The Year in Review - Top Five Life-Sparring Rounds of 2016

The Year in Review - Top Five Life-Sparring Rounds of 2016

Picture:, Copyright: PixelsAway

Picture:, Copyright: PixelsAway

The books on 2016 are closed and a very exciting year has come to an end. On macro level 2016 surely can’t be called a great year. Men made catastrophes, for example in Aleppo and Myanmar, a sheer endless row of untimed show business deaths and highly questionable political choices that cloud the upcoming years will likely have us looking back not too fondly.

On a micro level, 2016 was one of the best years in my recent past. I got married and reconnected with a lot of friends over the festivities; I had a decent year in my job, and despite missing my weight loss targets also enjoyed good health, stayed physically active and felt quite accomplished.

My Life-Sparring experience was a huge contributor to my positive assessment of 2016. Experimenting, researching, and writing kept me on my toes, helped me to grow and ultimately helped to be a happier person. 

For Life-Sparring as a blog, the year 2016 was the first full calendar year. Around 5,300 Sessions and more than 6,000 page views (after filtering for all kinds of spam and bot activity) was decent, even though the big break-through is still missing.

When I started the blog in 2015, the biggest source of traffic was Facebook (45%). 2016 traffic through Google become more and more important. For the full year, Google accounted for a whopping 54% of the traffic.

Tied to this shift of the traffic source was a massive movement in the countries of visitor’s origin. While 2015 my residential country Hong Kong (26.3%) and my native country Germany (20.7%) were leading the tally of the most initiated sessions, in 2016 the United States (44%) clearly dominated the visitor ranks with Hong Kong (9.3%) following in a distant second place. The third place for the UK (4.8%) was not surprising, India (4.6%) on the 4th place all the more. Germany dropped to rank 6 (4.0%), behind Canada (4.5%) and ahead of Australia (3.6%) Singapore (3.6% and Malaysia (2.5%).

The demographics stayed fairly stable over the year. According to Google Analytics, the readership of Life-Sparring is 61% male and only 39% female with an average age of about 37 and a half.

So what are mostly American males in their late thirties interested in reading about? Going by the hit list of the five most viewed Life-Sparring rounds in 2016 (counting only organic page views, not visits generated through ads), its fitness and productivity:

No 5:Why don’t I run faster? – Unlocking the Secret of my Slowness (Part I)

“Why don’t I run faster” was part one in a not yet finished series of articles about my pitiful running performance. Lacking a clear explanation why I slowed down so significantly compared to my university years, I started to look at possible root causes and dig into scientific studies on the subject matter. 

I followed up with a part two, called “swinging my hips for the camera,” however, that article was slightly less popular.


No 4: Cold Is Pretty Hot Right Now – Freezing for Health, Beauty and Longevity

Placed on the 4th place in 2017, is an article about my experiment with cold showers. After initially trying to force myself to endure cold showers, I upped my antes and joined a cold shower challenges put up by fitness blogger Ben Greenfield.


No 3: Lest it all be forgotten – A digital ecosystem to retain information I otherwise would forget

The third most visited article in 2016 is one of my favorites, a pretty practical article about how I combined using different apps, devices, and tools to form a digital ecosystem to manage my online reading and retain valuable information.



No 2: Deconstructed me – What I learned about myself through DNA analysis

The silver medal in 2016 goes to another health-related article. In Deconstructed Me, I explain my experience is getting my DNA analyzed at 23andme. Getting a DNA analysis done is fairly easy, interpreting the results is still pretty much rocket science.


No 1: Travelling with (and without) the “World’s best Travel Jacket”

The undisputed winner among all articles in 2016, is essentially a review of a Kickstarter product. As it looks like the self-proclaimed “World’s Best Travel Jacket” not only attracted a ton of backers on Kickstarter but also keeps drawing visitors to this humble blog.

What was your favorite article in 2016? What are your suggestions, demands or ideas for the next year? Let me know through any of the known channels; I am grateful for every feedback.

I am of course also very grateful for everyone who reads the blog without leaving a comment, so thanks to all of you for the support in 2016. I couldn't be more motivated for the new year.

What 2017 will bring? Let’s see. Most ideas for articles that I currently nurture are falling in line with the top articles of last year. Expect more on quantified self, my attempts to increase my fitness and improve my productivity.

I surely still will be putting out the occasional philosophical article, despite the risk of boring my valued readers, but will try to make up for it with some collaboration articles introducing some cool people.

Big Goals and Mini Habits – A New Take on a New Year’s Resolution

Big Goals and Mini Habits – A New Take on a New Year’s Resolution

Food for Thought 2016 – The Life-Sparring Books of the Year

Food for Thought 2016 – The Life-Sparring Books of the Year