So, here we are: the top five posts of the year 2013. The top four are from the last five months of the year. Four are what I would call “serious.” Three could be construed as business-related, though one I would characterize as more investigative. It’s the first time I would have used that word to describe anything I’ve written and it elicited quite a bit of discussion here and on Facebook with some people pleased with what I’d written and others not so happy.
Number five, George Jones: The Final Concert, represented a personal and emotional post, for me. I attended a George Jones concert with my father, among others, and given George’s obviously failing health along with that of my father and the fact that my mother had died months earlier, it hit me really hard. When the news broke, first that George had cancelled the rest of the short tour, and next that he had died, I realized I, along with Knoxville, had witnessed the final concert by a giant. The post also illustrates another thing I’ve realized about my blog: few comments doesn’t always mean fewer viewers. This is one of my most read posts of all time and it drew a paltry four comments.
Number four, Guns, Ammo and the Center City?, started with a message I received asking a question about Group West. The reader speculated they were connected to the theater shootings in Colorado. They are not – that’s another Knoxville business – but it set me on a complex journey across the Internet finding many interesting connections and concluding that the evidence suggests many tons of ammunition is stored on Jackson Avenue. It drew twenty-one comments (including my own) and intense exchanges on Facebook. In the end I was told it is legal, but I’m not convinced it’s a good idea.
Number three, An Open Letter to St. John’s Episcopal Church, struck a nerve with a number of readers. It was my last attempt at averting the demolition disaster and I took the metaphorical gloves off because I realized time was short and hope was dim. It got re-posted quite a bit around the Internet and I always appreciate that. In the end, of course, it did not stop the demolition (see number six), but it did underscore that, as a group, we are interested in preservation and do not feel demolition of the city is the best way to help it grow.
Number two, A Shocking Closure on Market Square, detailed the closure of Bella Luna after what I thought was a successful run. Readers weighed in with opinions about their food and service. i heard from readers who I appreciate and respect, some of whom contacted me privately, to say how strongly they feel we don’t have excellent food downtown compared to other cities in which they have lived. Others mentioned how frequently it was near-empty. For me, I liked the food and really appreciated their support of the jazz community.
And Number one, the most read story I wrote all year long? That would be Icon Re-opens as a Restaurant and Lounge. It only drew four comments. I knew it would be interesting to my readers, but I had no idea how much so. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it is worth noting that five of the top ten posts are about food. I guess we really like to eat – or at least we like to read about it. If you haven’t tried the restaurant, by the way, I’d encourage you to do so. The new owners are from Oak Ridge where they operated a very good restaurant with excellent food.
So, that was the year that was on the blog. We also reached a mile-stone that I’m pretty proud of: we had over a quarter of a million page views. It’s a long way from the few a day I started with. According to Google Analytics, the final counts were 97,233 people visited 170,759 times and looked at 257,546 pages. Here’s hoping for a great 2014 as we continue this little urban journey together.