Year’s end is a perfect time for stock taking, and as I often like to do, I made a little tally of the readers’ top ten favorite subjects on Travalanche. I pulled out some anomalies, which I’ll mention at the end, so that I could arrive at a more useful picture. But I got some great surprises from this little exercise. Here are YOUR favorite topics on Travalanche:
1. Eko and Iko: my post on the Albino twins known as the “Men from Mars” remains my most popular single post by a lot. And it’s not just people doing photo searches. Lots of people come to the site seeking information about them. I’d love to know what is driving the interest.
2. Marx Brothers posts: This was a pleasant surprise. I had thought Chaplin was the highest performing comedian category, but the picture had gotten skewed by a couple of particular very high performing Chaplin posts. None of my Marx Brothers posts spikes as high as those, but overall the subject proves to be the most popular, and very consistently. It’s a rewarding thing to learn. And they have a substantial lead over the next category, which is Chaplin.
3. Charlie Chaplin posts: Not surprisingly, my Chaplin category performs very well too, although the picture is much more lopsided. One of the Chaplin posts ranks among my top five all time most popular posts. And several other Chaplin posts do extremely well. But I have written about every single Chaplin film, and some of my posts on his more obscure shorts get very little traffic. But overall the category does extremely well.
4. Our Gang posts: This is pretty exciting as I only initiated this as its own content stream about a year ago and it proved to be an inspired decision. The Little Rascals are very very popular.
5. Laurel and Hardy posts: No surprises here! It’s possible they may have ranked still higher, but in this year’s spring cleaning I took down a bunch of Laurel and Hardy posts. I had previously written about every single one of their films as I did with Chaplin, but those ones didn’t do very well, so I axed ’em. But several particular posts about the team do extremely well.
6. Eddie Foy: A single post on Eddie Foy and the Seven Little Foys ranks this high all by itself, driven, I believe, strictly by tv showings of The Seven Little Foys. I really wish I could replicate this with many more of my vaudevillians, but other than a few (George M. Cohan and Frank Fay are a couple of examples) most don’t click with the public quite so spectacularly as this one.
7. W.C. Fields posts. A welcome surprise. A few months ago I thought Fields was much farther back in the pack, but I added a bunch more posts about him last year, and started a Fan Page on Facebook, and now he emerges as one of our best performing performers!
8. Harold Lloyd posts. Very similarly, I had been bemoaning Lloyd’s relative lack of popularity and now I get a pleasant surprise. His standings admittedly have been helped a lot by one particularly well performing post (about the time he blew himself up with a bomb). As with Laurel and Hardy, I took down a lot of the moribund Lloyd content (I had written about nearly all his extant films) but I have left up posts on all his features and a few key shorts. At any rate, I’m shocked that Lloyd makes this list at all, let alone the fact that Keaton didn’t!
9. 16 Best Comic Drunks: This one single post has done terrifically every single day since I posted it, becoming one of those ones that just keeps creeping up and up in the standings. I’ve got a few like that! “Dependable earners”.
10. Three Stooges posts: This is especially interesting, since I’ve only done a few posts on the team, perhaps half a dozen. But their combined readership puts them in this top ten.
I mentioned at the top that there were some high performing posts that were anomalies. By that I mean they get a lot of traffic for reasons other than the usual mission of this blog. Two of them are simply popular because people are searching for photos. My Jayne Mansfield post would actually rank #4 on this list. I exclude her from the list not because she doesn’t deserve to be here, but because people are drawn not to my writing but to a very naughty photo I inadvertently included. Likewise, my review of the Jason Segal Muppets movie would rank #6 here, but, much as I would love it to be the case that so many people are drawn to my movie reviews, I know it is because people were drawn to the photo. Lastly, #8 on this list would be my post containing Tom Joad’s speech from The Grapes of Wrath. I am proud that people are able to find those inspiring words on Travalanche but for the purposes of analysis it’s a little off-mission. In all three cases, they’re not successes we can replicate so we leave them out of the tally.
Thanks for reading — and for having such good taste!