Year in Review: Our Top Questions of 2011

2011 is winding down and you know what that means — time for our year in review! Take a look back on current events from the past 365 days and what questions and answers you clicked on the most.

January: The NFL playoffs were in full swing, which made our top question this month What is the date for Super Bowl 2011? (The Packers defeated the Steelers 31-25.) Another popular in January was Where can you play Angry Birds online? Apparently the smartphone app wasn’t enough to satisfy our desire to slingshot birds at greedy pigs. During post-holiday January, you were also curious about When should you take down your Christmas tree and decorations? Answers vary from New Year’s Day, to the Epiphany (Jan. 6) to whenever those needles look so dry they could be a fire hazard!

February: Even though Charlie Sheen was #winning the TV news cycle in February, the Green Bay Packers dominated traffic. Two of our top questions for February this year asked about the Green and Gold including: How many Super Bowls have the Green Bay Packers won? (Answer: 6), What does the G stand for on a Green Bay Packer helmet? (Answer: Greatness).

March: The death of iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor prompted many of you to wonder, Where are Elizabeth Taylor’s children now? Our minds also turned to those in Japan and the staggering death toll from the March 11 Sendai earthquake and tsunami. How many people died in the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011? Answer: 15,841

April: Love was in the air this month as Prince William wed Kate Middleton, making royalty-related queries spike in popularity. Some of our top questions this month were: What is the full name of Prince William?, What is Queen Elizabeth’s last name? and When did Princess Diana and Prince Charles get married?

May: The world’s most wanted terrorist was killed by American soldiers on May 2, making How did Osama bin Laden die? an obvious top question for this month. Harold Camping predicted the Rapture on May 21 this year (and hey look, we’re still here!). Whether or not you believed his end times prediction, you were asking about it — When is the world going to end? was a very popular query in May.

June: Summer arrived in the Northern Hemisphere meaning BBQs, vacations and swimming! As a result, you were curious to ask: What are the advantages and disadvantages of a saltwater swimming pool? And since we were baring more skin by the pool or on the beach, the question What is the easiest way to get rid of lower stomach fat? shot up in popularity.

July: Sports fans dread July for its lull in activity so they might want to cover their eyes when reading the answer to this top question: On which two days of the year are no professional sports games played — MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL? The release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on July 15 had you wondering about all things wizardly. As such, What are the seven Horcruxes in the Harry Potter series? earned a spot on our top question list in July.

August: Pop star Beyonce revealed her baby bump at the Video Music Awards this month so When did Beyonce get pregnant? racked up the page views. And even in the depths of summer, many of you were still on the job hunt thanks to the recession. Two popular job-related queries this month were: How do you answer ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses’ in a job interview? and How do you answer ‘Describe yourself’ in an interview?

September: For some odd reason, What was the largest crocodile ever captured? made our high-traffic list this month. On a more serious note, the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 was on all our minds. The #1 question for September was How many people died in the September 11 attacks?

October: Iconic innovator Steve Jobs died this month, leading many of you to ask Who are Steve Jobs’ children? The
release of Paranormal Activity 3 also had you wondering Is the movie ‘Paranormal Activity’ based on a true story? — another to question during the month of Halloween.

November: Americans prepped for Thanksgiving with the most important of questions: How do you cook a turkey? and How long do you defrost a frozen turkey in the refrigerator?

December: Kids turned to this month for answers to life’s most urgent questions: What is Santa’s address? and more importantly, Is Santa Claus real?

So what do you think of this year’s top questions? Predictable? Surprising? Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments.

This week’s featured contributor: A Texan with a penchant for travel!

Emrey35 is guaranteed to see the world after he graduates with his degree in International Relations!  He is much more than a serious student and an overall great person.  His parents are from Turkey and he is proud to be a first generation American.  On the site he is a Gold Contributor with more than 35,0000 contributions and he holds a Site Guardian badge from Vandal Patrol.  Read on to learn more about this awesome supervisor who, by the way, also loves Christmas!

First Name: Emre

Occupation: I am in college pursuing an undergraduate degree.

What is your username and how did it come about?

It’s nothing special.  Emrey35 includes my first name and last initial and the number 35 which represents where my parents originally came from.

Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?

I am from Texas and I am proud to call it my home!

What is your favorite activity on the site? And what is your least favorite activity?

My top favorite activity is monitoring the Recent Site Activity for vandals. I don’t really have a least favorite activity as I like all facets of this site.

How did you discover

As with most people I have met here, I discovered the site when I wanted to have a question answered.

What accomplishments on are you proud of?

I am proud of reaching the Gold Contributor level and prior to that, I was proud to become a Supervisor.

What life accomplishments are you proud of?

I am proud of being a successful student.

If you had three wishes, what would you ask for?

If I had three wishes, I would ask for peace, an end to world hunger, and a world that continues to grow.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas is my favorite holiday because it is time I get to spend with my family.

How do you most enjoy using your creativity and why?

I enjoy using my creativity to help others be successful.  I believe that if you are successful, then you will be a well-rounded person.

What are your special interests, tablets, hobbies, or collections?

I am an avid traveler, I have a good ear for music, and I can speak multiple languages.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?

My mom and dad have had the biggest impact on my life.

What did you enjoy doing as a child that you still love to do?

I still enjoy playing on the computer and going to school.

Big news: We’ve hit 7 million members!

Wow. This week we reached a huge milestone — 7,011,889 registered members! That’s an additional 1.3 million contributors since this time last year. We’ve come a long way since 2005, when there were less than 1,000 members on FAQ Farm (which later became WikiAnswers) — talk about exponential growth! We’re so happy that our community of answerers continues to thrive. We couldn’t be the world’s greatest Q&A resource without you.

p.s. Are you not a member of our community yet? Join today to start earning contribution points, trust points… and the satisfaction that you are helping to answer the world’s burning questions.

A Man with a Plan from California: Meet ThePrismGroup!

ThePrismGroup loves his work, his state,, and Christmas!  A Californian at heart, he has spent most of his life in this beautiful state.  Read about this prolific supervisor with over 100,000 contributions who has worked on just about everything from the Vandal Patrol to greeting new members.

First Name: Neil

Occupation: I’ll tell you if you promise not to laugh.  I’m an exterminator, believe it or not, and I’m self employed. I take pride in my work and the fact that it’s the best available service locally.

What is your username and how did it come about?

Members know me as ThePrismGroup.  I’m an avid reader and I’m fascinated by the unusual, especially conspiracies and secret societies. Some time ago I worked for a company called Prism, later bought by Orkin and I always liked the name. I also worked for another company called The Steritech Group although they just used the Steritech part for brevity. I started an online retail biz once, and wanted to name it Prism, yet it was still trademarked, so I added ‘The’ and ‘Group’ which solved my problem: The Prism Group.  Later on I used the name on other forums.  When I joined I used it there as well since I like the simplicity of one username everywhere. I also like the fact it sounds like a secret society.

Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?

I’ve been all over the US since I used to do long haul, but I’ve spent most of my years in California and consider it home. I was born in Washington State, but moved here at a very young age. California is like no other state in the US.  It’s an acquired taste for non-natives, but it works for me and the climate is good for business. I like to keep busy and it’s nice to be in demand.

What accomplishments on are you proud of?

I try to do my part in helping to maintain a friendly atmosphere but I stay in the background for the most part. Hopefully some people I’ve helped will help others in turn. Like others, I create little ripples in the pool.  Hopefully they will become something significant later.

What enticed you to join our community?

The Supervisors and Community Assistants enticed me. Their enthusiasm made me want to be part of the site. It also provides a healthy outlet for all the juicy tidbits (of information) I pick up from reading and other sources, but I have no other place to use them. Some of the stuff I read about is a little hard to work into an ordinary conversation!

What life accomplishments are you proud of?

Probably I am most proud of the reputation I’m slowly developing since my biz is all about PR and trust.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas, without a doubt! I like the atmosphere and there always seems to be a lot of love in the air even amongst strangers.

Are you a candy, cake, or pie person?  What is your favorite?

It’s pie without a doubt.  Cherry is my favorite, but every once in a blue moon I get a craving for carrot cake and I even like fruitcake at Christmas, even though for the longest time I couldn’t stand it. I guess it’s an acquired taste, too. Now in the Christmas season I’ve got to have it!

How do you most enjoy using your creativity and why?

It constantly changes but I think it’s important for everyone to have an outlet.  To fill a need to create something seems to be inherent to human nature. I was pretty heavy into plastic model kits for a while and I liked seeing them get progressively better over the years.  That got me interested in painting in general. Now I dabble in that and who knows where it will lead.

What are you most passionate about in your life?

Right now I am primarily passionate about business concerns since we are at a critical point in our growth. Many of our competitors out there don’t care about their reputation and or what kind of work they do, although it seems counterproductive. They just constantly replace customers. I’ve turned down jobs in the past from some of them because my work matters to me and the fact that it does so is bringing in more business since everyone wants to get what they pay for and they care as well.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?

My inspiration in life is any real life hero, those people who do the right thing regardless of personal cost. I am talking about people like Karen Silkwood, Buford Pusser, Serpico, and others. I read many biographies along those lines and always wonder what it is that sets them apart from the rest of us. My only hope is that it is something all of us have and can use if we so choose.

What is one quirky or interesting random fact about you that most people may not know?

That’s a tough one. My favorite word is defiance. I like Green. There are some words I can’t stand because the way they sound bugs me. I also pop a lot of aspirin since my job is so physical.  I am older than most people think (I won’t say how old exactly, but my son is 25, the same age some think that I am) and I’m superstitious with slight OCD. There are some rituals that I perform religiously based on even/odd numbers. It’s also very hard to get under my skin although a few have tried!

Do you have any final words about the site? Your role? The community?

There’s not much we can improve there. I would like to see more education for guests and the ability to talk to them in the near future. I find too often that when many register, they are surprised by the fact that we (the Supervisors) are even there and they shouldn’t be. Also, I’d like many fewer warnings.  Edits wouldn’t be needed if we could curtail some problems early on and probably keep more contributors actively helping others.

Meet our Double Platinum Contributor from the UK, The WiseFool!

It is a real pleasure to introduce TheWiseFool from the United Kingdom.  This outstanding supervisor has been a member since 2009 with 275,468 contributions (and counting) which gives him Double Platinum status! His native Cornwall sounds like the perfect retreat.  Read on to learn more about this fascinating person with his multiple interests!

First Name:   Stephen, shortened to just Steve.

Occupation:   Tired, not sure, but I think there should be a ‘re’ in front of tired. The OSA stops me from telling you what I used to do.

What is your username and how did it come about?

My username is TheWiseFool. How it came about?  I was tired of my old username and was playing around with some oxymorons, and came up with TheDyslexicLexicographer. I put it to my mentor, and back he came with the comment: (in slightly stronger words) “I’ll never (be able to) spell that. How about TheWiseFool?”  So there you have it!

Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?

I hail from a town called Camborne in Cornwall, United Kingdom where it hails quite often when it’s not raining. At times I think the song “Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud” had to be written in Cornwall. I love the scenic rugged beauty of Cornwall, and the fact that after a few minutes walk you can find yourself thinking that you are the only person around. There is a gentler pace of life here.  The Spanish have their ‘mañana.’ We Cornish have our ‘Dreckley.’ Unfortunately, this pace of life is changing for the worse IMHO. Finally, in the words of that immortal song, (rugby song that is) “We all go to oggy land, where they do not know muck from tissue paper tissue paper, marmalade or jam.”

How did you discover

It was recommended to me by a friend. I am still trying to work out what I did to upset him so much.

What accomplishments on are you proud of?

…Still breathing, sorry I misread the question. Ask me in a few decades time when I just might have a few big categories under control.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you?

If I told you that I would have to shoot you. Apart from that, it was having a chance to fly with the Red Arrows display team. I think my stomach has just about recovered.

What is your favorite type of music? It is so varied. It ranges from Mozart right through to Heavy Metal. Artists most played here at the moment are Jean-Michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield, Enya and Kitaro.

If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?

Only three? Isn’t it time we allowed for inflation? No, seriously world peace, an end to all poverty and hunger, and lastly, for all those darling little vandals to see the error of their ways.

What are your special interests, hobbies, or collections?

Reading and music, boring old bugger that I am.

What are you most passionate about in your life?

To be at peace with myself and others.  To be understanding and keep an open mind. Very fine old brandy.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“It takes a wise man to play a fool.” Enough said.

What is one quirky or interesting random fact about you that most people may not know?

I’m a black belt in origami.