Happy Anniversary!!!

- wadE

The 15th of November marks the 3rd anniversary of simpleprop.com. It's strange. It feels like we've been doing this longer than 3 years, but I can remember our first few months like they were yesterday.

Milestones like this are a time for reflection, so let's take a few moments to look at
The State Of The Simpleprop Union.

Last year I said that 2003 was a banner year for SP. If 2003 was a banner year, I'm not sure what the words are to describe 2004:

year:  #reqs: #pages: 
----: ------: ------: 
2001:   1335:    202: 
2002:  62359:   8406: 
2003: 321443:  50335: 
2004: 760021: 171181: 

Not only did we reach what I called "an outside chance" at 50,000 last year, we've left that number in the dust this year. At our current pace we'll easily pass 200,000 pages by the end of this year.

There are two main reasons (one good, and one bad) that we've increased our traffic four-fold over the last year, and over 20 times more than the year before.

The good reason is our forum. We created the forum in the summer of 2003, but it didn't really start to catch on until the tail end of last year. This year it has been the main driver of growth. The forum produces more than 50% of our traffic. When we started the Daily Gambit, it brought people to the website daily and increased our traffic from less than 10,000/year to over 50,000/year. The forum has taken that to the next level. Instead of people visiting once a day, they come back multiple times to take part in the "conversations" that occur on any and all topics.

We've got 4,500 different articles in the forum, and 18 users. If you like our site, it's a great place to sign up (it's free and easy to use!) and share in our particular brand of humor, and bring your own point of view. And don't worry if you don't know any of us personally, all are welcome!

I'd be remiss if I also didn't mention three other contributors to our continued success. First, is my SNL article, which still brings in about 300 hits monthly. Wade's cartoon article which gets hits ranging from "Superfriends" to "Slimer" to "Skeeter's sexual orientation". And last, but definitely not least, Alex and his Sue Bird fetish. I'd guess that this year alone we've probably received 3,000-4,000 hits just from fellow Sue Bird fanatics.

Now for the bad reason. Our Referrer Report, which lists out URLs that call our website, better known now as "The Jerk Report". Why? Because besides the regular links that other sites have that direct people to our site, some folks (mostly other forums, but some websites too) have decided that instead of hosting their own images, they'll just link to ours.

So each time a person hits one of those pages, it hits us too, which does drive up our numbers, but the person who hits that page isn't coming to our site. Someone else is just "stealing" images from our site, and our bandwidth, without us getting any benefit at all.

This isn't a serious problem. It does skew our numbers a bit, but since we've never exceeded 5% of our monthly bandwidth it isn't costing us money. However, as our site (and others on the same server with our hosting company) grows, if we don't monitor this type of activity it could start to affect performance. Eventually, if not kept in check, it could start to affect bandwidth as well, and start costing us money.

At any rate, this problem has been taken care of quite easily by replacing any picture that is being used with this one:

Another section of our statistics is the Domain Report, which tells us what types of organizations are coming to simpleprop.com.

Besides the usual .com, .net, and .org, we get a lot of hits from .gov, .mil (USA military), .it (Italy), .sg (Singapore), .ca (Canada), .br (Brazil), .hr (Croatia), and .pl (Poland), just to name a few. I didn't even know, but there's even a .us domain suffix now!

As for specific organizations, let me thank everyone from the following places who have visited us over the past two months:

207.46 - Microsoft
207.126 - Medica
208.162 - Cable & Wireless / SAVVIS
12 - New York University
221.200 - Asia Pacific Network Information Centre
208.252 - UUNet
165.189 - State of WI Dept. of Administration

It's great to know that people besides us and our friends access the site.

One other thing to note. Simpleprop will now show up in the search results for all major search engines (about time Lycos!!!).

Ok, enough of the boring statistics, let's get to my favorite part of the anniversary article, the Oscar-style look back at the articles of the past year.

Best Movie Review: Guest Columnist Becca U. for I [Heart] Huckabees
Easily the best review of the last year. Thought provoking and insightful. Shame on the rest of us for having a guest columnist show us up!

Best Rambling Article: Wade for Confessions of a Disjointed Mind
Wade has the corner on the market for Ramblings. I think we all wish he'd write more of them.

Best Topical Article: wadE for Better or Worse?
An indepth look at the top issues of this recent presidential election.

Best Personal Article: Wade for Summer Job
A hotly contested category with wadE's Interviews article and Alex's Homework Review article coming in not far behind. But Wade sealed his win with what are my two favorite graphics of the past year:


Best Gambit: Wade for The Newest Simpleprop Fan
*deep breath*
This has been a big year for Wade. So you'll excuse him if he hasn't been the most prolific writer this year. And a special thanks to Sara for holding off until the 13th! ;-)

Best Thought-provoking Article: Alex for Homework Review
I've known Alex for 20 years now (God, is it really that long?) and I first hear about things like this on a website... that's just the kind of friendship we have.

Funniest Article: wadE, Wade, and Alex for 4th Annual Austin Bar Crawl
This is a perennial winner, and rightly so. We each have such a good time doing the bar crawl, and then writing it up for your reading pleasure.

Worst Article: wadE for This Article
Again, a perennial winner. Although wadE's Segregation Is Back article gave this one a run since it might be the shortest article ever.

Best Article: (drumroll please.....) Alex for Even More Old Emails
This article never ceases to crack me up. Even if you don't know any or all of the authors of the emails, they are still funny. And how can you not give credit to the article that has brought us so many hits for "emilio estevez shirtless".

Thanks again to all of our regular readers, anyone who emailed any of us (even if it was to say that Wade was crazy for thinking that Lombardozzi was better than Tommy Herr) we very much appreciate the feedback, and most of all thanks to Wade and Alex. Two of the best friends a guy could have.

...'sniff... I gotta go... there's something in my eye...


- 11/15/2004

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