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Bright Side way up, while the Suns are way down

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Even while the team and the TV ratings tank, our growing Suns-only community is taking over the world!

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

While the Phoenix Suns as a franchise are finding lower and lower rock bottoms each year that goes by, and while TV ratings are in the tank, we can’t help but notice Bright Side is doing just fine.

Better than fine, actually.

Thanks to the herculean daily efforts of Evan this year, the consistent news posts from Keith to keep us current, and our award-worthy stable of columnists, we’ve somehow increased our base of fans and daily visits this year on brightsideofthesun.com.

The site itself is up 41% over last year (up 68% on unique visitors). Only the Timeline of Destruction of 2014-15 had a higher readership in the 10+ year history of this blog.

According to Alexa.com, Bright Side has increased its presence world-wide this year and now ranks among the top 25,000 of ALL websites in the USA in terms of total traffic.

That may not seem like much, but remember Bright Side is a SUNS-ONLY site. We don’t talk about anything but one measly little pro sports team, a team that just happens to be the worst in its league.

For comparison purposes,

  • azcentral.com covers all news of all kinds, not just sports, not just local, and ranks 2,094 among all US websites
  • Sticking to sports only, Arizonasports.com ranks about 15,000 overall in the US but it covers ALL sports at all levels in the state. But we know that coverage of the NFL helps any and all traffic across the board.
  • Narrowing down to NBA only, Hoopshabit.com, which covers all NBA teams and storylines including the Suns, ranks a bit lower than the Bright Side at about 30,000th most popular US website.
  • Whittling down to Suns-only, our step-sister site - the only other Suns-only site out there - valleyofthesuns.com has made progress this year too, but they are still only ranked in the 125k range in the US and half-million range in the world, well below the Bright Side.

Overall, NBA web traffic is up year over year, across all NBA teams. Compared to a year ago, all of the aforementioned sites have increased in readership and worldwide rank according to Alexa.com.

Within the SB nation sphere we have consistently ranked in the top half of the league, sometimes among the Top 10, even while the team we cover is terrible.

Watching vs. reading

Watching the NBA has gotten more popular across the nation and world, too. Regional sports networks have experienced a 7% increase year over year, across the board, with 17 teams on the up while 10 are down.

Yet, interest in actually watching Suns games has regressed this year to abysmal levels.

Viewership of Suns games on FoxSports Arizona has dropped a whopping 46% year over year — the second largest drop among all NBA teams’ regional sports coverage. Only four NBA teams have a worse TV rating than the Suns. Four.

Yet, readership of the Bright Side is up 51% in the US alone, and up more than 40% in countries like Canada, Indonesia, Brazil, India, Greece, Thailand and many others.

It seems like people would much rather skip the ugly games and just follow along online, reading the recaps and watching highlight reels.

Bright Side has reached a crazy number of 207 different countries this season, including Kyrgystan, Yemen, Micronesia and many others I would never even know existed if I hadn’t watched the Opening Ceremonies of every Olympics the past 40 years.

Shout out to all you visitors from around the globe!

On social media, we’ve lost some ground on facebook, but thanks mainly to Evan (@esidery) our twitter game is skyrocketing. We’ve almost doubled the twitter posts on @BrightSideSun and seen a 30% increase on site visits coming from the twittasphere.

Within the Bright Side Community

We all know that while the site might get 10,000 visitors every single day (no joke! I mean, there are really even 10,000 rabid Suns fans left?), at least one-third of you come back every single day, according to the handy dandy google analytics tool.

And some of you 10,000 readers stay to engage in the comments sections. Maybe only a few dozen comment each day, but you’re a hearty bunch and we love you for it. Comments this season are up 47% over last year. At least there’s stuff to talk about, eh?

Most of you 10,000 daily visitors have the attention span of a gnat with an average site visit time under three minutes. I’ll just believe all a y’all are speed readers, okay? I KNOW you read every word on every article. I know you do. I know—

Thank you

Thank you all for being dedicated Suns fans, and for using our little blog for your daily fix.

And thank you for donating a record amount of money toward our third annual Bright Side Night, which raised a mind-bloggling (see what I did there?) 2,100 tickets for underprivileged kids to see their first NBA game a couple months ago. And that was ALL YOU.

YOU make this site what it is. And I thank you for it.