Last weekend a comedian-friend and I went to see a group of four touring comedians making an appearance at our favorite local venue. They were unknowns, but they all had TV credits and other vaguely impressive credentials. I will spare you the details of how awful it was – I later noticed that many of the TV credits were from MTV; imagine the kind of comedy that a person who enjoys Jersey Shore would like – except to note that about 30-40% of the words used on stage that night were "dude", "bro", and "fag."

Yes, one of them imitated an Asian accent for about 2 minutes.

More annoying than the set was their persistence in asking nearly every person in attendance how he or she heard about the show. No doubt this was for cynical if casual market research. These guys were the kind for whom the phrase "selling out" has no meaning, as they enter the world of comedy with no integrity to sell. They were quite curious, apparently, which of their marketing methods had been most successful.

It got me thinking (not their comedy, of course, which inspired thoughts about nothing except homicide and escape) about the same question for Gin and Tacos. There are lots of readers now. I can still remember the days of getting 50 hits, mostly from my friends, and calling it a success. Over time things have grown considerably.

The purpose of this question is solely to satisfy my curiosity and will be used for no sinister marketing purposes nor to attract a corporate sponsor: What brought you here initially? Was I suggested by one of your friends? Did you arrive from a link on a different site – especially Crooks & Liars? Random internet search? Internet search specifically for gin and/or tacos? Saw a sticker on someone's car? Wrote three words in the search bar, hit ctrl-Enter, and hoped for the best?

I'm glad you're all here. Some of you have been here for many, many years. Some of you are brand new. Regardless, I am at the point at which I am looking at the traffic and wondering where in the hell all of these people are coming from. Incoming links are easy enough to track, but I'm not interested in who visits once for 60 seconds via C&L links. I'm curious about how the people who come back again and again were introduced to this site – how the addiction began, so to speak.

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348 Responses to “NPF: MARKET RESEARCH”

  1. Anthony Says:

    I honestly can't remember how I got here; I think I came here from another blog ("Et tu, Mr Destructo?" sounds likely, but I don't think that was it), I liked the article I read (I can't even remember which article it was), and added you to Google Reader.

  2. JohntheCheap Says:

    Link from somewhere, probably rortybomb.

  3. MarilynJean Says:

    Linked from I Blame the Patriarchy for some particular post about lady stuff and I have stayed ever since.

  4. Amanda B Says:

    I started here:

  5. Gary Says:

    Charlie Pierce linked to it on Facebook.

  6. darms Says:

    Came in via a blog link (don't remember which or when), stuck around because I like reading most of what you write. Thanx.

  7. DaveKan Says:

    I am pretty sure that I got here via StumbleUpon and then liked what I read and added it to my rotation of sites I read regularly.

  8. Matt Says:

    My shrink recommended you. And I'm not kidding about that.

  9. cromartie Says:

    Crooks and Liars. And I love the Gin and tacos imagery and I too would buy a shirt of it.

  10. red dog Says:

    Found you via (a comment at) Roy Edroso and had such a good laugh that I happen to visit almost every day just to see.


  11. Elle Says:

    My shrink recommended you. And I'm not kidding about that.

    I think you win, Matt.

  12. Drizzle Says:

    Pretty sure it was Rortybomb. Congrats on your success dude.

  13. John Says:

    Got a link to your review of "Going Rogue" Not only have I been back every single day since, I've gone back and read through the entire archives, because I have way too much free time.

  14. My Says:

    I think Tim, Erik, Mark, & I were drinking (Maybe I was faux-suicidal in the wake of the 2004 elections and drowning my sorrows?) discussing the merits/demerits of gin at Mike y Molly's when Erik mentioned that you guys had a blog. Somehow I managed to remember not only this factoid but that it also related to tacos and looked it up sometime shortly thereafter…

  15. celiadexter Says:

    Found your site via a linque from Stinque about a year ago, now a regular must-read along with Balloon Juice, Steve Benen and Kevin Drum. Gotta have my politics and snark.

  16. BigHank53 Says:

    I can't remember which weblog had the link, but it was about Glenn Beck's rally, wherein you described him as bull semen and lard poured into a man-sized condom. Couldn't ignore that kind of talent…

  17. Aquilegia Says:

    Pretty sure it was either Tbogg or Balloon Juice…that and I went to grad school at UGA and I noticed you have an interest in GIS…most people can't even spell it, let alone know what it is (I happen to be a GIS Analyst with a certain conservation agency). Keep up the good work!

  18. BigHank53 Says:

    Good Lord. I just checked and that was somebody else entirely. I have no idea how I found your blog, and I seem to be losing my mind, too.

  19. Alan Says:

    This may have been said in one or more of the other 318 replies, none of which I've read. The essence of the viral spread of information isn't the vector, it's the virus.

    Sure, I followed a link that somebody posted to this blog. It may have been a Facebook status line, an email, or a link from another blog? But who cares?

    You're writing some of the pithiest, most insightful, funniest stuff out there. And I'm shamelessly plugging this site to anybody who'll listen to me. (For the good of the species we should all be grateful that that's a fairly limited number of people.)

    Anyhow, keep it up. Never mind where the readers are coming from. As you gain fame and fortune (right) those origins will become more and more obscure.

