TopTenz.net celebrated its second anniversary this May, 2010. To be quite honest it snuck up on me and surprised me. It is hard to believe I have been doing this for two years and have posted 420 top 10 lists.
Well, it isn’t fair to say “I” have been doing it, because I have had lots of help from the many writers who have written the lists that make up this site. Somewhere along the way I was also fortunate enough to have an editor, Tanya, come aboard and help with the day-to-day work of maintaining the site. You have may have seen her in the comments and might have read a few of her lists. Thank you, Tanya for all of your hard work and dedication. I also have to thank my family for sacrificing time with me so I could create TopTenz and build it into the successful site it is today. And, of course, I must thank the readers, because without you there wouldn’t have been a one year anniversary, much less a 2nd anniversary.
To mark the one year anniversary, I posted a top 100 list as the site’s 100th list (Top 100 Fun Vanity License Plates). This year, I thought I would commemorate the 2nd anniversary with a peek ‘behind the curtain’, so to speak.
Here are some facts about TopTenz, some statistics about the site and its visitors, and some background information you may find interesting. Of course, I must show this information as a top 10 list, so let’s call it Top 10 Facts About TopTenz – 2nd Anniversary Edition.
Read on to learn more about this site than you probably ever wanted to know. I’m sure the slew of competing sites will find this very informative. 😉
10. Top 10 Most Viewed Lists
Most Viewed is a title that can be misleading, so don’t necessarily confuse it with most popular. Some of the most viewed top 10 lists have been highly viewed because they benefit from ranking highly in the search engines. This ensures a steady stream of search traffic, thereby inflating the views. Some of the older lists are also in the most viewed by the very fact of their longevity on TopTenz. Authors are provided.
- Top 10 Famous Penises – TopTenz Master (Shell Harris)
- Top 10 Bizarre & Controversial Archeological Discoveries – Bryan Johnson
- Top 10 Most Beautiful Eyes – Leslie Harris
- Top 10 Most Mysterious Landmarks – Evan Andrews
- Top 10 Most Recurring Dreams and What They Mean – Tanya Bennett
- Top 10 Smartest Dogs – Ash Grant
- Top 10 Hoaxes of All Time – Evan Andrews
- Top Famous Final Photographs – Bryan Johnson
- Top 10 Famous Last Words – Bryan Johnson
- Top 10 Weird Colors You’ve Never Heard Of – Ash Grant
9. Making a Splash!
These top 10 lists can be considered some of the most popular lists, especially when you consider their initial impact. These top 10 lists were the most popular lists based on their traffic during the first day posted. A high number of visits can be traced back to social networks and viral traffic. I might add none of these had the benefit of being popular on digg, which can contribute to extremely high traffic.
- Top 10 Hoaxes of All Time – 26,981 visits on first day
- Top 10 Weird Colors You’ve Never Heard Of – 22,571 visits on first day
- Top 10 Most Crippling Phobias – 27,997 visits on first day
- Top 10 Actors Who Passed on Movie Roles – 17,495 visits on first day
8. The Banned List
I have the ultimate say of what lists are published, but sometimes I must acquiesce when our advertisers threaten to leave. When I mention that TopTenz has banned a list, the top 10 list featuring famous penises would seem the obvious choice. Yet, that list survived concerns from two advertisers and still proudly remains on the site. No, the list that is no longer on the TopTenz site is Top 10 Suicide Spots.
7. People Like Us
TopTenz has become a popular site, at least I think so. Here are some numbers supporting our growing popularity. TopTenz had over 9,107,000 visits during our first two years and 17,440,672 page views. Not bad, considering I started this site purely for my own self satisfaction and love of top 10 lists. It all came from the most humble beginnings, when I started writing a few top lists in my spare time.
6. World Famous
TopTenz has had visitors from 230 countries ranging from the United States to the Vatican City. Listed below are the top 10 traffic providing countries. The United States traffic dominates which is why some lists are U.S. biased.
Top 10 Countries
- United States, 5,318,940 1.95
- Canada, 711,233 2.08
- United Kingdom, 655,587
- Australia 236,243
- India, 176,936
- Philippines, 107,476
- Germany, 100,883
- Sweden, 78,222
- Netherlands, 69,857
- Mexico, 69,525
Bottom 10 Countries
- Guinea, 1
- Niue, 1
- Tuvalu, 2
- Timor-Leste, 2
- São Tomé and Príncipe, 2
- Cocos [Keeling] Islands, 2
- Christmas Island, 3
- Nauru, 4
- Chad, 5
- Vatican City, 5 (Fun Fact: They have no military force.)
