Blogging By Numbers: PretentiousPDX’s Faux-iversary

PretentiousPDX: Year One

This week, we celebrate PretentiousPDX‘s Faux-iversary. Exactly twelve months ago, I roped my friend Jenna into starting Yume And Jenna Are Cooler Than You, the predecessor to this website. (Incidentally, this is where our use of the Royal We comes from – originally, I was actually speaking for both of us. When Jenna struck out on her own, however, I kept the convention up, because it sounds really damn pretentious.) One year ago, we published our first full article, “Instagramming Our Way to a More Mediocre World,” wherein we lamented Instagram’s deleterious effect on American society (and then, because we’re fans of irony, we proceeded to edit every photo we’ve used since in Instagram).

With that, our journey had begun. Over the next six months, we blogged, we Insta’d, we even Tweeted. In November, I branched out on my own and launched PretentiousPDX.com, and Jenna’s new website, WaitAndScene.com, went live a few days later. So although this domain itself is only six months old, PretentiousPDX has been around in some form for a whole year, now. With any luck, we’ll celebrate PretentiousPDX’s actual One-Year Anniversary this coming November, but in the meantime, I think the fact that I’ve been blogging for twelve months is something of a milestone.

Life as a blogger has been interesting. I have an entire array of applications on my smartphone dedicated to managing PretentiousPDX’s web presence: there’s the official email account (pretentiouspdx@gmail.com) and the Twitter feed (@pretentiouspdx); there’s the Facebook Fan Page, the Instagram account, the Soundcloud profile. But arguably the most important app in my arsenal is my WordPress app. Not only does it allow me to edit articles on the go (you haven’t truly lived until you’ve experienced the “joy” that is obsessively re-reading your writing, looking for typos), but it also allows me to track demographic data.

These two icons pretty much rule my life.

These two icons pretty much rule my life.

Thanks to fine folks at WordPress, I can constantly keep track of how page views I’m getting, which posts are most popular, where are web traffic is coming from, and even what Google search terms are leading people to my website. While this data is largely useless, some of the results are interesting and/or unintentionally hilarious. So, in honor of our faux-iversary, I thought I’d share some of that data with you.

Greatest Hits

As a writer, I try to pay attention to which posts are most popular with our readers. While preparing this article, I decided to go back and review which posts historically received the most hits. And since not all of readers manage to catch every article, I thought I’d provide links to our most popular posts, so that you can take a walk down memory lane and/or catch up on the ones you missed.

Our greatest hits. Which, ironically, haven't gotten very many hits.

Our greatest hits. Which, sadly, haven’t gotten very many hits.

1. Raise the Roof: Barbara in the Attic and the Road to An EP
In our most recent article, we reviewed local band Barbara in the Attic’s new EP, and interest in the band put this article solidly in the Number One slot. If nothing else, I can always claim that I was first person to ever review this album.

2. Train in Vain: When A Mediocre Band Gets Worse
One of our typical satirical pieces. I was initially concerned that the writing of this piece wasn’t up to par, but this article has definitely become our most frequently shared post, so I guess it must’ve been alright.

3. New on the Scene: Wait And Scene Makes its Debut!
Up until recently, this was actually our most popular post. Apparently our readers really wanted to know what Jenna was up to, post-Yume And Jenna Are Cooler Than You.

4. Departures
I’m actually surprised to see this one on the list. A short reflection on the aforementioned film and the anniversary of my father’s death, this post got quite a few views, considering the subject matter. It’s one of my favorite pieces, too.

5. A Guy Walks Into a Bar
A short little anecdote about the perils of drinking alone.

Searching for Hilarity

Almost 25% of my visitors come from various search engines – mostly Google – and while most of searches that lead people to PretentiousPDX are fairly mundane, some of them are quite interesting. Take the top three search results, for example:

stats 1

Now, the first one makes sense. Despite that the fact anyone who can type the words “Pretentious” and “PDX” should also be able to type “pretentiouspdx.com,” it makes sense that most people who people who find their way here are, in fact, looking for us. Likewise, “Barbara in the Attic” makes sense, too – there aren’t too many articles out there on Vancouver’s second-most popular band. But the middle one? That intrigues me – obviously I knew that I’m obsessed with status symbols, but I had no idea that other people were equally – or so specifically – interested in them, as well. Somewhere out there are four people who desperately wanted to know about the wonders of the 2012 Enterprise Plus membership card (not the 2010 or the 2011 cards, mind you), and that fascinates me. I can’t imagine that they found what they were looking for in an article about the horrors of rural Idaho, but I could be wrong.

Let’s go further down the rabbit hole, shall we?

stats 2A

This one is by far my favorite. There’s a guy (I assume it’s a guy) out there who owns an iPhone and wants everyone to know how much of a badass he is. And he needs a phone case that will trumpet that badass-ness to the world. Good luck to you, my friend – I hope you find what you’re looking for.

stats 2bGuilty as charged!

stats 2cI feel sorry for whoever was searching for this. Hopefully this didn’t shake their faith in Ms. Minaj… but yes, it’s absolutely about infidelity.

stats 3A

Ohhhhhh, Portland. What makes a charity pretentious, I wonder? Do they give cases of Pabst to orphans in third world countries? Do they donate copies of The Stranger to children’s literacy programs?

stats 3BI feel sorry for whoever was doing this search, especially since they no doubt came up empty-handed. As the world’s foremost expert on the horrors of Chad Kroger’s songwriting, I can tell you with some certainty – there are no artful metaphors to be found within their discography.

And speaking of Nickelback…

stats 4aSomeone out there obviously loves terrible wordplay as much as I do.

stats 4BAnd lastly, here’s the most recent search that popped up on my radar. Have you ever wanted to listen to music while you were on a roadtrip, but decided against it because of all the beach-themed profanity out there? (Those damn Beach Boys were huge potty mouths.) Well, obviously this person has. And much like Mr. Get-On-My-Level, I hope you find what you’re looking for, dear reader – although you won’t find it here.

Support Your Local Blogger

Not to go all Jimmy Wells on you, but even with our sporadic update schedule, running a blog is a pretty time-consuming process and it’s not free. So, if you feel like supporting our endeavors, please consider clicking the link below and making a small (non-tax deductible) contribution to our efforts.

Either way, we’re looking forward to more articles, more pretension, and more awesomeness in the City of Roses – and another year of killing it on the Portland scene!

Stay sharp, Portland.

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