What a year. After recovering by watching 49 hours of Netflix (2 seasons of All or Nothing and 3 seasons of Bloodline) in five days after Christmas, I took some time to look back on 2017. In late 2016 I decided to go full-time with ITB Insider because nothing sounded more fun than working constantly and having weekly anxiety attacks. Here are some stats and highlights from my first year as a full-time media empire startup.
In 2017, ITB Insider had 114 blog posts, 382,038 pageviews, and 126,136 visitors.
For context, in 2016 ITB Insider had 38 blog posts, 119,371 pageviews, and 61,948 visitors.
Special thanks to James Borden for writing the Development Beat every week and keeping me informed of actual news in Raleigh.
My tweets in 2017 had over 56.2 million impressions, thanks to Fyre Festival (it was lit). My family still doesn’t understand what this means. Or maybe they just don’t care. Regardless, I’m putting this on my tombstone.
Before I get to the year in review, I’d like to say thank you to a lot of people. Special thanks to all of the sponsors and companies we worked with in 2017, especially Miller Law Group, Stacy Miller, Beacon Street Development, Rufty Peedin Design Builders, Seaboard Wine & Tasting Bar, Downtown Dental, PBX®, Rise Cameron Village, Walk West, Humdinger Juice, Glenwood South Tailors + Alterations, Express Yourself Paint, Tradition Scarves, Trophy Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing, Southern Ego Clothing, High Cotton, and more that I’m probably forgetting.
Thanks to all the dogs who were featured on Dogs of ITB. We’re going to do a better job with this account in 2018 now that I know how much ITBlake the intern loves dogs.
Thanks to all the customers of the new fashion and merchandise empire.
Thanks to Broughton for giving me ITBlake the intern.
And most importantly, thank you to all of you for reading, sharing, and following along as the media empire grows. We’ve got even more planned in 2018. And now, some of my favorites from 2017.
January started off with a robbery in Cameron Village that was thwarted by a heroic York security guard. If you actually dig into this story it’s pretty insane. I’ll leave it at that. Full story.
A Five Points couple, and their dog, struggled to deal with the unpredictable weather. Life can be so hard sometimes. Full story.
Mordecai residents were outraged when they heard rumors of Dave & Busters coming to the neighborhood. Full story.
The Velvet Cloak Inn came down. RIP.
Pretty sure I'm getting mesothelioma taking this video of The Velvet Cloak Inn demolition. Just bringing you coverage you can ITBelieve in. pic.twitter.com/ocJD4g5nsn
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) February 24, 2017
Cary passed an ordinance requiring beige colored Easter Eggs. Full story.
Someone stole the Lake Boone chicken. Full story.
Goodberry’s kept using pictures from my Sunday night anxiety digital art installation without my permission. This issue is still unresolved.
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 14, 2017
We literally saved lives with our Raleigh fire coverage. Full story.
I incorrectly predicted that The Rock would play football for NC State. Side note: The Rock retweeted @spencerspicy the other day and I’ve never been happier for one of my friends. Full story.
Thanks to Bonner Gaylord, I got to put a fidget spinner and half of my Fyre Festival wristband in the North Hills time capsule that will be unearthed in 50 years. That’s right, in 50 years people will still be talking about Fyre Festival. Full story.
I helped Meredith College bring attention to their campus lake dilemma. The President of Meredith sent me a nice thank you e-mail. For real. Full story.
Protests spread across Raleigh in support of the Brunch Bill. The mimosas were freed and the streets ran red with Bloody Marys. Full story.
A Hayes Barton family camped out for brunch at NOFO. Full story.
Five Points residents filed a class action lawsuit against a train for blocking their view of the July 4th fireworks. Rumor has it that Stacy Miller settled the case for $7 billion. Full story.
A Hayes Barton mom tried to sell her child online for Pullen Park Holiday Express tickets. Full story.
“The chalkboard, Charles. The fucking chalkboard.” A dad faced divorce after ruining the back to school picture. Full story.
I totally botched a Tweet about the top Broughton graduates. Fortunately, Peyton Reed understood after I wrote him a letter, recorded a video of me reading it, then tweeted the video at him. Full story.
As always, Raleigh dominated the 2017 Deb Class. Full story.
I was on a panel with actual journalists.
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) August 10, 2017
ITBlake the intern joined the media empire. Yes, he’s getting school credit for this. Yes, the fame of being recognized at Starbucks and in Cameron Village is going to his head. No, he is not my son. Full story.
I came up with the most ITB Halloween pumpkin carving templates. Full story.
A Five Points family spent weeks preparing for the Angus Barn Trail. Thanks to multiple YETI coolers and Go-GURT laced with Ambien, no one died of dysentery. Full story.
ITBlake the intern and JDog the YouTube star covered their first Raleigh Christmas parade and almost won Sundance. Full story.
ITBlake the intern turned 18. Full story.
Residents were distraught over Starbucks closing for roughly two days. Full story.
I was asked to speak at the Raleigh PR Society awards dinner.
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) October 19, 2017
This was really one of the few bright spots of 2017. Our story about a Raleigh couple living in Panama and saving orphans. Full story.
The fashion and merchandise empire launched in December and everyone loved it. ShopITB.com.
Finally, I survived Fyre Festival, which was probably the best representation of 2017 as a whole. My coverage was in pretty much every news outlet on the planet. Thanks to Bloomberg, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, VICE, and a few others for covering it accurately. Full story.
I was in Vanity Fair. Full story.
I was in Vanity Fair in Spain. Full story.
My coverage was on Andy Cohen’s television show. Full story.
As soon as our lawsuit against Billy McFarland, Ja Rule, and others wraps up, I’ll be able to launch the Dumpster Fyre Podcast. It’ll be like Serial and Dumb & Dumber had a baby, then left that baby on an island with nothing but a cheese sandwich. It’s gonna be lit.
Best Tweets of 2017
Just finished the Rise Challenge where you have to drive all over Raleigh to get to Rise because Hillsborough Street is blocked for a race. pic.twitter.com/o9apMqtjO1
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) February 4, 2017
On Tuesday, we are all UNC Greensboro fans. pic.twitter.com/Ehp5qsW91p
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) March 13, 2017
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) July 19, 2017
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) July 22, 2017
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) August 8, 2017
What happened here? Did this person suddenly get healed? Or were they kidnapped? I really can’t think of any other scenarios. pic.twitter.com/NH1GiYle52
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) October 11, 2017
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) November 4, 2017
Breaking: tonight's State of the City Address from Mayor McFarlane has just been leaked. Signs indicate this was a cyberattack by Charlotte. pic.twitter.com/ZclcvxwIWG
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) March 3, 2017
Abercrombie & Fitch at Crabtree has closed. This is only newsworthy because every. single. kid. ITB had Woods cologne between 1994-1997. pic.twitter.com/hECSphqrBX
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) January 4, 2017
Some Char-Grill rookies in front of me just said "I feel like I'm taking a census" as they filled out their order. ITBless their heart.
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) May 25, 2017
"Hey let me call you back, I'm currently in second in the Players Championship. Yeah, Go Caps." Go Webb, go America. pic.twitter.com/gPOzdw6MmU
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) May 12, 2017
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 2, 2017
All I want to do is play Super Mario Odyssey and watch Stranger Things Season 2, but I’ve gotta go talk to Stacy about Ja Rule’s bullshit.
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) October 27, 2017
“$15B in sales of Porg stuffed animals and merchandise allows Disney to keep ESPN running for another year” – future headline pic.twitter.com/2UYXNh9UkH
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) October 10, 2017
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) November 11, 2017