 spots. Anyone selling insecticide or miracle fruit want to buy ads on those posts?

Top posts of 2010
1. Camel crickets invade DC
2. Miracle fruit — I’m a believer!
3. How to get rid of camel crickets
4. The stapler’s secret
5. FDA bans product for tasting good
6. Libertarians and Fair Trade coffee
7. Finally, sampling miracle fruit tablets
8. A simple sparkling cocktail
9. Reuters hypes thirdhand smoke fears
10. Hypocrisy, thy name is DC Councilman Jack Evans

The national anxiety over camel crickets is even more evident in the top 10 search phrases of the year.

Top search referrals of 2010
1. camel cricket
2. camel crickets
3. spider crickets
4. miracle fruit
5. miracle fruit party
6. how to get rid of camel crickets
7. Sobieski vodka review
8. weird fish
9. Dolin Blanc
10. allspice dram

Weirdly, “Jacob Grier” is actually the number 4 search term, but I find this hard to believe. I’m attributing this to people bookmarking from a search page. “Bull balls,” last year’s 11th place result, has fallen to 62, knocking one of my favorite blog posts off the top 10.

Top visitor countries for 2010
1. United States
2. United Kingdom
3. Canada
4. Australia
5. Germany
6. India
7. Philippines
8. France
9. Netherlands
10. Malaysia

Top visitor cities for 2010
1. Portland, OR
2. New York
3. Washington
4. Los Angeles
5. London
6. Chicago
7. Seattle
8. San Francisco
9. Raleigh
10. Atlanta

This is the first year Portland outpaced New York as the number one source for traffic. Atlanta replaced Arlington, which dropped from 7 to 15. Otherwise the list is pretty much the same as last year. I assume the Netherlands’ appearance in the top 10 countries list is due to posts about genever and kopstootjes.

The next time I see Radley Balko, drinks are on me: The Agitator is this site’s number one source of referrals for the second year in a row.

Top non-search referrers for 2010
1. The Agitator
2. Facebook
3. Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
4. Twitter
5. Liqurious
6. Reddit
7. The Daily Dish
8. Marginal Revolution
9. Cheap Talk
10. The Blog to End All Blogs

Thanks everyone for reading, and here’s to an even better 2011.

[Photo of the Hawthorne Bridge by Thomas Hawk.]