IT WAS CERTAINLY THE MOST SURREAL WEEK EVER!
I thought I would use some of this week’s column to share with our longtime readers (and our new ones!) a bit of the nuttiness that went on around the AfterElton.com offices this week. I know many of you are curious about how the Gay/Bi Man of the Decade event unfolded.
This is my fourth year as editor of this site, and while we’ve had some very interesting stories on AE in my time — Heroes degaying their gay character, the remake of Fame degaying their gay character, the So You Think You Can Dance debacle, Nuke on As the World Turns, Scott Evans’ first interview, Kish on One Life to Live, my Pulitzer (the one in my imagination) — nothing even comes close to what went down with what we are now calling The Big Gay Battle (hereafter referred to as TBGB).
I mean, we actually had people creating artwork, hashtags and fan videos to get out the vote for John Barrowman and Neil Patrick Harris. I mean, come on! How cool is that! For example, this artwork below is fantastic.
Art credit: Jean Kang
Then there was that little matter of having Neil discuss the whole shebang with Jimmy Kimmel. That doesn’t happen every day.
So here are some thoughts about the whole shebang.
1) Neil and John set the tone with their fun, good natured tweets, but one of the best aspects of the whole thing was how fun it stayed with fans and celebs weighing in one side or the other. Probably the most common refrain from readers was "I love them both! How am I supposed to choose?"
That friendliness threatened to go off the rails there when Kevin Smith called out Neil over a past grievance of some sort, but thanks to how graciously Neil handled that particular tweet, the whole thing quickly became a non-issue.
2) The BGB broke all of our traffic records — sort of. In the comments of the various posts, quite a few readers wondered what all of this meant for our traffic. We’ve always had very solid monthly growth and given our current size, it takes a pretty big story to make the numbers jump significantly. Believe it our not, this wasn’t actually our biggest page driver of all time.
That honor still belongs to the 2009 AfterElton.com Hot 100 results. It makes sense if you think about it. Not only is there huge interest in who makes the Hot 100 list (incidentally, Neil also won that poll last year) but that article is twenty pages long whereas the Gay/Bi Man of the Decade Poll was on a single page. If it had been two or three pages long, then it would be a different story.
That being said, TBGB did send a record number of people to AfterElton.com. In the first four days of the month (three of which were over a holiday weekend) we had nearly 1/3 of the total visitors we normally get in a month. Again, given our relative size, that is no mean feat. But when you have tweets going out millions of people, that’s what happens. Which brings me to point number four…
Next page! The tweet is mightier than the pen! Or something…