Wilkommen zu den Mädels mit Maschinengewehren!
[That's "Welcome to Girls With Guns!" in German]
So, there I was, casually browsing the stats for the site, as I do, sporadically. June 22nd: 404 visitors. 23rd: 407. 24th: 424. 25th: 691. 26th: 1,059. 27th: 5,778. What the f...? Yes. Wednesday saw round about fourteen times the number of visitors to the site of a usual day. Now, not having updated the site for a couple of months, I couldn't claim any credit for this sudden surge; I've seen similar things before, but not quite on this scale. It usually happens when something triggers a increase in searches, for a term that we're ranked highly; the recent demise of Anna Nicole Smith was a good example.
Looking into the spike more closely, I noticed something else odd: the vast majority of the visitors were from Germany. This was weird, too; I've seen visitors from there before (we're linked from the German Wikipedia article on Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS, as I recall), but nothing on that scale. Most of them came through Google.de, and were looking for "girls and guns". Not, note, "girls with guns", which is our preferred term. It's a small but significant difference, with the latter implying control, power and so, generally more in keeping with our philosophy. Anyway: why were 5,000 Germans suddenly typing "girls and guns" into Der Google Suche Engine?
To cut a long story short: Google News + "girls and guns" = jackpot. First, I found that Stern magazine had a lengthy, copiously-illustrated article on the Girls and Guns web-based reality show, being shot in Miami. This is part of the output of the toughsportslive.com site, which also features webcasts of cock fights from Puerto Rico, Brazilian mixed martial-arts contests and bullfighting from Columbia. The girls and guns aspect is a contest pitting... Well, I'm not quite sure how it works, but according to creator Jason Atkins, "The girls are judged on accuracy, sex appeal, form, and how they talk on camera. We spend a lot of time on the details. We make sure the girls are handling these weapons properly." $17.95 a month, folks, should you be interested.
Further research also revealed that Stern rival Spiegel also ran a piece on the same topic. That one comes across somewhat lofty, describing it (if my two decades rusty German is okay) as "Trash entertainment from the bottom drawer, for target groups whose interests are not normally served, for legal reasons." Yes, you too can get all sniffily moralistic, and still appeal to prurient interests - for Spiegel, of course, does not forget to illustrate the article with copious photographs, as well as screenshots of GWG sites. None of here though, dammit!
And what site comes right between the Stern and Spiegel articles on google.de, when you search there for "girls and guns"? That'd be this one. Hello, five thousand Germans in one day. Thankfully, the bandwidth of the site and our server proved up to it; actually, another site we run on the same server, our baseball forum [go D'backs!], has still used thirty times as much bandwidth this month. Mind you, the past week there, has seen posts by the team's GM and a former commentator, as well as a very nice piece on the site by the local paper's beat columnist. That'd be like us getting simultaneous interviews with Milla Jovovich, Uma Thurmann and Angelina Jolie. Oh, well - maybe someday. :-) Till then, I'm gonna crank up the Hanzel und Gretyl CD [the most Germanic-sounding band in the world, even though they're American!], chow down on ein Stuck Schwarzewalder Kirschtorte mit Schlagsahne, and sink a nice cold Beck's. Sehr gut, nicht wahr?
Alex emailed us with some comments on the pics. "Just a point about the photo of the dark skinned girl with an M4 and double drum mag on full auto on the page with the German heading Its a great picture but more obviously fake than most glamour-girl-n-gun shots. If you look closely, you'll see that the ejected "spent" cases still have fake fmj bullets on them! Open the jpg in a photoeditor, zoom in to the shuck on extreme left and you'll see the glinting copper on the front! Comical really. I was made to look by the fact that so many are spinning around in the shot. In reality, the cases fly out so quicky that it would be very unlikely to get several in one photo, even one frame of movie. Which this is not, being a very crisp still photo and cases photo-shopped in. It's still a great pic, but would have been better if they had attended to detail."
- Miami New Times, June 14, 2007
- Spiegel Online, June 26th, 2007
- Stern magazine, June 27th, 2007
Visitors this year: