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Buzz Articles by the Numbers: The Most Clicked Stories of 2015

Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld
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Lawson Gow, David Gow Jr., Christopher Gow, Sarah Gow, Wesley Gow

The best pickup basketball game around is just outside the Gow family’s door. Lawson, Wesley, Christopher, Sarah and David Gow Jr. (from left) are ready to play. (Photo: hartphoto.com)

It’s hard to believe that Jan. 1, 2016, will mark one year since the launch of our new website. Last Jan. 1, our four sites merged into one: thebuzzmagazines.com. We’d been working on the new concept and design for a long time, and our new “baby” was born right on the New Year.

Since then, the site has evolved and will continue to grow. Here’s a look back at the most viewed articles of the year. This list is solely by the numbers, found in Google Analytics. 

1.  A Response to the Shooting of Deputy Goforth

We were all stunned by the tragic shooting of Deputy Darren Goforth in August. When Rania Mankarious, executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston, approached us and asked whether she could share her reaction with our readers, we immediately said yes. Her words are so heartfelt and impassioned. This post resonated with many, which is why it’s the No.1-most clicked article of 2015

2. Four Sisters, Three Rings, One Viral Photo 

Right around the New Year, I noticed a photo appear on my Facebook newsfeed. It made me laugh, and clearly, many others loved it too. It had been a big year for the Finkelstein family, with twins Melissa and Melanie both planning weddings and sister Amy having a new baby. The photo, of Melissa, Melanie and Amy showing off their rings, while Lauren, a DJ for MIX 96-5, is pouring the champagne, went viral, as Buzz resident Arlene Nisson Lassin, who also knows the family, wrote about it on Huffington Post weddings, and it quickly spread around the Internet. You’ve probably already seen this photo, but if not, it’ll make you laugh. 

3. Tackling Grief: Living life jelly side up 

This story by Cathy Gordon features the Germain family, who had recently been through a tragedy and decided, on their road to healing, to take a year and travel the world together. As we speak, they’re about halfway through their journey. This family’s story is incredibly emotional and is worth the read.   

4. Ghost Bikes: White bikes memorialize riders 

It seemed like, all at once, there were several tragic biking deaths in our community. It was so timely when writer Jennifer Oakley brought us the idea to feature ghost bikes, those white bikes that memorialize cyclists’ deaths and bring awareness to this scary issue. 

5. Neighborhood Yard: At the Gows, everybody plays  

I remember we were in an editorial meeting one day this past summer, brainstorming article ideas, when one of our interns, Morgan Bernard, brought up the Gow family. He knew them from his time at St. John’s School and mentioned how the Gow backyard had become a place for the community. Cathy Gordon’s well-written story makes you feel like you’re there during a Gow game – or makes you want to be there. 

6. Honoring Sarah Pesikoff  

We were so honored to feature Sarah Pesikoff in our May 2015 article on gardening. This brief post offered our sincere condolences to Sarah’s family when she passed away after battling cancer. We were lucky to get to meet her at a photo shoot – she had such an incredible, positive attitude to work with us even after the effects of cancer treatments. 

7. Wedding Stories: Memories from the big day  

I feel so lucky to have been able to talk to Buzz residents about their wedding weekends, always one of the most joyful times in life. The article took place not long after my own wedding, so this story is even more special to me. If you love reading about weddings – or are in the midst of planning one – hearing about these Buzz residents’ beautiful weddings will be so fun and helpful. I’m looking forward to our February 2016 article, in which I’ll have the opportunity to talk to more newlyweds about their weddings. 

8. Truly Local: Gardening in the backyard   

Some Buzz residents, when they’re in the mood for a salad with dinner, go to their backyards instead of the grocery store. Read this story by Andria Frankfort to see what it’s like for these families to garden and grow their own produce. 

9. Digital Garage Sale  

Annie Blaylock McQueen’s Digital Garage Sale was published in Jan. 2014 but remained one of the most read articles during 2015. Her story talks about the trend of Facebook trading groups such as Memorial Area Trading, West University Trading, Westbury/Meyerland/Bellaire Trading and Bellaire Young Mothers, among others. I can’t tell you how many phone calls and emails we received asking how to join the groups. Each group is run by local admin; if you’re interested in joining one, you can find the group on Facebook and request to be added.

This year, we saw increased popularity with Facebook groups and published several other articles on related topics. For example: Megan Hundahl Streete’s Online Neighborhood: Sharing and shopping on Facebook on the community support these Facebook groups can prove,  and her Online Roundtop: How Facebook trading groups work for a 101 on how these Facebook trading groups work. In addition, I was touched to be able to speak to Buzz residents who organized immediate – and ongoing – community support for those affected by the Memorial Day Flood on Facebook groups in The Flood and Facebook: Where Houston went to help.  

10. Baby Goes Glam: Today’s nursery rocks to a stylish beat  

Baby nurseries aren’t what they used to be. Many parents are designing trendy spaces for babies that won’t be outgrown quickly. See Cathy Gordon’s Baby Goes Glam for a look into the Denenburg baby nursery, which certainly is very “glam.”  

That wraps up our top 10 most viewed articles of the year. As always, our Pet of the Year Contest is one of our most clicked-on pages (although it doesn’t count as an article). There’s still time to vote in this year’s contest! Vote now through Dec. 31, midnight. 

Didn’t see your favorite Buzz article from 2015 mentioned in this list? Comment below and tell us about your favorite story, and be sure to read editor Joni Hoffman’s roundup of her favorite articles from this year.

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