Thursday, September 29, 2011

Favorite stories on Elliot's blog

We reported yesterday that Elliot's blog had reached 20,000 page hits.  Much like a sitcom that creates a flashback show of favorite scenes on reaching certain milestones, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the most popular stories on the blog thus far.  It's nearly impossible to predict what stories will get the most visitors and what stories will be largely ignored.  Either way, we enjoy posting the stories and seeing if anyone reads them.  So, in true countdown fashion, here are the ten most popular stories on Elliot's blog through today.

Elliot was in Clinton in western Oklahoma for about three months earlier this year, with Elder Gonzalez and Elder Kimber.  This was a fun post, with little tidbits about Clinton and the surrounding area, and lots of pictures.

This post was really just a picture of Elliot and a friend from home, Justin Peacock, when they were serving in the MTC together.  Justin is now on his mission in Mexico City.

8.  Mormon Messages: "Book of Mormon: An Introduction"

We have posted numerous videos created by the Church and posted on the YouTube Mormon Channel.  This was a video about the Book of Mormon, with a message from Elder Jeffrey Holland.

7.  Elliot's new area: Wichita Falls, Texas

Elliot has been in Wichita Falls since late June, with Elder Andersen, Elder Jacobson, and Elder Lang.  This post tells all about the city and includes one of my personal favorites of the entire blog -- a video clip from King of the Hill that depicts in hilarious fashion the fierce rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas.

6.  Bats, space shuttles, and high school football

This was an odd little story about some unexpected consequences of the ongoing drought in Texas and Oklahoma.  Apparently people are fascinated with the more than a million bats that live under a bridge in Austin!

5.  Oklahoma City Museum of Art: "Passages"

"Passages" is an amazing display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art all about the history of the Bible.  The display will be open for just another couple of weeks, until October 16.  Our story included some spectacular pictures of some of the items on display.

4.  Tornado in Joplin, Missouri

In May of this year, a devastating tornado hit Joplin, about 250 miles from Purcell, Oklahoma, where Elliot was then stationed.  There was a lot of tornado activity throughout the region at about the same time but, thankfully, none near Elliot.

3.  Hallelujah Chorus: Flash Mobs and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Shortly before Christmas 2010, Elliot's sister Alyssa participated in a flash mob performance of the Hallelujah Chorus at a local mall.  In the spirit of the season, we compiled a bunch of YouTube videos of other similar performances around the country, and that proved to be a popular attraction.  Plus, how can you go wrong with a Peanuts cartoon and a video of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

2.  Missionary service: The story of Sid Going

We never dreamed this would be such a popular story, probably because we're rather ignorant about rugby.  We posted this because it was a great story about a young missionary, Sid Going, who chose to serve despite a tremendously promising professional rugby career.  The punch line of the story is that, after his mission, he became one of the all-time greats of the sport.  Our little story became a hit with rugby fans all over, including from Elder Going's home of New Zealand.

And finally, by a huge landslide, the most popular story so far on Elliot's blog is . . .

1.  Tornado tales

We posted this story on April 16 of this year after a series of storms and tornadoes hit Oklahoma, causing two deaths and a lot of property damage.  The story includes a really cool night time picture of a tornado illuminated by lightning bolt.  But the story didn't really take off until about a month later when, on May 24, powerful tornadoes hit western Oklahoma and Oklahoma City, bouncing all around Elliot's area of Noble-Purcell.  Elliot's dad was a nervous wreck all day, monitoring the tornado reports on the internet emergency radio channel and in a local news chat room.  That afternoon, the blog story exploded, getting dozens and then hundreds of hits as people searched the internet for news about the tornadoes.  Ultimately, the story reached nearly 10,000 page hits.

And there you have it, the ten most popular stories on Elliot's blog through approximately 13 months of his mission.  Less than eleven months to go!  Stay tuned . . .

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