  20. Pipeer Says:

    Balloon Juice

  21. Jane Says:

    From a link through a USA based economics blog

  22. Nate Says:

    I don't quite remember, it was a long time ago. I think MBL told me about the site when I was a sophmore or junior in college.

  23. Nate Says:

    Man, there are too many "Nate"s here. I need to bust out a nickname or some shit. :)

  24. Katie Says:

    I found you when one of your blog entries was linked to the Leiter Reports blog (

  25. laura Says:

    lolz, so, i'm the one that occasionally slides links to your articles in reading assignments. anything you find on that site that appears unusual is probably my doing. it's funny, i usually have to trick them into clicking though with something like "hey, look at the stupid liberal blah blah blah." looks like a few have appreciated stepping out of the echo chamber…

    have no idea how i originally found you but it was before you moved. maybe a fark/digg/reddit link?

  26. Andy kaplan Says:

    Mentions from mike konczal at his blog. Thanks for all the entertaining & thoughtful commentary. Well worth the price.

  27. Bobby Says:

    Taking a wild guess, but C&L probably sent me here the first time & you've been bookmarked ever since.

    And strangely, despite not being much of a sports fans, your NPF posts are among my favorites. The post featuring Dock Ellis, Vince Young, Usain Bolt comes to mind – holy crap – that was amazing stuff all in one place!

    Thanks – glad I found you, however it happened.

  28. cerb Says:

    Had you for a Prof my freshman year at IU ('04). I thought you were pretty entertaining in class so I googled your name. I believe the first two results were 1) this website and 2) you reviewing the Arizona Cardinals' prospects for the upcoming season.

    Without this website I don't think the IU College Democrats would have been as drunk for the '04 election as they were.

  29. John Cantwell Says:

    You wrote some hilariously well-written piece on Ayn Rand quite some time ago; I stumbled on it and I've read you ever since. I'm Swedish and live in Sweden and your pieces give me a fragment of understanding of what is happening in the US. Reading you is a bit like reading the diary of the youngest sort-of-sane member of a deeply dysfunctional family that I can't help liking.

  30. Adam Gutteridge Says:

    I was introduced to your site from a friend of mine. I keep coming back because you don't disappoint.

  31. Texas Jewboy Says:

    I followed a link from either Andrew Sullivan or Radley Balko. Can't remember now. Interestingly enough, I'm a comic too, struggling with how to talk about the subjects I want to talk about (politics, despair, despair about politics, the politics of despair) without walking a room. I'm one of those self-obsessed Gen-Xers you mentioned in your open letter from the Boomers, still thinking the world owes me a venue and an audience. I'd do it the traditional way, but I can't bring myself to write three-minute sets of "airplane food" material. How do you manage? Thanks for the blog, it's a necessary daily ritual for me.

  32. Paul Says:

    I was recommended by a friend. I visit, read a bazillion posts, do a lot of chuckling, leave, and return a month or so later to do the same thing again. I can count the number of sites for which I do this on one hand. As one other poster said, "you never disappoint."

    And you don't…

  33. Derek Says:

    I forget where, but I found the 2009 Cocksucker of the Year post and have never stopped coming back.

  34. Rich Webb Says:

    Late responding — that little storm-thing that blew up the coast and all of the catching-up that resulted — but IIRC I first landed here by browsing the links on 's blog roll. Probably (but not certainly) from Balloon Juice.

    Despite some early confusion — What does FJM mean? Okay, then who is Joe Morgan? — I've stuck around as a reader for the consistently excellent writing and insights.

    Someday I'll probably try non-virtual gin and tacos, too, but I'm more of a Jack Daniels and Cheetos kind of guy …

  35. Halloween Jack Says:

    alicublog blogroll. Roy Edroso is my gateway drug.

  36. Lennyb38 Says:

    Can not remember how I got here, not unusual for me. Do not agree with you on most topics but really like the way your stuff is written. One thing we can agree on is all politicians suck! Keep on doing what you do so well. BTW, first comment here. Might not be the last.

  37. Warmbowski Says:

    I came for the neocon bingo!

  38. Warmbowski Says:

    Please update to teabagger bingo!

  39. Van Says:

    Crooks and Liars.

  40. ChicagoPat Says:

    I believe Balloon Juice linked to your review of Palin's doorstop. Was laughing for days. Good Mojo.

  41. KMTBerry Says:

    I first came here via linkage. It was SO LONG AGO I don't remember anymore WHOSE. I mostly read feminist websites, so it was likely to have been Pandagon or Shakesville.

  42. BruceFromOhio Says:

    Cole has you on the blogroll at Balloon Juice, and I've wound up here now and again via links in comments.

  43. ElJay Says:

    Another mimismartypants referral here. I've been reading long enough that I don't remember what the link was, though.

  44. Name Required Says:

    Linked from another lefty site- C&L, Rortybomb, Zunguzungu? Either a "look at this" article, or from blogroll because the name "ginandtacos" intrigued me.

  45. bastich Says:

    I am from the future! Oogityboogity!

    Kazim from The Atheist Experience blog ( mentioned you. I now him a big bag of tacos and/or gin.

    Anyway…great work, Ed. I love your site, and am slowly working backwards through the archives (which is why I'm now commenting on a 14 month old blog post. Yay me.)

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  48. Palma Says:

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
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