(WZZM) - It's time for everyone to do their end of year countdowns of everything, so here's my 2nd Annual WZZM13.com Top Clicks of 2012.
This year we added some things that skewed results a little bit - more and better photo galleries, more live streams, and more content and video from our Gannett partners and USA Today. Also, sites like CNN, Huffington Post, Fark and other blogs keep growing and when one of our stories gets "aggregated", things can really get thrown off. Example, just on page views alone, our story about Hurricane Isaac hitting during the GOP convention was one of our top reads of the year. For whatever reason, Bing and Google sent people searching for this story to us and our story that we cut and pasted from the AP. While we appreciate the clicks, I don't think it wasn't all of West Michigan clicking to see that story. Hurricane Sandy didn't make the list.
Also, as individual stories, there was one theme for many of the top 50: West Michigan lost a lot of landmarks to fires this year. Whether it was a church being destroyed by fireworks (St. Mary Magdalen in Kentwood), a restaurant (Los Aztecas in Allendale), a social club (Lexicon Club in Grand Rapids) or parts of entire towns (Shelby, Gobles). There were probably more, but these all gathered thousands of video views.
And of course, there was an apartment complex in Holland Township that caught fire due to an unforeseen incident, but we'll get to that one another day.
So, without further ado, here's 11-15. I'll post 6-10 on Thursday and 1-5 on Friday.
15. Try It Before You Buy It - The Xhose. Lauren Stanton's bi-weekly Try It Before You Buy It segments are always popular, but this collapsable garden hose had a lot of people interested in whether it would work or not. Lauren loved it and the photojournalist that shot the story with her bought two! If West Michigan was interested, so was the rest of the web - a chat board about horse care even linked to it. We also share our Try Its with other Gannett TV stations and they share theirs with us as well...but ours are always better.
14. The SS Keewatin - not smooth sailing. The SS Keewatin was supposed to set sail from its longtime home in Douglas in late May. Unfortunately for the ship's crew and the thousands of people watching online, nothing happened...for days. We set up the WZZM Weather Chaser to live stream the momentous occasion which in excitement levels came close to having a live stream of a block of ice melting on a hot July day (oh, wait, we did that too). Anyway, the Keewatin finally got underway and in June finally made it into Lake Michigan and on its way to Canada.
13. News Team Assemble! Anchor team reunites for WZZM 50th Anniversary. Barry Shandley, Craig James, and Sam Hooks joined Lee VanAmeyde in their yellow blazers in May to relive news history in West Michigan. Dave Whitford, Guy Gordon, and Mary Eilleen Lyon also joined the fun as well. In November, the "broads of broadcasting" returned for a reunion as well, with Ann Doyle, Ann Alward, Halley Vogel, joining Juliet Dragos.
12. Student sues GVSU over guinea pig companion - Comedy site Fark.com picked up the story about the Grand Valley student who needs her guinea pig as a companion animal. As far as we know, Blanca remains at GVSU.
11. Michigan Ballot Proposal Explainer - As a whole, election and political stories do not get many clicks. While we know that many say that they want to be more informed, when we put the information out there, it usually doesn't get much attention. This year was different in one particular case - the six ballot proposals on the state ballot in November. Ads pro and con started during the summer with so much misinformation on all sides that people really did want clear and concise info on the issues that were probably bigger than any candidate issue for Michigan residents. And, remember now Proposal 2! The failure of Prop. 2 very likely led to the Right-to-Work legislation being pushed through in December.
Thoughts for what 1-10 will be? Remember, this is primarily West Michigan news!