Thumbnail from each of my Flickr photo sets in 2011. Lots of good stuff. SUPER DOOPER bonus if you can tell me what each of these thumbnails represent -- without going to my Flickr page.
First of all, a Happy New Year to everyone. 2011 was another great year for the blog. Without your readership, airlines wouldn’t be willing to let me go on these adventures and share them with you, so I am highly appreciative for all your support.
In 2011, I was able to rack up over 81,000 miles flying for the blog (compared to 50,000 in 2010). Out of all the stories, photos and experiences which were the most popular to me and you? Well, this year it wasn’t so easy. All these “Tops” come directly from the blog at AirlineReporter.com and do not take into account of the readership on the Seattle PI or Reuters (even though are very important as well — but I just don’t have good data from those). Here are Top 5’s in different categories:
Top 5 Viewed Blogs
Rarely does time spent on a story relate directly to the amount of traffic seen. Many times, having access to a few sweet photos or a video and taking three minutes to post it will inevitably see more traffic than a story I work on for weeks. Traffic is traffic of course and it is always interesting seeing the most popular stories. These are the top viewed stories for 2011:
* Airbus A380 wing hits building at Paris Airshow
* Interior photos of ANA’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner
* JAL livery revealed on 787 Dreamliner
* Photo of Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental outside, unpainted
* Taking a look at Delta’s Economy Comfort vs United’s Economy Plus
Top 5 Experiences
Lots of miles and many great experiences this last year, but these are my five favorite (in no particular order):
* Flying on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the first time
* Hitching a ride on a Beechcraft Starship
* Experiencing Singapore Airline’s A380 Business Class
* Delivering a RwandAir Boeing 737
* Watching the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental take her first flight
Top 5 Cities Reading the Blog
This is the first year that Seattle (where I am based) moves down to number two in readership behind New York. Also, all five are US cities, where last year London made the list. Here are the cities that read my blog the most in 2011 (in order of most to least):
* New York
* Los Angeles
* San Francisco
I feel lucky that I was able to fly over 81,000 miles for the blog in 2011. Hoping to break the 100k mark for 2012.
Top 5 Photos On The Blog
I am not a professional photographer, nor do I want to be one. I have enjoyed learning a lot about photography in 2011, but being around people who are truly amazing photographers, I won’t ever get to that level — but I am okay with that (less stressful for sure). Sometimes I like what I take, sometimes I do not. These are the Top 5 photos I enjoyed that were taken for the blog. Not saying they will win any awards, but here they are:
* Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 at Narita
* Boeing 747-8I at Boeing Field (taken by Nick Smith for AirlineReporter.com)
* Singapore skyline at night
* Rear view of the Beechcraft Starship. The plane has so many amazing angles, but I really enjoyed this one.
* Inside the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with tinted windows
Top 5 Most Commented Blogs
This year has seen many more comments on my stories and I LOVE IT. Not surprisingly there tend to be more comments on some of my more controversal topics. Here are the top commented stories (in order from most to least) of 2011:
* Received My First Body Scan and I Am Okay With It
* Airline Livery Opinion of the Week: American Airlines Livery Stinks
* PHOTOS: Airbus A380 Wing Hits Building at Paris Air Show
* CONTEST: How Many Boeing 737s Are Still Flying?
* Was United Airline’s Computer Outage That Big of a Deal? I Say Nay.
Previous New Years Posts:
Top 5 of 2010
My 6 favorite blogs of 2009
So what did your airline-related 2011 look like? Fly anywhere cool? Take some good photos? Where are you hoping to go in 2012?
Me, in the engine of a Boeing 777 at the Future of Flight
This year has been amazing. 2009 brought some interesting blogs, a name change, syndication with the Seattle PI, coverage from multiple media outlets, some wonderful friends in aviation, travel around the country and much more.
I started this blog about a year and a half ago just to share my passion of commercial aviation with others. I started with only a few readers and now have thousands everyday. I have enjoyed the wonderful comments on my blog, syndication, and of course Twitter.
