Links to the top stories on tampabay.com for 2012
A tragic coda to the story of a woman who suffered from an unusual disorder. A timely endorsement on the eve of the Republican National Convention. Shocking poll results. And, lest we forget, a guy who ate off another man’s face.
These were the stories that generated millions of page views on tampabay.com in 2012. We’re listing several of the headlines here, along with some annotations.
1. Woman featured in Times story about sexual disorder commits suicide. With 580,000+ views, this story drew the attention of people nationwide, including 376,000 who found the story through the Drudge Report. (The original story, Persistent genital arousal disorder brings woman agony, not ecstasy, also was viewed by hundreds of thousands as people sought to find out more about this disorder that affected Gretchen Molannen, who was profiled in a Floridian magazine piece that published Dec. 2. Police say it appears she killed herself before the original story ran online.
2. Former Gov. Charlie Crist: Here’s why I’m backing Barack Obama. Never mind that Hurricane Isaac was threatening to sideswipe the GOP’s party in Tampa. This was the thing everyone was talking about and posting to social media. It had 352,000 page views, with about 130,000 coming in through social media links.
3. Times/Bay News 9/Herald exclusive Florida poll: Romney 51, Obama 44. This was the poll that came out shortly after the first debate in which President Barack Obama had a lackluster performance. It was shared from our site more than 13,000 times. A second poll story, Times/Bay News 9/Herald Florida Poll: Mitt Romney 51, Barack Obama 45, published right before the election. It, too, became a hot item on social media.
4. Face-eating naked attacker identified in Miami. Our media partners at the Miami Herald covered this story in late May that was bizarre even by Florida standards. All of the stories surrounding this macabre crime proved irresistible to online readers around the globe. Other stories that had thousands of views included: Girlfriend: 'Miami Zombie’ may have had voodoo spell that made him chew off a man’s face; Newspaper security video shows 'Miami Zombie’ mauled victim for 18 grisly minutes; and Victim of 'Miami Zombie’ is a longtime homeless man.
5. Obama campaign’s robocall about early voting called misleading. This Buzz blog post also generated 80 comments and 1,000 shares on Faceback and Twitter.
6. 2012 Florida Ballot Guide report page. With 11 amendments on Florida’s ballot, this straightforward guide to all of them proved very popular with voters who were trying to sort out what they all meant.
7. Black Friday ruckus, firing changes 73-year-old Walmart greeter’s life. The story of a woman whose life spiraled downward after a minor incident at the retail giant captured the sympathy of our readers.
8. Disabled daughter dies just hours after state takes her from mom. Another Miami Herald story, this one chronicled the last devastating hours of a severely disabled teen’s life when the state defied a judge’s order and sent her to a nursing home hours away from her mother. It was shared more than 6,000 times, and 1,000 people hit the “Angry” button at the bottom of the story.
9. Marco Rubio: Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist. Combine the former governor’s name with hot GOP star Marco Rubio and this Buzz blog post proved irresistible way back in January before the campaign had even heated up.
10. Never Let Go. This riveting three-part series about a baby born on the edge of viability drew hundreds of thousands of views who wanted to find out: Would Juniper turn out okay?
Some other top headlines included: