Martine Rolls: Readers keen on nude news

By Martine Rolls

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Last week, I had great fun gathering the statistics for the most popular stories we posted on bayofplentytimes.co.nz this year.

I've been doing this job for a while now and have become an expert at predicting which stories will be a hit online.

Anything quirky scores well, but numbers go through the roof when we talk about people who take their kit off.

Here's the Top 10 of 2012.

1. Family fuming as baby forced out of cafe, published January 15.

An Auckland couple visiting the Mount went to Providores Urban Foodstore with their baby and two family members but they were asked to leave because their 14-month-old daughter made too much noise.

Not only did this story get a massive amount of views, it also attracted no less than 135 comments, and most of these people agreed with the cafe owner.

2. UFO alarm sounds around North Island, published May 20.

It's no wonder that stories on UFOs score well. The topic has global appeal. But when UFO watchers say there are an "unprecedented" number of UFO sightings reported in the North Island, and that aliens may even have visited, then it becomes a story that anyone with a curious mind will click on.

3. Nudist event causes stir in Papamoa, published January 27.

Ah yes, the nudists. Last year's most popular story was about naturism, too. All the nudists wanted to do was organise a day when they would all go down to the beach and go swimming and fishing and socialise, but the prudish local residents said: "No way!"

A poll with the story asked if it should be illegal to be naked on New Zealand beaches - 37 per cent said yes, and 63 per cent said no.

4. Women bash wedding guests, published March 28.

This was a particularly nasty story about a 27-year-old former Mount Maunganui woman and her partner who were viciously bashed outside Bayfair Shopping Centre in an unprovoked attack.

The victim suspected the attackers were on drugs.

"They were so wired. The look in their eyes was just pure insanity," she said.

5. Rena: Ship's stern will be left to sink, published January 9.

As for significant news reporting, the year 2011 was the big one.

Plenty about Rena and the salvage operations was published this year gone by, and the best read story was the one that outlined plans to leave the ship to sink at Astrolabe Reef.

6. 'I'm sorry, she's dying', published September 14.

Baby Sativa, a twin, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was 4-months-old.

Since then, she had had numerous rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. She seemed to be recovering until three days before the girls' second birthday when the family was told the cancer was coming back at an alarming rate. She died on October 3. So sad.

7. Ferrari Day at Phil's Place with AC/DC's Phil Rudd, published April 16.

Photos of fast cars and an international rock star? Yes, that'll do it. Organised by legendary AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd, a gold-coin event for the Look Good Feel Better charity drew thousands of enthusiastic, high-octane car fans, keen to see the huge collection of supercars.

8. Exclusive: Phil Rudd's is the Place to Be, published September 5.

It's hardly a surprise that this story, which actually appeared on our website and in Indulge magazine in 2011, still gets plenty of visits today. It has been shared by AC/DC fans from all over the world and still prominently does the rounds on Google. What a shame that the restaurant that Phil speaks so highly of in this exclusive interview has been closed since July.

9. Skinny dippers brave chill in record attempt, published December 3.

A good friend of mine dared me to join in with this event, because I always say that Kiwis are so prudish. Well, I don't mind skinny dipping at all, but I'm not doing it with a bunch of people, sorry.

10. Nudists upset beach residents, published on April 26.

Here we go again, you may think, more nudity. It's true; there are plenty of Papamoa Beach residents who are really upset with "unsavoury" nudists. The rest of New Zealand just loves to read about it on the internet.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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