There may be a lot of things about the year 2020 we all want to forget, but those of us at Commonplace Fun Facts look back at the year with fond appreciation to all of our readers. A review of the final stats for the year makes us very grateful for all of the support and encouragement you have given us, and it fills us with excitement about what 2021 will bring.
At the risk of sounding like insufferable braggarts, let us share a few of the highlights:
Best Year (By Far) for Traffic
136,928 separate visitors viewed Commonplace Fun Facts a total of 177,051 times during 2020. That more than doubled the prior year’s visitors (64,730) and page views (85,121).
Visitors from Almost Every Country
The United Nations Recognizes 195 countries in the world. Representatives from almost all of them stumbled upon Commonplace Fun Facts in the past year. According to WordPress, visitors from 203 distinct geographic entities logged onto our pages. Some of those were registered from political institutions that do not qualify as separate countries, such as the European Union or Greenland, which is a territory of Denmark, or places like Réunion and Martinique, which are overseas departments of France. As nearly as we can tell, the only countries that remained in the dark about Commonplace Fun Facts during the year were North Korea (which is a shame, considering the number of posts about the Hermit Kingdom that grace our pages), Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Gabon, and some relatively-small island countries. We even picked up our first visitor from Nauru after our article about how the country was bankrupted by a bad musical.
By far, the United States led visits to Commonplace, with 100,360 hits from the 50 states. Bringing up the rest of the top five were the United Kingdom (14,513), India (10,040), Canada (8,781), and Australia (5,238).
Tuned in to Tic Tacs, Fascinated by Forbidden Fruit, and Beguiled by Buttloads
The most popular article of the year, with 14,097 views was a piece we wrote in 2019 that explains why “sugar-free” Tic Tacs consist of 94.5% sugar. Another 2019 article that was a big hit looked at the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, with 4,749 views.
The most popular piece that was written in 2020 pointed out that a buttload is an actual unit of measurement. It generated several buttloads of views, if, by “several” we understand that to mean 8,266.
Serious (and Suspicious) Searching
Lots of people found their way to Commonplace Fun Facts by searching for information about the salary of the postmaster general, the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919, and questions about forbidden fruit.
There are times when we get a spike on certain posts, and the search terms for the day suggest that something is going on out there that eludes us. It makes sense that we had a lot of new visitors over the last two months of 2020 as a result of searching the question “When does a person become President-elect?” When we start seeing a lot of people searching for “Triboulet,” “Henry Ziegland,” or “Aimo Koivunen,” we can only guess the names were mentioned in a television show or something. It’s times like that we wish we had the chance to interact more closely with our readers to find out what sparks your interests.
It is also a wee bit troubling how many people find their way to Commonplace with horribly misspelled search terms. The fact that someone was directed to Commonplace by searching for “shorteat Daynesh fart” suggests that we need to spend a lot more time proofreading our pages or that when Google says, “I’ve got nothing,” it just sends people our way.
Family Friendly Fun Facts
Commonplace Fun Facts started as a family project, and we see that several family-friendly search engines have picked us up and brought many visitors to us over the past year. Since our editorial staff is predominantly influenced by Y-chromosomes, there are more than a few articles about explosives, people doing really stupid things, and a wee bit of bathroom humor, but we strive to maintain a G rating with all content. We are thankful that others who share the same values recognize this effort.
Influencing the Next Generation of Serious Scholars
We noticed a lot of traffic coming in from educational institutions throughout this year. This is particularly evident during times when schools are closed, such as Spring Break or Christmas vacation when our numbers drop by as much as 30%. We can tell that some stories must have been assigned by teachers. We have also seen some indications of Commonplace being cited as a source for some assignments. There’s also the possibility that students are bored during lectures and browse through our pages. Whatever the reason, we welcome the opportunity to help mold the minds of the next generation.
Looking Back With Gratitude and Forward With Expectation
Researching and writing the articles for Commonplace Fun Facts is fun and therapeutic. The biggest question for the Doctor when standing at the controls of the TARDIS each time is, “Everything that ever was… Everything that ever will be…. All of space and time…. Where do I go?” (If you don’t understand the Doctor Who reference, we can recommend several posts for your edification). That’s how it feels when contemplating a new Commonplace post. History, science, psychology, humor, comic books…. all that ever was and everything that might ever be is fair game because we truly believe there is no such thing as useless information.
As fun as it is for us to create Commonplace Fun Facts, it would be a whole lot less exciting without the opportunity to share this information with readers like you. Thanks for stumbling across our pages, and thanks again for coming back. We hope to keep your interest over the coming year.
While we’re on the subject, we’d love to hear from you. If there is a topic you’d like for us to explore, or if you know of a fun fact that is just begging to see the light of day on our pages, drop us a line in the comment section below or write to us using the form below: