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Happy Birthday to Nameberry!

1st-birthdayA year ago this week, nameberry was born. The site had been months (about nine, actually) in the making, and so the launch felt like a culmination. But like most new parents, we quickly saw that it was only the beginning. Here, an inside look at nameberry’s first year.

We’ve had one million unique visitors look at a total of 14 million pages, a number that would have staggered us a year ago and thrills us now. And 35,000 people have visited nameberry more than 200 times (you know who you are).

Our visitors have come from 216 countries – only Chad, Central African Republic, Western Sahara and Serbia and Montenegro have missed out – and speak 140 languages. While the United States boasts the lion’s share of visitors, 100,000 have each come from Canada and the United Kingdom and 75,000 from Australia.

Our highest traffic day was May 9th, after the Social Security popular names list was announced. Second highest: September 10th, when Nicole Richie’s newborn son Sparrow’s name was announced.

About two-thirds of the people who visit nameberry each day have never been here before. Some people find us via our books or our column on People’s Celebrity Baby Blog, but most arrive at nameberry thanks to search engines.

The most searched term that leads people to nameberry: nicknames for girls. (Weird, right?) Other top search terms: sibling names, hipster names, girly names, cool middle names, creative baby names, vintage baby names, classic girls’ names, and unusual baby names (all of which nameberry has, naturally, in abundance).

More unusual – and amusing – search terms by which people find nameberry: cute vampire names, moon goddess names, bitchy girl names, weird athlete names, religious middle names, stuffy names, sexy norse names, and secret life baby name.

The number one page through which people enter nameberry is our list of Hipster Baby Names, thanks to our piece in The Daily Beast right after we launched that went far to putting us on the map. The most visited lists on nameberry, however, are Antique Names Ready for Restoration and Names All Your Friends Will Think Are Cool.

The most popular blogs this year have been our invitation to guess the name of Jennifer Garner’s baby and one on the Hottest Baby Naming Trends for 2009.

We’ve featured some amazing guest bloggers, including the man who started the Social Security list Michael Shackleford and bestselling novelist Jacquelyn Mitchard, along with many parents who’ve shared the stories of naming their own babies.

The baby name origin most often searched for over the year was Irish. The most searched meaning was blessed; most searched sound, names ending in ia.

Most searched girls’ name for the year: Charlotte.

Most searched boys’ name: Finn.

Most searched unisex name: Harper.

The hundreds of names only viewed once range from Analisa to Zikomo, Ahab to Witt.

And the most exciting and gratifying aspect of this project for our entire team has been the amazing and wonderful nameberry community that offers such brilliant advice and unfailing support for our visitors over on our message boards. Thank you everyone for being part of nameberry and making it so much more than a baby name site.

If you haven’t looked at it lately, check out our newly-renovated About Us page, introducing a few new members of our team. Our brilliant engineer Hugh Hunter, who designed the programs on which nameberry runs, has finally gone public. And we’re welcoming Annette Batson, who’ll be selling ads just for nameberry and making that aspect of our site so much more relevant to our visitors.

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