Love it or hate it, Wikipedia has become a part of Internet culture. While it certainly isn’t 100% factual, it does contain volumes of information on just about everything under the sun. Many people consider Wikipedia a useful source for information and therefore being cited and mentioned as reference on Wikipedia can be considered an achievement. How big of an achievement is up to the individual. In any case, TopTenz has been cited and mentioned a few times. Of course, by sharing this list, the editors will probably remove all mentions. Over the years, more than a few links from Wikipedia have been removed by the Wiki editors.
4. Let Me Say This…
While the life’s blood of this blog is obviously the top 10 lists, the second most reason to visit is the comments, and sometimes the flame wars that develop within the comments. You have no idea the number of rude, insensitive and sometimes disturbing comments I block and delete from the site. I try to keep the content PG-13. Comments may be edited for language: I try to keep the comment’s message intact, but I remove the vulgarity. Some lists have spiked a heated debate and, no surprise, religion is usually the source. Overall, TopTenz has over 8,100 comments and blocked over 100,000 spam comments during our 2 years online. These are the top 10 most commented lists. I think you will enjoy reading a few of these. Sometimes the a single comment is longer than the post.
- Top 10 Arguments That Can’t Be Won (273)
- Top 10 Most Beautiful Eyes (233)
- Top 10 Greatest Guitar Players (Guitarists) (232)
- Top 10 Useless College Degrees & Classes (133)
- Top 10 Generals of Western History (122)
- Top 10 Tear-Jerker Movies (121)
- Top 10 Ways to Tick Off Your Waiter (103)
- Top 10 Violent Movies (102)
- Top 10 Time Travel Movies (90)
- Top 10 Cults (89)
3. TopTenz Writers
Again, I want to thank all the wonderful writers who contributed to TopTenz. Without the creative talents of the writers there would be no TopTenz. While I have written a number of top 10 lists, it is only a fraction of the 420 lists in total. If you have been with TopTenz since our inception in May of 2008, you would have read top 10 lists from over 70 different writers. Some writers only wrote one list and then never made another submission, some contribute every few months when the inspiration hits them and a few writers contribute every month. Our most prolific writer has been Ash Grant, with 54 published top 10 lists. Here are the top 10 most published writers for TopTenz.
- Ash Grant, 54 top 10 lists
- Evan Andrews, 38 top 10 lists
- Anne Iredale, 20 top 10 lists
- William O’Dell, 18 top 10 lists
- Bryan Johnson, 15 top 10 lists
- Elizabeth Downing Johnson, 13 top 10 lists
- Heather Matthews, 12 top 10 lists
- Katherine Watt, 12 top 10 lists
- Loni Perry 10 top 10 lists
- Tanya Bennett, 10 top 10 lists
We are always looking for more talented writers. If you would like to contribute, please read our guidelines and submit your top 10 list.
2. Special Top 10 Lists
Out of the 420 top 10 lists there are some that have significance for varying reasons. In no order, here are some top 10 lists that are special either for personal or historical reasons.
- Top 10 Comic Books Villains – The first top 10 list on the site. I was bored on Saturday afternoon and wrote this just for fun, not expecting what would come over the next 2 years. It had 3,800 visitors in its first day from StumbleUpon and I couldn’t have been more surprised or elated. That first success made me want to do more.
- Top 10 Suicide Spots – The only list I have ever removed from the site. This was due to pressure from an advertiser. It now resides on our sister site, Make The List.
- Top 10 Most Famous Penises – This list steadily brings in the most traffic from Google. Unbelievably, it ranks #1 in Google for the term “penises” and #2 for “large penises” among other penis related terms. Yet the only penis shown is yellow and belongs to a little boy, See for yourself.
- Top 10 Reasons Why Ex-Party Girls Make Great Mommies – This list was written by Tanya and I didn’t know how important this list would become, because it introduced me to TopTenz’s current senior editor.
