Professional Development

The buzziest Philly stories of 2015

Our 10 most-viewed stories of the year cover Tinder hacks, companies vanishing into thin air and, amazingly, the city wage tax.

These stories got people talking. (Photo by Aidan Un)
We consulted Google Analytics to find the buzziest Philly stories of 2015 and here’s what we learned: the internet loves jam bands, online dating and adult diapers.

OK, but actually, while our core audience is local, every now and then one of our stories will get picked up and get in front of a national audience. That’s largely what you’ll see below, in the list of our most-trafficked stories of 2015.
Before we get to the list, a few honorable mentions for stories that were among the most shared but didn’t make the cut:

Also, this story about an app that pays students for good grades has had a mysterious long tail.


10. Meet Sayra Lopez, the weightlifting UX designer who found love on Instagram

Sayra Lopez at USA Weightlifting’s American Open, December 2014. (Courtesy photo)

A tale of modern love.

9. Why is SAP North America headquartered in Newtown Square?

SAP's North American headquarters in Newtown Square, Pa.

SAP’s North American headquarters in Newtown Square, Pa. (Photo by Stephan Pfützner for SAP)

A look at the history of the suburban tech behemoth.

8. has mysteriously disappeared

Back when was called Reputation Changer, the company gave out these hats as swag. (Photo by Christopher Wink)

We chased down this story in a matter of days when we found out, via LinkedIn, that online reputation management company’s newly-hired execs had left the company. Two months later, the company filed for bankruptcy.

7. Philly’s city wage tax just turned 75. Here’s its dubious legacy


Philadelphia still has fewer jobs than it did in the 1970s, while its peer cities in the Northeast have seen employment grow. Some blame Philly’s tax structure. (Photo by Flickr user Justin Wolfe, used under a Creative Commons license)

Somehow, editorial director Chris Wink managed to make a story about city wage tax interesting. Lots of thoughtful comments on this story, too.

6. ApprenNet just hired a new CEO. Here’s why that’s a big deal

The ApprenNet team. CEO Rachel Jacobs is at bottom center. (Courtesy photo)

This story got big for one tragic reason: ApprenNet CEO Rachel Jacobs was killed in last spring’s Amtrak derailment just a month after she was hired.

5. Why this woman dropped out of Temple’s computer science program


Becca Refford. (Courtesy photo)

While not everyone agreed with the sentiment, Becca Refford’s story struck a chord with readers. Check out the comments.

4. This Philly dev just made jam band fans very happy

Sound Tribe Sector 9, one of the jam bands featured on JamStreams. (Photo by Flickr user Shannon Tompkins, used under a Creative Commons license)

The jam band community is strong.

3. These two guys prove that you are doing Tinder all wrong

The Tinder double date in question. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

In which we go on a Tinder double date in the name of journalism. (And since you’re dying to know, nah, we did not fall in love.)

2. How Scholly sparked a big fight on ‘Shark Tank’ (and landed $40K)

Team Scholly, left to right, just before the company’s appearance on ABC: Nick Pirollo, Eli Bernstein, Chris Gray and Bryson Alef. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

2015 was surely Chris Gray’s year. The recent Drexel grad hit it big when he and his scholarship app Scholly appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and landed a pair of celebrity investors. The Friday night the episode aired, we camped out at First Round Capital’s University City headquarters for the viewing party then rushed to file this story. Our follow-up story about Scholly’s run at the top of App Store also made our most-trafficked list, but for the sake of repetition we’re bundling it here. Scholly also made Apple’s Best of 2015 Apps list.

1. DuckDuckGo on CNBC: We’ve grown 600% since NSA surveillance news broke

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg on CNBC, June 2015. (Screenshot)

This story about the Paoli-based privacy-minded search engine’s growth exploded on Reddit, reaching the top of the taste-making r/technology subreddit, and sparking a whole slew of national press (Mashable, The Guardian, FastCompany). DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg wrote us a few days after to thank for us for picking up the story and starting the domino effect. Since then, DuckDuckGo has continued to grow. It averaged 10.8 million direct searches per day last month, up from 6.9 million direct searches at the same time last year.

Companies: Instructure / / Scholly / ApprenNet / DuckDuckGo / SAP

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