Friday, December 28, 2007

Highlights of 2007, look out from inside The Brew Lounge

I've got a decent number of dependable readers/subscribers here at The Brew Lounge. Doubling, sometimes even tripling, those visitors is the number that come in from Google/Yahoo/etc. searches.

I'm big into analysis as many of you know. With The Brew Lounge comes my need to understand who's reading, why, where they're coming from, and where they're going. With these stats, I can gain a pretty good understanding of what exactly I'm contributing to this wonderful world of beer and get an understanding of what information people are looking for. Then, of course, some findings just leave me a bit confounded!

Read on for a different sort of look back on 2007...through the eyes of The Brew Lounge and what people are looking for, what they're commenting on, and how they click in to and out from The Brew Lounge.

Search Words
  • Perhaps no surprise is the amount of traffic that I get from people looking for more information on new establishments, especially those with no website of their own.
  • On a related note of search referrals, I've been interested in how many people spell Teresa's with an 'h', like Theresa's. They still found me nonetheless.
  • Then there's the subject of growing hops, particularly at home. This has always been a hot topic at The Brew Lounge, considering my and Adam's backyard experiment. But, with the growing concern about availability and price of hops in the market, more folks seem interested in the idea of growing their own. Makes sense, eh?
  • As one of the Jet Rock locations in PHL airport closed, I was more than a bit surprised to find just how many people need more information about the Chickie's & Pete's that was due to open in place of the Jet Rock. I guess....ah, I won't even try to guess just what information they were looking for.
  • Then, my friends, there are the searches from the great wide open hinterlands of the Internet that just leave me speechless. Somehow, given the technological prowess of those at Google, Yahoo, and other search engines, people searching for some of the most bizarre topics somehow have found their way to The Brew Lounge. My marketing department is still determining how, if at all, this can be used to benefit and further the cause here at TBL headquarters.
    • Take, for example, searches like "Oktoberfest Sexy" (hm, those dirndls, I suppose); "Phoenixville Nightlife" (really?!); "Choose A Beer To Drink Smoke Next To Me" (uh, if you insist); "Dan Bengel Blog" (isn't the blog actually the first search result?); "I Don't Need My Dog" (maybe you do)
  • And just when you thought things couldn't get worse, you run into search referrals to The Brew Lounge like the following. It's really difficult to add any editorial comment to some of these.
    • "Beer Bar Strippers" (surprised it hasn't caught on yet?); "Beer Strip Game" (what's with the strip-related searches?); "Beer xxxxxxx" (now this is getting racy); "Cigarette Ash Beer Carbonation" (hope I helped with that); "Dance Of Culture In The Westerly"; "Death By Hops"; "Do Not Store Fresh Beer In Saddle Of White Donkey" (note to self); "Drinking Beer During Marathon" (someone after my own heart!); "Evil Plans With Beer" (a neo-prohibitionist?!); "Girls Gone Wild Exton" (where else?); "Happy Ending Madison WI" (I mean, I've been to Wisconsin and all, but...); "Jackie's Job A Pepperidge Farm"; "Just Enough Lounge" (can never have enough); "Manual Post Hole Digger" -Operator -Clamshell -Power" (ah, is that what a PhD gets you?!); "Miss Pittsburgh 07" (congratulations); "Missouri Clawfoot Tub Illegal" (why was that?); "San Juan Puerto Rico Escorts" (that's like a designated driver thing, right?); "Soft Dart" (but someone could still lose an eye); "Tuck-em-in Motel" (a Poconos classic); "Voila Wala" (bing bang)
  • So, I suppose that by listing them here, I've only further guaranteed more traffic to The Brew Lounge by way of future similar searches. Wacky the way the Web works, eh?!
  • That's it for my review of search words that have led people to The Brew Lounge in 2007, from "A & E The American Brew" to "Zymurgy Stirplate." the longest search string, by the way, was "American Brew: The Rich And Surprising History Of Beer In America A&E Sherman Burns" (guess that person figured you can't get specific enough for Google).

What Are You Talking About?
  • By way of counting number of comments, the most talked about topic this year at The Brew Lounge was the leaving of Adam from the show. Well, except for the one guy who wanted to jump in and discuss North East Tap the way their phone's been disconnected so make of that what you will. In a virtual tie, was the discussion of smoking laws and how they impact the enjoyment of our favorite beverage...who knew it'd be such a debatable topic, heheh ;-)
  • The squawk box was also active around the topic of my first homebrew experiment. Went well, I did another, and I had wonderful support from all of you.
  • The Tap List project that I undertook in November was extremely popular and discussed likewise. Look for the project to come back 'round again.
  • The occasional Monk's dinner, like this Holiday Gathering, always generates some interest.
  • I could go on, and I'm sure you're all screaming for more at this point (!), but I'll wrap up this section with a reference to the Southern Tier Pumking which certainly caught my, and many others, fascination this year.

Where Are You Going?
    After you've spent enough time at The Brew Lounge, where do you go next? Now, don't worry, I don't know what website you went to next unless you leave by clicking on a link within my site. Getting past all of the obvious "out clicks" to related articles by Don, Jack, Jay, Lew, Stan and others like Beer Advocate, Beer Yard, Real Beer, and Rate Beer, there was quite a bit of interest in the following areas
  • The future-looking tap lists that I published on 11/16 generated a whole lot of interest; so much so that we'll likely do it again
  • Fellow writers/bloggers who were part of the 2007 landscape at The Brew Lounge included Adam, Alan, Al, Eli, Nate, and Suzanne.
  • And, who could forget everyone's friend who continues to make news even after his passing...Michael Jackson. Not only did his site create a lot of linking away from The Brew Lounge, but the picture of he, Adam, and I was one of the most clicked pictures at The Brew Lounge in 2007 and one that I will always treasure. Like Jack said in a recent column, "who knew it would be the last time?" RIP, Michael and, for the rest of us, onward with 2008.

Is this just one big linkfest here at year-end? Perhaps. But, it's also a rundown of what I've been a part of here at The Brew Lounge in 2007 and those that have helped to make it what it is that I enjoy so much. And, you've all been a part of it too. Without the readers, there's really nothing, right? If you made it through this entire posting, congratulations; I hope you enjoyed the reminiscing. I'll buy you a beer this weekend!


Jeremy said...

Nice recap Brian. I would like to collect my free beer now ;-)

Anonymous said...

"Beer Bar Strippers" sign me up!

Greg G. said...

Enjoyed reading the recap Bryan and the picture of you, Adam and MJ was nice to see but sad to think we won't be seeing him again in Philadelphia.

One question on the tracking of traffic to the website, can you tell what websites we visit after? I hope you are not tracking all of those....

Bryan Kolesar said...

Nope, no worries there. Only if you go to another site via link that was embedded in mine. Therefore, I'm able to see whose sites are benefitting in traffic coming from The Brew Lounge. If you simply type another website name in the address line and hit enter, my stats don't capture that. I think that should allay anyone's fears, right? Of course, your ISP always knows every single little movement you make on the Web...that's a bit of a different story :-o

Adam said...

Great post.

:-) 2007 was a great year. Happy New Year! Good luck here at The Brew Lounge. I'll always look back on my days here fondly.

Here's to 2008, you and all your readers out there. Cheers!