Top 3 (x4) of 2019

Looking at the stats for 2019 is showing what you all found the most interesting or entertaining to read (and listen to!) of my offerings this year.

This Site

This is True’s most-visited pages in 2019 (other than “not really content” pages like the home page, thanks for subscribing, etc.) are an eclectic mix. My 2013 article The First Paramedics was number one, thanks to “going viral” in the online street medic community this year.

The informational “Free” Ebook Download Scam essay from 2017 was the second-most-read page this year, probably thanks to Google searches.

Top 3 (x4) of 2019
A popular online scam goes way, way back. (Click the pic to read the page.)

The Top 3 from 2019, though, are more True-like in content, starting with Older Than You Think, in large part because it was a story that couldn’t go into the newsletter since it would trip filters.

Luke Perry and Strokes from March turned around an obit I noticed, and led to one of my “EMS Stories” to show how quick action can completely reverse a stroke. The Pho Keene Controversy was the site’s most-read regular content story with extra commentary, including my slapping a local journalist upside his foolish pointy head.

Uncommon Sense Podcast

It can be a little hard to figure out the popularity of the podcasts: some come to the Show Page to stream episodes, some come to the Show Page to read the transcript, and many others just use a podcast app to download the episodes to their phones (or even cars) to listen wherever.

If I added pageviews to downloads then many would be counted twice, such as when someone listens to a download and comes to the Show Page to see a photo or link. So for this one, I only used actual audio file streams or downloads as the factor, since the podcast company keeps good records of that stat.

Top 3 (x4) of 2019
Peter Shankman lives Uncommon Sense. (Click the pic to go to the Show Page.)

The top episode this year was 019: How to be Happier, which is not a huge surprise. Number two was 029: 32 Glasses of Water Go Down the Black Hole, probably because I “called B.S.” on a hugely popular online meme about the “photo of a black hole.” And the third was 021: Uncommon Sense at Work, a profile of an old online entrepreneur friend of mine …and boy was he surprised because I didn’t tell him I was going to do it.

The latest episode is the first of a three-parter about innovation. 055: Resisting Uncommon Sense is up now, 056: Running with An Idea comes out tomorrow morning, and Part 3, 057: The Key to Innovation, will be available next Monday.

Honorary Unsubscribe

The number-one Honorary Unsubscribe was “secret photographer” Ed Westcott, probably because of the many examples of his behind-the-scenes photos of WWII’s Manhattan Project.

Top 3 (x4) of 2019
Westcott’s pass gave him unprecedented access to a top-secret wartime project. (Click pic to go to his Honorary Unsubscribe, and to see this larger.)

Number two was a surprise to me: “Champion of the disabled” Carrie Ann Lucas, who had to sue to get America’s one-time largest retailer to actually comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

And the third was “The persevering” Sidney Shachnow, who survived a Nazi concentration camp to come to America, where he rose to be a Major General in the U.S. Army …and when the Berlin Wall fell in 1990, he appreciated the irony in that he was the commander of all American forces in Berlin.

Randy’s Random

On Randy’s Random, the second-most popular page of the year, with more than 3x the views of the third, The Boss, was this month’s After Black Friday about “porch pirates.” Both were created in 2019.

Top 3 (x4) of 2019
Porch Pirates, aka “After Black Friday” (Click the pic to see it larger in its native environment.)

But then visitors looking at “Black Friday” wanted to know what was at the top of the “Most-Shared Posts” (listed on every page), and loved that one so much it went viral again, mostly on Twitter: My Job Interview at Petco brought staggering traffic. That page lead not only the year, but the month of December with about half of the site’s 300,000+ pageviews over just 72 hours — and by far the number one page on the site in 2019, even though it wasn’t created in 2019. The number three of this year’s creations was also Christmas related, This Day and Age.

Top 3 (x4) of 2019
December’s Top 7 pretty well mirror 2019’s in general. (Click to see larger.)

Happily, as far as I could see the server handled the traffic surge without a hitch. In all, the nearly 650,000 pages served in one month is double to triple the typical month.

(Links to the pages in the Top 7 graphic: Petco, Black Friday, The Boss, [home], Why God Created Atheists, This Day and Age, Sacrilegious. Offsite links open in a new tab.)

So… Boundless Riches?

Randy’s Random does have ads on it, so did that huge surge mean huge income? You be the judge: the site made $63 this month from Google ads — and it’s my top site, Google-ads-wise. (I removed their ads from this site in 2016, for extremely good reasons.)

In the olden days, when Google wasn’t keeping most of the bucks for itself, that much traffic probably would have brought in around a thousand bucks, and that is why so many independent content sites you have loved over the years have disappeared.

True survives only because of your direct support, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Did I miss your favorite? Comments are open below.

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This page is an example of Randy Cassingham’s style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. His This is True is an email newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition in an entertaining way. If that sounds good, click here to open a subscribe form.

To really support This is True, you’re invited to sign up for a subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:

One Year Upgrade

Top 3 (x4) of 2019
(More upgrade options here.)

Q: Why would I want to pay more than the regular rate?

A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online: this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.

2 Comments on “Top 3 (x4) of 2019

  1. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reread your job interview at Petco and problem with the Boss! I save most of my Premium emails to go back and read favorites. LOL! Probably taking up way too much of my memory space now! Time to read what to do about that!

  2. No, Randy. Thank you! I enjoy reading all your output. Some is more interesting than others, but since I end up having to think with it, I enjoy it even more.

    I find that I hate getting the Premium issue every week. Because, I know that once I start it, I can’t make it last forever, and have to finish it sometime. Then, I’m bummed that it’s gone for another whole week. In the meantime, I’ve got other articles of yours to read, though, so I soothe myself for another week of waiting. (Okay, that’s a bit tongue in cheek.)

    Heck, I write the stories, but when I go back to previous issues (usually when editing the books later), I invariably find stories that I forgot completely. Sometimes I wince at the terrible tagline. Other times I actually laugh out loud. So if you need a fix, try opening a random old newsletter and see something with fresh eyes. 🙂 -rc


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