2013: A Year in SnakePit

The first rule of the SnakePit is... You do not talk about the SnakePit. However, once a year, we waive that rule and get meta on your asses. Follow me, why don't you, into SnakePitCeption....

Site traffic

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2013 2012
Unique visitors 406,880 278,106
Visits 644,372 591,499
Pageviews 1,687,420 1,450,544
Pages/visit 2.62 2.45

Not a bad year all told, with those numbers all above the growth of the baseball network as a whole - good, considering this season, the team was no better than 2012, when they also were the reigning division champions [like attendance, I've found visits and enthusiasm tends to lag behind performance!] You can get an idea of the overall progress of the year from graph at the top, though the weekly tallies do tend to smooth over spikes. Interest probably peaked with the fight in Los Angeles, and then waned as the team's challenge decayed, but the gunslinger's pursuit of an outfielder and starting pitcher rejuvenated things as the hot-stove heated up.

Top stories

  1. D-backs discussed trade of Tyler Skaggs, A.J. Pollock with A's for Yoenis Cespedes - 20,722 page views
  2. 2013 MLB Projected Standings - 7,644
  3. Dodgers-Diamondbacks Brawl Interrupts Baseball Game - 6,547
  4. Daron Sutton Revisited - 4,822
  5. Mark Trumbo traded to Diamondbacks; Tyler Skaggs, Adam Eaton leave Arizona - 4,659
  6. Diamondbacks Trade Rumors - 4,290
  7. Of Gunslingers and Prospects: The Diamondback Hot Stove - 4,093
  8. Projecting Masahiro Tanaka - 3,875
  9. Everything you wanted to know about Tommy John Surgery (but were afraid to ask) - 3,830
  10. Upton + Johnson Traded To Braves For Prado + 4: First Reaction - 3,241

A little more variety than in 2012, when the top of the list was dominated by Pologate and the resulting fallout, with the top three stories all concerning (more or less) the loss of Daron Sutton and/or Mark Grace. That said, aricat's anniversary post on the topic still reached #4, and was easily the most-trafficked Fanpost of the season: say what you like, people were still interested. The rest of the top ten stories can be divided (evenly, conveniently) into three categories: hot news, general interest stories and trade rumors.

#3, 5 and 10 probably cover the three biggest news stories of the Diamondbacks year: the Dodgers fight, and the trades of Justin Upton and Mark Trumbo. I was quite surprised to see the Upton trade just squeak on to the list, but it was a case where the news itself was largely overshadowed by the subsequent reactions. #2, #8 and #9 likely benefited from being less Diamondback specific, and of value to readers of many teams. The Tommy John piece, now more than four years old, is truly the gift that keeps on giving pageviews, as pitchers keep getting the surgery. I think it has been in the top ten every year since - it was fifth-ranked last season.

#6 and #7 were fairly generic trade rumor threads, but #1 came out of absolutely nowhere to become the single most-viewed page in 'Pit history [#2 is the Tommy John piece], in less than four weeks. It was a bizarre combination of happenstance, which saw a casual story, based on a couple of Tweets, find the sweet spot of SEO and an oce-lot of referrals from, of all places, Bl**ch*r R*p*rt [guess they are good for something] and blow up to the biggest single day we've ever had. Indeed, the whole period before the winter meetings was insane. The 'Pit had more unique visitors that week than Bleed Cubbie Blue or even the mothership, Athletics Nation.

SnakePitters of the Year

Fanshots
  1. TolkienBard 21
  2. GuruB 11
  3. azshadowwalker 9
  4. blank_38 7
  5. preston.salisbury 7
  6. shoewizard 7
  7. deerhaven 5
  8. Xipooo 5
  9. grimmy01 5
  10. insidethezona 4
Fanposts
  1. preston.salisbury 29
  2. Rockkstarr12 17
  3. shoewizard 17
  4. Xipooo 16
  5. azshadowwalker 15
  6. blank_38 6
  7. chasfh 5
  8. -monty 5
  9. Marc Fournier 4
  10. snapitoff 4
Comments
  1. Clefo - 11,626 (3)
  2. imstillhungry95 - 6,750 (1)
  3. TolkienBard - 6,593 (-)
  4. soco - 6,192 (4)
  5. Jim McLennan - 5,625 (7)
  6. Fangdango - 5,568 (-)
  7. Zavada's Moustache - 4,742 (-)
  8. Rockkstarr12 - 3,929 (9)
  9. DbacksSkins - 3,917 (RE)
  10. asteroid - 3,659 (-)

Fanshots and fanposts did decrease significantly network-wide: one of the unfortunate side-effects of the switch to United, still being felt, but I am assured there are plans to target that in hand for 2014. Still, some very respectable numbers at the upper end, with five posters producing 15 or more Fanposts over the course of the season: much credit to them for their efforts in this area. On Fanposts, TolkienBard was a veritable one-man engine-room, creating more than any other two members combined.

Remarkably consistent performances from Clefo (+548 on last year's comments total), soco (+41) and myself (-331). 2012's champion, imstillhungry95, went in to a sophomore slump, with over 10,000 comments fewer, and runner-up AzDbackfanInDc dropped out of the top 10 entirely. We also lost from last year's top 10: hotclaws, snakecharmer, txzona and blue bulldog. Interesting to see the return of 'Skins to the top 10, after a couple of years absence, and a couple of years where he blew away the competition (between 2008 and 2009, he totaled just over 41,000 comments, close to 1-in-5 of all that were posted!)

Stories of the year

There were a grand total of 1,929 stories posted on the SnakePit last year. While some of that increase is attributable to the increased use of story streams, etc. it is still 52% up on 2012's tally (1,273), and much credit to all the authors who contributed to the galaxy of content. As we saw above, it's not always the case that the most-seen pieces are the ones which had the most work and were the most-deserving of acclaim. Rather than a piece that took, literally, 15 minutes to slap together, I'd have been happier if some of these sterling pieces of work had instead reached the bigger audience they deserve:

Anyway, thanks to everyone - authors, editors, contributors, commenters and even the lurkers - for helping us have another banner year. Here's to 2014 being even more entertaining. Let's just not have another .500 finish, eh?

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