Looking back, in January 2009 I only wrote three blogs for the whole month and now, I work very hard trying to get one up daily. The task is not easy; I work a full-time job, own a house, have a wonderful girlfriend, and try to keep a decent social life. But I love following the airline industry and it seems some of you enjoy my perspective, so it motivates me to keep it up!
Next year is already looking great. I am currently working with a few airlines on some pretty cool projects I plan to take on early next year. I will also have a close relationship with the Future of Flight which has already inspired some of my blogs and allowed me to have VIP viewing of the Boeing 787 first flight. I also ask you, my readers, to think of interesting blogs you would like to see!
Now, to my top Airline Reporter blogs of this year. It was hard to choose just five of my favorite blogs, so I changed it to my top six (hey, this is my blog, I can do what I want 🙂 ). They might not have been the most read, but they are special to me for different reasons. Here they are in no particular order and why they are my favorite:
Back in May 2009 I was invited by AirTran to fly from Seattle to Baltimore to go on their special Wi-Fi media flight. This was still at a time where being an aviation blogger was new, I didn’t have a solid direction my blog was going and I had never had an experience like this previously. This event really opened my eyes to the potential of my blog. I was lucky enough to meet Benet Wilson with Aviation Weekly, Ben Mutzabaugh with USA Today, Joe Sharky aviation legend, and many others who are very inspiring writers. The trip really started me thinking big and motivated me to aspire for bigger and original blogs.
What can I say about this? Being there in person on the Strato Deck at the Future of Flight, seeing the Boeing 787 take flight for the first time was absolutely amazing. 10 years from now, I am certain this post will make my “Top 5 blogs in the last 10 years.” Seeing this gorgeous plane lift off, while Boeing employees cheered them on, I felt so lucky to be there. I also got to meet the famous Flight Blogger Jon Ostrower to boot!
I have wondered about row 13 for over 15 years. When I started to think about writing a blog on it in May, it took me five months to complete the write up (and posted it on Friday the 13th). When I started the research, I had no idea where it would lead me. Some airlines had no row 13 because of luck, another because of a canceled Boeing order. It was neat to make connections with many airlines and the fine folks at SeatGuru.com during my research.
It is awesome that my mom has written a few blogs for me. This one was my favorite where she took a look back at what flying used to be like. She didn’t just blame the airlines for treating people like cattle, but realizes that airlines have just been meeting passenger demand for cheaper flying. Her story got put on the front page of the Seattle PI and got quite a bit of attention (something I was a little jealous about). People have really enjoyed reading her blogs and she is working on a few more for 2010!
This one was just fun. I had just bought a car that was in Phoenix and a friend and I were flying down on Alaska Airlines to drive it back to Seattle (it was a great trip). I had just read that Alaska started charging for checked bags, but was giving passengers a guarantee — your checked bag will be at baggage claim 25min or less after the plane reaches the gate or you get a $25 discount on a future flight or 2500 bonus miles. This was a genius idea and I knew I wanted to cover it! It was perfect timing, since I already had booked my ticket on Alaska and I could put them to the test. I started my timer right as the plane stopped at the gate. It took us 15min 18sec to get from row 26 on the plane to baggage claim and the bag was already on the carousel. Good job Alaska Airlines! When I wrote the blog, they were planning to end the promotion at the end of the year, but since it has gone so well, they are extending it until at least July 31, 2010.
Ok, this is kind of cheating because it is not just one blog, but I just love blogging about Ryanair. I know that Ryanair says crazy stuff to get free media attention, but heck, I see it as win-win situation. In July I also gave out my “More Crazy Than Ryanair” medal (which I have more recently changed to “Crazier Than Ryanair”). Oddly I haven’t been able to give it out much since few airlines are crazier than Ryanair. I truly hope they can keep up the good (and crazy) times in 2010.
I wish everyone a wonderful and safe New Year!
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