I guess it’s sort of trite to wish yourself a happy anniversary, and borderline creepy to do so to a non-sentient website that you’ve created, but here we are. This past Friday, March 9th, was exactly one year from the date of my very first post on Pop & Pour. The brevity of that piece (something that got lost along the way) didn’t conceal my evident ignorance about what I was getting myself into and my indecision about what I wanted this site to be. 152 posts, 730 tags and 181 comments later, it’s turned into more than I ever could have hoped. By big-game Internet standards it’s still a tiny operation, a blip on the search engine radar, but I initially didn’t know if I’d keep up my posting beyond the first couple of weeks, and I especially didn’t know if what I put out there would be picked up by anybody. Twelve months later, I’m psyched that there are people who actually read this blog (I was at a very good friend’s wedding this past weekend, and when I was introduced to the groom’s mom, the first thing she said to me was that she was a regular PnP reader! Thanks Chris!) and humbled by the opportunities that have come my way because of it (my monthly calgaryisawesome.com column, as well as a sweet new gig that will be announced shortly). Here are a few insider Pop & Pour stats, accurate as of today thanks to the crack team at the WordPress Analytics Department, detailing some of the numbers behind PnP’s first year:
- PnP attracted 21,738 total views in its initial year of existence, a number that steadily increased almost every month. Last month, February 2012, is currently the best of all time for the blog, with 3,006 views, an average of over 100 views per day.
- Of the 150+ posts I’ve written, there are two that for some reason have accumulated WAY more Internet traction than any others: (1) my mildly controversial and horribly uncomplimentary ratchet job of the Pere Anselme NV “La Fiole du Pape” Chateauneuf-de-Pape, which has attracted 2,148 unique page views (10% of my overall view total…for the lowest score I’ve ever given to a wine), and (2) my much-more-upbeat hard sell of the 2010 Kung Fu Girl Riesling, which has pulled in 1,474 unique views and which has hopefully led at least a few people into the welcoming arms of Riesling. None of my other posts even hit the same stratosphere: my third most popular post is my very first wine review, of the 2009 Orin Swift Abstract, which only got 354 unique views.
- The highest point score I’ve given a wine is 96 points, to the incomparable (to date) 2007 Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Syrah, which took the better part of a day to open up but which then took me to vinous dimensions otherwise unexplored. My lowest score, as mentioned above, was “awarded” to a flat, stale, uninspired Fiole du Pape, which got hit with a 77 (making you wonder what the other 76 numbers are for, I’m sure…more on that here). My average point score through 95+ wine reviews is 88, which either means that I’ve been drinking some better-than-average wine or that I’m a bigger softie than I thought. Probably the latter.
- WordPress only started tracking this a couple weeks ago, but it’s too cool not to share anyway: in March 2012, the top 3 countries besides Canada and the US whose citizens ended up on popandpour.ca were the UK, Germany (YES!!!) and Australia. Germans, if it will help you come to this page in bigger numbers, you should know that I’m listening to Rammstein as I type this. The 3 craziest countries to register hits on PnP: Seychelles, the Faroe Islands, and Cyprus. I heart the Internet.
That’s probably enough site self-examination for one night, but the overall point is that I owe a huge debt to the remarkable people in the thriving Calgary wine industry, and to an amazing online wine community all around the world, for inspiring me, motivating me, and teaching me about this captivating drink that has captured all of our minds and hearts. Without your presence and feedback, there is no Pop & Pour; without the interest of the Tyler Philps and S. Andersens of the world I’m less excited to engage with other wine lovers; without the responsiveness of Amavi Cellars and Victoria Ordonez and Gramercy Cellars I’m still wondering who’s listening. This blog has been hugely rewarding for me, has motivated me into a formal wine education and has fuelled my passion for the world’s most inspired combination of man and nature…and for that, I thank you. All of you. Here’s to another great year.