You might think that a newspaper like the Vancouver Courier is all about words. But we’re also about numbers. Namely, Internet numbers: web hits, unique page views, shares, engagement times, retention rates, calorie counts, length, girth. We may have made a few of those up.
Which is why we’ve been paying close attention as of late to what kind of stories reach the most people on the Internet.
Turns out there often isn’t any rhyme or reason for what appeals to online readers.
This week was particularly insightful for its lack of insight. One of our most-read stories this week was a video of a coyote walking down a Mount Pleasant sidewalk in broad daylight.
Until Wednesday it was our second most-watched video on our YouTube site — second only to a video we did on a Musqueam hip-hop artist a few years ago.
Those two videos, however, have been eclipsed by our video (widely re-used by other media) that we posted of Mayor Gregor Robertson wearing a Calgary Flames jersey while reading a poem written by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi after losing a bet on which city’s hockey team would advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Then of course, there’s the ever-popular Year in the Stars horoscope feature every January, which regularly makes our annual list of most read stories on our website.
So what can we extrapolate from all this data? Our online readers are really into coyotes, and hockey poetry, but only if read aloud by a handsome municipal leader in a Flames jersey. And they are astrologically predisposed to reading horoscopes. Which probably means most of them are Virgos. Or Mercury is in retrograde again. Damn you, Mercury in retrograde!
All of which is a roundabout way of introducing K&K’s upcoming series: Poetic horoscopes written by a Calgary Flames-loving coyote. Here’s a sample:
Pisces, the night cloaks you
as you build a den
for your pups who paw
at your tired teats
with the tenacity
of Johnny Gaudreau.
Root, root, root out voles with your pointy snout
as if it were a puck
languishing in the corner.
Avoid conservation officer man
as he tries to lure you
into his cage.
And lay off
the neighbourhood cats,
if you know what’s good
But you don’t.
Because you are wild
Wild like the night
that bathes your canine bones in darkness,
Wild like Hiller’s Darth Vader goalie helmet
Wild like Michael Ferland mowing down
that limping fawn Kevin Bieska