It started with one little “like” on our Facebook page one year ago today as we introduced Glittersnipe.com. By the end of the day we had fifty fans — we now have over 13,000. On that night we were so excited to receive feedback by the only people who knew about Glittersnipe, which was just a smattering of friends and family, and now we are read by more people than we could have ever dreamed, from every corner of the world.
Not surprisingly, 80 percent of our readership comes from the United States — specifically states that voted for President Obama in the last election — except for Texas, which ranked number five (Austin, Houston, and Dallas). New York City commands 75 percent of our U.S. readership, followed by Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle, and San Francisco.
While 90 percent of our readers come from English-speaking countries — U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland — the other countries that round out our top ten are quite diverse; Germany and France lead the pack of non-native English speakers, followed by Thailand, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, and India.
The reading patterns of different countries are particularly interesting. While Australia ranks fourth in monthly visits to Glittersnipe, Aussies actually read more pages than all native English speakers once they’ve arrived. And of the top twenty countries overall, the French click on more pages than any other nationality. The most devoted readers, however, come from some of the smallest countries, and what they lack in actual visits to the website, they make up for it returning in higher frequency and reading more. The Kingdom of Bhutan leads the pack, with readers viewing, on average, over five time more than the average visitor. Timor-Leste, Tanzania, Aruba, and Nicaragua all follow closely behind.
The vast majority of our traffic came from social media — Facebook specifically — with a lesser impact coming from Twitter and Pinterest. Reddit, however, has proven to be a stronger presence in the past two months, and with our new Reddit button, we hope to see that rise.
We can also see what search terms people used to find Glittersnipe, and some of them are somewhat alarming. When we compiled the top twenty “Free Pussy Riot!” memes, we selected each one and named them “Pussy1,” “Pussy2,” “Pussy3,” etc., thinking only about ease in programming. Variations of people searching for “pussy” plus a numeral were our number one search terms. Mercifully, the numerals for searches hovered in the very high teens. Creepily, some did not.
Other search terms that ranked high were various forms of “Thai people + chopsticks,” “Boston Tea Party,” “pissed off Muslims,” “crazy shit Mormons believe,” “Lalibela, Ethiopia” and queries about what Marilyn Monroe would look like today. We’d like to apologize to those people who may have been eating when they stumbled upon this meme we made of Marilyn Monroe with President Obama. (Note: All orange links open in separate windows so you may continue reading.)
Most of our top fifteen most-read articles known as “evergreen” concept articles, however, the number one article that beat out all the others by tens of thousands of views — and shut down our system — was more timely. Numbers two through four were all fairly close in hits. There were some articles that we were shocked didn’t make the list like our three-part travel scams series, however, if you combined all three they would have made the number twelve slot. (As an aside, the travel articles are being fleshed out and pitched as a book — part travel memoir/part cautionary tale.)
1. Aftermath: A Distorted View of America and Why Seceding Can’t Succeed
It was shared on Facebook almost10,000 times, and it crashed our system. We were on the phone complaining with our provider as Glittersnipe was crashing off and on. And then we went to Google Analytics and saw why: Our visits were soaring by the second — culminating in tens of thousands in a matter of a few hours. Every state in the individual map of the U.S. lit up, while France lit up, Saudi Arabia lit up — Burma, Ethiopia, Singapore, Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Hungary all lit up. And it spread over the next two days. In total the article was ready by over 50,000 people in thirty-two countries. The irony, of course, that while most of our articles are days and weeks in the making, and with intense research, this one was compiled in about three hours.
2. Buggery and the Bible
As editor-in-chief of Glittersnipe, I can tell you that this article is one of my personal favorites of the lot — and it’s dedicated to my cousin. Some of our favorite responses about this article came the wife of Methodist minister who shared it on her Facebook page, and from a daughter of an Episcopalian vicar who thanked us. I sincerely hope that this article helped people. Below is an excerpt:
“In a small town in South Carolina, just a few minutes before noon on May 25, a nineteen-year-old girl went to her bedroom, closed the door, and typed a three-word status update: ‘I am gay.’
She took a deep breath, exhaled, and hit the enter key. Then she leaned toward the screen with her hands over her mouth, and waited.
It didn’t take long. Within seconds, the admiration poured in from around the world… And if things seemed almost too good to be true, that’s because they were.”
3. Lynching Lincoln: Racism and the Devolution of the G.O.P.
This article shows the shift from when Democrats and Republicans swapped places — and why. This, like the article above, is an evergreen and will surely supplant Aftermath in time. Whenever this is shared or tweeted it inspires spirited discussion.
“How many college degrees must a black man get — to what lofty ambitions must a black man aspire — and how refined must his demeanor be? How honorable must a black man be as a son, as a husband, as a father, as a president? And to what extent must be prove himself as a man before he can rip off the mantle of ‘nigger,’ ‘pickaninny,’ and ‘sambo?’”
4. 2012: The Year the G.O.P. Jumped the Shark: Lady Parts Edition
This article, by Stephanie Wilkins, spread like wildfire within an hour of publication. And it wasn’t only Democrats who were fired up — a few self-professed Republican women even weighed in voicing their concern of how the G.O.P. was scoffing at women’s issues and mocking issues of rape.
“…nothing compares to the recent folly of trying to snatch back fifty years of female progress. Women will not tolerate old men, ignorant of simple biological facts, lecturing us about what we can and cannot do with our bodies. We will not cede legal control of our own reproductive health, because doing so makes us second class citizens. In a time when women are still only making 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, we cannot afford to go backwards. And we won’t.”
