January 1999
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1998 - The Year in Review

A Shrub retrospective on our first year of publication.

by Jason Morrison

1998. Ah yes. An important year in the history of science, politics and human achievement. 97-year old statesman John Glenn went into space in a daring solo mission; the GOP and Democrats rose above partisan differences to help unify the country against racism and for education and health care. Viagra brought new hope to the burgeoning under-population of the globe. But more importantly, The Shrubbery began publication. With little more than nine months under our belts, we have to say it has one heck of a year in the life of the Shrub.

Who knew, back in the halcyon days of April of 1998, that what started as an ego trip for an impetuous young socialite and an impervious neophyte editor could become what is today one of the most successful small-audience, limited exposure humor magazine on the Internet? Hey, look at that-- spell check says Internet should be capitalized. Ah, progress!

At the end of the year our official count landed at 22,854 visitors for the year. They contributed 119,799 total page hits over 259 days, which makes up approximately 70.91 percent of an entire year. That means an average visitor looked at a paltry 5.24 pages each time they happened upon the Shrub-- evidence that the average global attention span continues to slip down a dangerous slope. Happily, we tallied an impressive 88 visitors per day, compared to Yahoo!'s paltry 3 billion. That means we had only 0.0007365 visitors per day per page hit-- a startling statistic to say the least.

The Shrubbery is a truly global phenomenon. Though 81,842 page hits came from America, home of poor tired huddling masses, checks and balances, and Tiger Woods, our neighbor to the north Canada came in a close second with 3331 hits-- a tribute to our decidedly pro-Canada and anti-Canadian poaching stance. Third was our neighbor to the southwest, Australia, with 2145 hits and then our neighbor across "the pond" as they say, the United Kingdom with 1486. The Atlantic Ocean is in actuality much larger than a pond. Inexplicably, the United States comes in again at fifth with 1003 hits and then the United Arab Emirates with 871. The U.A.E.'s strong showing is due in part to our staunch support of world Arab emiration as well as the presence of the word "United" in their name.

Rounding out the top ten were Sweden, Germany, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan, Norway and the Netherlands. Navin's home country of Sri Lanka contributed less than eight hits. Ancient Greece, home to myth and legend, contributed 70 hits, mostly from eunuchs. And the Russian Federation, at the heart of the former USSR, sputtered in with a measly 49. That will teach you to be Communist for most of a century.

Ironically enough, the U.S. military just barely edged out Israel, 181 to 173. If the U.S. government continues its policy of giving Israel billions of dollars for free each year, next year they may very well overrun the U.S. military-Shrubbery complex with hundreds more hits.

Wednesdays were our best days with an average of 639 hits each hump day. Our best month was November, with 26721 hits. The issue was stacked with an interview with Sifl-n-Olly co-creator Liam Lynch as well as an Internet spam exposť by Jessica Brandt. Now, for your notes, here's a rundown of the most popular article of each month, starting in April:

April: "Top 10 Reasons Why Pro Bowling Will Never be Respected" by Mark Egle
May: "How to Scat!" By Jason Morrison
June: "Bellini Speaks!-- An Interview with the former Kids In The Hall Writer" by Jessica Brandt
July: "Soft Porn: Late Night Looney Toons" by Adam Bresson
August: "Nude School Girls, Part I" by Ryan Glowczewski
September: "Movie Review: Saving Private Ryan" by Jason Morrison
October: "Porn that Will Make You Squirm!" by Jason Morrison
November: "An Interview with Liam Lynch of Sifl & Olly" by Jason Morrison
December: "The Santa Claus Controversy" by Julie Wernau

What insight can we gain from this? Note that nearly every time an article mentioned something prurient in the title it was read more than any other article that month. More than one-third of all our hits have come from people reading "Nude School Girls," "Porn that Will Make You Squirm," etc. Thus, we draw two conclusions:

1) the Internet is still filled with nothing but child molesters, and
2) we need to write more articles about smut, or at least title them so.

In closing, let me just say that though The Shrubbery sent 3,483,858,929 bytes of comedy, commentary and thought streaming to the global information network, most of it was received by people wishing merely to see nudity for free.

Happy New Year!

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