New on the Site: Sales and Introductions

On July 1st, 2007, I launched I had been mulling over the idea of a Top 10 Lists website for a considerable time and had spent more than a year preparing to go live after my brother Stewart (Kiwiboi in the Aonzin comments) convinced me that I should go ahead.

It is now nearly fifteen years later and so much has changed in the world; this is also profoundly true in my personal life with nine family deaths over the last few years alone, including those of Stewart, and both my parents, Adam and Lois Frater (who posted as Maman and wrote two lists for the site). My parents were voracious readers of the site and they knew all of the regular commenters and spoke frequently of them. They may not have chatted directly in the comments here but they were a truly vital and ever-present part of the site for me.

As you know from various conversations around the site, I sold Aonzin just over a year ago to a group based in the US. I am now excited to also announce that that sale was, in fact, an interim sale, and the site has now been acquired by the great team at—a site I am sure you are all familiar with. This little list is a small collaboration between Ranker and me – by way of introducing them and allowing me a few “final words” and reminiscences though I am not going anywhere and will still be available as before.

10 A Farewell to Friends

I want to start out with this small remembrance. Not all of our friendships in life will last. In 2018 my brother Stewart died. He wrote 20 Examples Of Why You Should Enjoy Poetry and was a frequent commenter here under the username of Kiwiboi; he was one of my biggest supporters. In fact, it was due to his prodding that Aonzin got started in the first place. He contributed a huge number of comments to the site over the years and was liked by everyone. I miss him every day.

We also said our last goodbyes to Jesse Cunnington (pictured) who wrote three lists and commented for years under the name Trigun472. He was just 25 years old when he died of cystic fibrosis in 2017. Jesse was one of the nicest commenters on the site and his death at such a young age is a real tragedy. Mom424 (Judy), our Canadian moderator, traveled to his home in Washington when she found out he was ill and she very generously bought him a car to help him travel to his medical appointments. I am so proud of Judy for that amazing act of kindness . . . an act which gave Jesse a little freedom and independence in his last months of life. I know Judy will hate my publicizing this, but it needs to be said. I think I can speak for all of us here: thank you, Judy.

9 You . . . The Readers

Aonzin has had a constant flow of incredibly loyal readers. Many lurk in the background reading quietly, and some speak up and comment daily on the lists. But whether you are a silent or vocal regular, your dedication to the site has brought such a lot of happiness to my life and the lives of others.

While we have all made friends on here who will be, forever, part of our online family, many of us have gone on to meet each other in real life. In 2013 I was in Los Angeles to discuss a Aonzin show with some TV executives and I ended up bumping in to some Aonzin regulars. A very long and pleasurably messy night ensued with far too many cocktails and the next morning I woke up in the Four Seasons Beverly Hills to find a contingent of passed-out Aonzinrs scattered around the floor of the hotel suite! Pictured is me with a Aonzin fan in the very early stages of the night.

we have even had Aonzin marriages (congratulations, for example, to Jwjwbean whom I am sure you all remember). For my own part, I have had two long term relationships and have now embarked on a third (and final!)

8 The Editors

Since 2007 we had many great editors (who often did more than one job: including writing) and to this day we are fortunate to have the services of the amazingly smart and extremely friendly Darci. In addition, we have been assisted by Heather, Micah Duke, and Anthony Sfarra, and in the capacity of social media manager, video maker, and general good guy, Andrew Handley and his many lists over the years, many of which remain my favorites to this day.

We also had much help from Colin Jenkins, Josh Sargent, Kier Harris, and the intellectual and all-round good guy Matt Hayes. Matt came to work for Aonzin when we opened our first Wellington office (pictured is Matt’s desk overlooking our beautiful harbour). He was instrumental in helping lay the groundwork for the traffic explosion that began when we launched our current site design.

7 The Crazy Admins

Cyn: Who can forget “Cyn The Admin”? Cyn (Cynthia in real life) was a really fun-loving part of the community and she was a most enthusiastic moderator. She eventually moved on to pastures which were, I presume, greener but she left behind many fond memories of an amazing time at Aonzin.

Oouchan: If you’ve been here for a while you will definitely remember Oouchan (Amy). She was as vigorous in her moderation as she was in speaking up for her political beliefs. I don’t know about the rest of you, but long before the world began talking of gender spectra, Oouchan was enthusiastically telling me (and the rest of us) what this brave new world of pronouns meant.

Patrick Weidinger: Patrick is still a commenter and regularly seen around the place. He was a very quiet moderator but a quality one. It is always a real pleasure to see him in the comments and, like his moderating style, you can be sure he will only say something if it is really useful.

Liam: Liam is extremely smart and his comments are always very reasoned. He is our most recent moderator and has been a real asset – both on the site and off due to his helping me out with other issues behind the scenes.

