Last year, before I'd even started this blog, I read somewhere online that enterprising websites like The Huffington Post engage in inventive (some might say unseemly) tactics to increase their site traffic.
One such tactic is to take a predictable Google search question like "What Time Does The Super Bowl Start?" and make it the headline for a very short item -- one that coughs up the answer and embroiders on it a bit to keep visitors reading and, if the site's lucky, pausing long enough to click another local link. (Plus there's the fringe benefit of padding your traffic numbers for prospective advertisers.)
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
True, I have no prospective advertisers -- or active advertisers, for that matter -- to snow with traffic numbers, but I can see if posing such a question will magically boost Mind the Rant's elusive mindshare for a day or two. It's unlikely to goose my returning visitors, but it may generate the odd cranky comment. Which, when you're laboring in the kind of splendid isolation I enjoy in my patch of Internet Siberia, somehow qualifies as a positive.
So what time is the Super Bowl, anyway? According to the NFL's website, which currently brings up the #1 result on this search:
The 46th Super Bowl will take place on Sunday, February 5, 2012. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 EST / 5:30 CST on NBC.You're welcome, Super-Bowl-commercial-and-NFL fans.
In a refreshingly unrelated sports story, check out Mets knuckleballer and mensch R.A. Dickey talking about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for Bombay Teen Challenge, a charity that fights human trafficking among the dispossessed "living on the streets and in the red light district of Mumbai." (I haven't watched this video yet, but I'm guessing Dickey skips the part about the Mets telling him they'd void his contract if he had an accident during the climb.) Go R.A.!
Postscript: It's official. Though I don't pretend to understand how my blog attracted well over 100 page views for this post -- there are a staggering number of far, far more popular websites that exploit the 'ole "What Times Does The Super Bowl Start?" ploy -- it apparently works for even the lowliest of Internet outposts. Here are the numbers Blogger's stats showed me this morning (2/6/12) for the last week :
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Don't be a stranger.
Oh, and while I'm here, congratulations to the New York Giants and Eli Manning for pulling off that nailbiting 21-17 win yesterday over the New England Patriots. I don't pretend to be either a Giants or a football fan, but I grew up with my Dad shouting at the TV on Sundays and I tuned in a couple of times -- including for that wild windup to the 4th quarter. Since the Giants were technically the underdogs -- and Eli Manning is apparently the Rodney Dangerfield of quarterbacks (due largely, I suppose, to the long shadow cast by his brother Peyton) -- I was rooting for Blue (even though they were wearing white and red). And I guess Eli will finally get some respect. Nicely done, Big G.