5. North Korea ‘Exposes’ Life in U.S. via Hilarious Propaganda Video
And now this is happening. This satirical video, which amuses me even after five or six viewings, fetched far more hits than The Making of a Mad Man: The North Korean Facts & Fantasies that Shaped Kim Jong-Un, which by the way took several days of research.
6. A Bipartisan Agreement: Five Things No One Misses From the 2012 Election Season
We had a lot of fun with this one, especially the part of Thomas Peterffy, whose voice still makes me want to take my soul down to the Wash-Dry-n-Fold.
“When Peterffy, who was born in a Communist — not Socialist — Eastern-block country, came to the United States in 1965 he didn’t speak a lick of English, and by God, forty-seven years later Americans still can’t understand half of what comes out of this bastard’s mouth and the commercial even comes with subtitles.
The creepiest aspect of this visual and aural assault? Petterfy talking about his nasty-ass ‘fuhn-ta-sizing’ about coming to America made Americans’ flesh rot.”
7. Don’t Tread on Me. Either.
Wilkin’s smack-down on the Tea Party — with facts — over the Republican splinter group’s appropriation of the famous Gadsden flag — and what it actually represents — got people fired up. We expected far more resistance from the far right on this one, but simply pointing out the link to the National Tax Payers’ Union, which proved the article was correct, sent most detractors scurrying away.
8. Trollin’ in the Deep – Obama: Worst Communist Dictator Ever
This article was written by a left-wing troll who dares to venture into the lands of right-wing Facebook pages while truth bombing the living hell out of them. It’s a hilarious and spot-on take-down that created a great deal of buzz in the comments section. The screen capture in the article from Dave Bowman’s alter-ego “Steven Kohlbert” is worth the price admission alone.
9. Words you Should Never Say in Restaurants
This article has been loved and loathed by many and it seems to be shared on Facebook with frequency — it even rose in rank by sixteen slots just last week alone. It’s been called “hilarious,” and “stupid” but most people in the service industry agreed that it’s spot-on.
10. From the Heights to the Pits — The Best and Worst Presidents of All Time. Part I
We researched this article probably longer than any other piece that was published on Glittersnipe all year and it’s paying off. Part II, however, which features the ten worst presidents comes in as the twenty-first most read article.
11. Five Clues That Your Thai Restaurant is Fake
Written by Ploylada Sirachadapong, a restaurant critic based in Bangkok, this is seriously what you need to know when choosing a new Thai spot. As a regular visitor to Thailand myself, which is where I met Ploylada, I am constantly amazed at the “Thai” restaurants here in New York City that break the first rule in this terrific article.
12. How to Piss off a Muslim
Muslim comedian and provocateur extraordinaire Mona Shaikh blew the roof off what she thinks is wrong with the international Muslim response to the YouTube “film” by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. We’re still upset that Glittersnipe didn’t receive a fatwa for this one but hope springs eternal.
“The thing about Muslims is that whether it’s Nakoula or Salman Rushdie criticizing the Prophet Muhammad,” Sjaikh said, “the shit gets very real, very fast — for all of us.”
“The Holocaust did not exist. The Apollo program? A sham. September 11th was an inside job and President Obama was born in Kenya. Aurora was a setup. Benghazi? A cover-up.
Now, there’s Sandy Hook. At the rate conspiracy theories are being cranked out, people are disbelieving what they’re seeing in real time with their own eyes.
You’ve seen the documentaries, the books, and the Facebook posts. You may have even researched some of the aforementioned so-called theories. As a lover of science, I hesitate to call them actual theories, however, and in at least two of those examples, the scientific community has thoroughly debunked the concepts. But that’s just not good enough for some people. They need more.”
14. Left Brain vs. Right Brain: Ted Nugent Is As Good As It Gets for the GOP
Christopher Zara, chief culture reporter at International Business Times and author of Tortured Artists, wrote this article about why the greatest art is created by the most liberal minds. While some Democrats called it a “no-brainer,” which is certainly easy to say in theory, Zara backs it up with actual studies, and his trademark wit:
“…a revealing study that showed conservatives tend to eschew artwork that’s too abstract or challenging and instead prefer simplistic works (hence Thomas Kinkade and the films of M. Night Shyamalan). In other words, not only do GOPers make bad art, they also make bad art lovers.”
15. Why You’ve Got to Get Mad — LIKE! TWEET! PIN! Checking Out from Checking-In
In a departure from our usual fact-laden and heavily researched articles (or in some cases the absurdities of our Five Things We Can’t Believe Exist column), this rant — by yours truly — definitely struck a nerve.
Some readers commented that it was ironic to “share,’ “like,” or “tweet,” the article. The point was well-taken, however, the actual bent of the piece was the importance of striking a balance — to turn away from your screens and to re-connect with what truly matters in life: your friends and family.
And in an imperfect segue — as this article comes to a close and we begin our second year — I would like to take this time to thank all of you who mattered so much to me in helping to make Glittersnipe such a success. There were so many brilliant writers and artists who contributed terrific content — from a terrific cartoonist, to first-time writers, to bloggers, to accomplished authors and senior magazine editors. There were also so many people in social media who helped us get the word out and we are truly grateful. And to all the amazing devoted readers who’ve also written wonderful words of encouragement, you have truly been the fuel that’s kept this machine going from day to day.
Glittersnipe is bigger and better than we could have imagined and it will get better, but it would have been impossible without the incredible support and tutelage of my my silent partner in this project , who also happens to be my partner in life. I thank you, LB.
And if you’re interested in being a Glittersnipe contributor, or advertizing with us, or have an idea for a new article, please contact me directly at email@example.com.
‘Snipe it! Cheers!