- Top 10 Sports Games Decided by the Officials was written by Bryan Johnson – TopTenz ran a writing contest last June. It was only mildly successful, receiving less than 30 entries, but the winner was Bryan Johnson’s list about bad officiating. This list was our first contest winner, but even more importantly it introduced me to one of our best writers. Bryan has 3 lists in the top 10 most viewed lists.
- Top 10 Arguments that Can’t Be Won – When I asked Bill O’Dell to write this list I had no idea the reaction that would follow. I should have known better. While some of the arguments centered around comedy such as which came first the chicken or the egg, one question sparked comments and the debates: Evolution or Creation? This list even made it in another list on our site concerning Top 10 Flames wars. This list is also our most commented, for obvious reasons. Another surprisingly hotly debated list was Top 10 Ways To Tick Off Your Waiter. Who knew tipping was a hot button topic.
- Top 10 Most Beautiful Eyes – My wife, who has beautiful brown eyes, wanted to create a list early in the site’s history. I was getting burned out so I said she could. My wife does not like to write so I suggested she do something with images as the focus. This list is the 2nd most commented list and I am amazed at the passion of some of the comments. In some cases, the comments become even more interesting than the list, this is one such list.
- Top 10 Board Games We Love to Hate – My favorite list that I wrote. Rarely do I laugh at things I write as I am often too close to the joke, but this one made me chuckle as I wrote it. And I still snicker when I read it a year later.
- Top 10 Violent Movies – This is the only list I have seriously considered removing. One of my favorite contributing writers and a published author, Heather Matthews, wrote this list with the best intentions. It should have probably been titled Most Violent Mainstream Movies. This is also one of only three lists I have turned off comments. I stopped allowing comments at #101 and I wrote comment 102 explaining why I was closing comments. Heather’s choices were attacked “violently” by many commentors and she responded to them all. At some point this horse was beaten to death. Most ironically, it ranks #1 in Google for the search term “Violent Movies.” I guess Google agrees with the list.
- My Favorite List – I wanted to point out one favorite top 10 list, but I couldn’t make up my mind since I liked so many of them, but for different reasons. So, I’m going to cheat and list a few and why I like them.
- Funniest Top 10 List: Top 10 Ways to be Scared of Santa and a close second: Top 10 Products for the Patriot Who Has Everything
- Most Inspirational Top 10 List: Top 10 People Who Overcame Their Disabilities
- Most Singularly Bizarre Top 10 List: Top 10 Whistles in Movies, Television & Radio
- Saddest Top 10 List: Top 10 Tortured Artists with this a close second: Top 10 Suicidal Writers (Both of these lists depressed me for days.)
- Creepiest Top 10 List: Top 10 Creepy Places in America – After looking for images for the locations on this list and reading information about the haunting I had nightmares that night. A close second: Top 10 Haunted Cities in the U.S.
- Most Interesting Top 10 List: Top 10 True Stories That Outta Be Movies and a close second was Top 10 Mysterious Texts.
- List that surprised me the most that is was so popular: Top 10 Weird Colors You’ve Never Heard Of – I sat on this list for a while and almost decided not to run it because it seemed doomed to failure. Just goes to show you can’t predict the Internet user. This list is one of the top 10 most viewed and you could color me shocked.
1. Traffic Updates
Toptenz derives much of its traffic from social networks. The largest referring social site is StumbleUpon which has sent 2,216,534 visitors thus far. For some unknown reason Digg and Digg users haven’t been impressed with TopTenz. No top 10 list has been on the front page or been made popular on Digg. Surprising? Yes, to me as well. Maybe one day, but for now Digg has only sent 16,000 visitors to the site in 2 years.
Toptenz started a twitter account on January 10, 2009. TopTenz now has 2,633 followers during this time. If you wish to become follower, sign up at our Twitter account – @TopTenz.
Another new development this year was the TopTenz Facebook Fan Page with 1,199 fans since December 2009.
TopTenz has received traffic from 13,905 different sites. Some of note include, Reddit.com, alot.com, i-am-bored.com, gorillamask.net, uniquedaily.com, alltop.com, mentalfloss.com, fark.com, neatorama.com and huffingtonpost.com.
All in all it has been a great 2 years and I hope next year will be our best yet. With loyal and interactive readers I don’t know how it could be otherwise.
Please share any thoughts you have about Toptenz, both good and bad. We want to improve and feedback is what we thrive on. Thanks again to all the writers and to our readers.
Shell Harris, TopTenz Master