– Mehmet Murat ildan
This year we close out Tuesday was interesting. Big news. Big messes. Even the first Australian Masters champion.
But what were the stories that most interested the readers of The Augusta Chronicle? Well, it usually wasn’t what you’d think. I know, because the computer tracks the stories that receive the most page views on our Web site.
I think of it as the annual “People’s Choice” awards. Let me share our most popular stories of 2013 by month:
January: A slideshow featuring photos from the “Gala” held for incoming Sheriff Richard Roundtree attracted 465,185 page views. Sports Writer Scott Michaux’s story about Phil Mickelson’s complaints about the American tax code was the news leader with 12,957.
February: The top news story was the tragic Thomson plane crash that killed five and hospitalized two, with 33,118 page views.
March: A slideshow on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade was the favorite, with 266,103 pages views, but the most popular news story was when a crowd swarmed after a Laney-Walker grocery store was “evicted” from its building and its goods put out on the street.
April: The month means Masters, and Masters had 2.3 million visitors to our tournament “leaderboard.” The top story was not the eventual winner, but the 67,202 readers of Tiger Woods’ “two-shot penalty.”
The top nongolf story: GRU President Ricardo Azziz and the expansion of his garage, with 7,853 readers.
May: A slideshow of photos from the Mayfest celebration brought in 203,591 viewers, but the top news story was 29,000-plus page views on a triple homicide in which an Augusta man was suspected of killing his parents and brother.
June: A slideshow of the Earth, Wind and Fire concert got us 664,065 page views.
July: Another slideshow, this one of a “White Party” at Julian Smith Casino led a slow month with 172,700 page views.
August: Bill Cosby at Paine College attracted 172,745 page views.
September: The top event of the month was our slideshow of participants in the annual Border Bash, with 537,903. The search for a Martinez restaurant owner wanted for fraud got 6,358.
October: The return of football at Paine College after half a century attracted 171,307 views. The death of a Columbia County teen hit by a pickup had 10,482.
November: Our top event of the month and year was pictures from the Kicks 99 Guitar Pull crowd, with 683,320 views. The police pursuit of a naked man wearing only high heels and a turban brought in 20,095.
December: The Augusta slaying of a Barnwell, S.C., doctor was the top news story, with 20,607 page views.
As for 2014 ... we’re ready to show you what we get. That’s what we do.