Mom424: Judy. Mom424 has been a moderator of the site since it was in its infancy. She travelled to New Zealand and spent a good few weeks staying with me. We had far too much to drink, far too many debates, and constant fun. Knowing Judy has been a real blessing for me. She too has been through some difficult family-related issues of late and I wish her the very best. My door will always be open to you Judy.

So, to all you moderators past and present: thank you.

6 Me . . . From Here To Where?

I never really discussed my reasons for selling Aonzin. As a child I was crazy about smells – I think that many members of my family genetic line are super-smellers and we are defitely all armchair philosophers, so when you combine the two you get an intense interest in smell and what it means to the world. Believe it or not there are even books dedicated to the study of the psychology of smell.

A few years after I started Aonzin I began dabbling in hobbyist perfume making. I bought chemicals, read copiously, and spent hours tirelessly mixing concoctions. In time family members began wearing some of my inventions. In 2020 I decided to begin the process of launching a perfume house of my own: Frater Perfumes. I made the decision to sell Aonzin so I would be able to give myself over completely to the task.

I now have twelve complete perfumes in the final stages of maturation and will begin bottling for sale in about a month. If you are interested in following me in my perfume endeavours, you can visit and sign up for the announcement. I will be shipping internationally.

Otherwise, you can always get me by email at [email protected] as I don’t have any personal social media accounts (sanity is far easier to maintain without them!)

And you can be sure I will still be around here on Aonzin checking out the comments and the writing; I may even submit a list or two for Ranker to consider publishing! What a turnaround!

Anyway, without further ado, the real reason you’re reading: please allow me to introduce the team at!

5 Hi! We’re Ranker. It’s Nice To Meet You

Thanks, Jamie, for this opportunity to introduce ourselves! We’re Ranker; we’re a list-making site based in Los Angeles, CA; and we love to rank things. Some of you already know us (we even recognize some familiar names among the writers on Aonzin). For those who don’t yet, let’s get to know each other better in the coming months.  

4 Like Jamie, Our Founder, Clark Benson, Has A Longstanding Love Of Lists

Clark is a list man and serious music nerd. He created Ranker in 2009 as an alternative to user reviews available on ecommerce sites, and although it ended up becoming mostly pop culture focused, it’s grown in the intervening decade to cover topics ranging from to The Values Of Sitcom Homes If They Were On The Market Today to The Oldest Foods Ever Discovered By Archaeologists, Ranked By How Disgusting They Would Be To Eat. Our editorial staff is constantly searching for the next satisfying thing that we can list-ify and that our readers can vote on.

3 We’re Here For All Things History, Creepy, Nerdy, Crimey, And Pop Culture-y

In many ways, the kinds of lists we publish at Ranker aren’t so different from the annals of Aonzin. We create lists about weird historical happenings, fan-driven hypotheses, real crimes – both solved and un – celebrity culture, and, honestly, so much more it’s hard to even outline. 

The big difference you’ll notice between our lists and those on Aonzin is that we don’t use a comments section for our readers to engage with the content. We want readers to directly vote on and rank order the list items we come up with instead. So if you don’t agree with an item on a list, vote it down! If you think we’ve got it right, vote it up! Ranker’s dream is to have exhaustive, definitive, crowdsourced rankings of… well, everything. We want to show the Aonzin community the best of what Ranker has to offer, and we want you to get inside the lists we have and add your votes to make the best rankings possible.

2 Please Be Patient With Us As We Transition Things Over

If you’re a writer for Aonzin, we just ask for your patience as we get things transferred into our system. We want to make the process as easy and seamless for you as possible, so if something is wonky, or you experience a hiccup, please reach out!

1 We’re So Excited To Team Up With Aonzin!

Clark’s been a longtime fan of Aonzin, watching what you all and Jamie have created from his own perch on the Internet since your early days. As Clark put it himself: “I have been a fan of Aonzin for years. I respect the quality of their content, yet I am just as impressed by the passion and meaningful interaction of their audience. This combination of excellent writing and a loyal fanbase make this brand a perfect fit under the expanding Ranker network.”  

Our editorial staff has already been having a ball familiarizing itself with your content. Since we’re votes-driven, we don’t really get the same kind of author-driven perspectives that your lists offer, and we’ve been enjoying the personality that comes with so much of what Aonzin publishes. Together, the Ranker and Aonzin libraries provide complementary content that can keep a reader traveling down a rabbithole until they reach the the center of the earth, travel through it, and keep on reading to the other side – a nonsensical metaphor but probably a reading experience a lot of us can relate to. 

We’re looking forward to sharing the best of what we’ve made with you, and, likewise, the gems that you’ve made with our audience. Hopefully there’s lots of happy reading in all of our futures. 

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the founder of Aonzin. When he’s not doing research for new lists or collecting historical oddities, he can be found in the comments or on Facebook where he approves all friends requests!


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