Blogger’s current interface is inferior in many ways to its predecessor. For one thing, I didn’t used to lose all of my formatting in transferring from document to post. (But then, all of the manually inserted line breaks I have to do have been really good for my biceps.) Also, I could import links without having to take gibberish out of them (though it does give me an easy way to vacuum out the gibberish).
One nifty feature it does offer is a count of how many times an individual post has been read (or at least clicked). This is a terrific indicator of what interests my readership (or spambots, or people who got here by accident and left).
Just from this single statistic, I’ve learned a few things:
• There is a huge gap in views, with posts either getting under 100 hits or drawing way more than that. The middle class is virtually nonexistent here.
• Either the hit counter started counting later, or there were entire months when no one read anything. The first one. Yeah.
• Much of my most popular stuff was written for something other than this blog, such as college classes or other websites.
• There’s no correlation between the amount of effort I put into a post and how popular it becomes.
What follows is a list of my most-read posts by click count, going back to the beginning of this blog in 2004. Enjoy (where applicable).
June 1, 2004
What it is: An excerpt from a book about food I partially wrote about 12 years ago. It explains what I think accounts for the differences in how food processors label chickens.
Why I think it’s popular: Time. Also, it appears very high when you Google “mechanically separated chicken.” And “Ian McGibboney chicken” may be a common search as well.
June 14, 2006
What it is: A list of pick-up lines divided by historical periods. Originally written in 2003 for a college class and updated for 2006.
Why I think it’s popular: People are desperate for love and have time machines.
July 4, 2009
What it is: My thoughts following Sarah Palin’s reloading from the governorship of Alaska.
Why I think it’s popular: Got me. I’ve written much better snark about Sarah Palin.
April 7, 2011
What it is: My forecast that President Obama would have an easy go in the 2012 election, due to GOP division and the nature of presidential elections in general.
Why I think it’s popular: Because its truths continue to hold up a year later. Also, a link from Daily Kos never hurts.
Jan. 25, 2007
What it is: A scathing indictment of those who dismiss the Katrina tragedy in New Orleans because somehow it’s less deserving of our help and sympathy than similarly stricken U.S. cities.
Why I think it’s popular: I posted it to Daily Kos, as well as sent it via e-mail to a lot of people. Also, the title attracts people who like to answer “hell, yes” in my comment section.
July 21, 2005
What it is: A spoof of frat boys, written in response to a newspaper’s confusion of two local fraternities (one of which was under investigation).
Why I think it’s popular: On a Bing search for “frats are all the same,” this article is third behind a Rolling Stone article and Wikipedia’s entry for “fraternities and sororities.” On Google, it pops up first (at least for me). No wonder I’ve gotten so much Greek hate mail over it.
April 6, 2010
What it is: A surreal recollection of a massive head injury I once suffered. Posted in a few places.
Why I think it’s popular: People want to know what a concussion feels like but lack the ambition to suffer one themselves.
March 20, 2007
What it is: A story I wrote to fill space on a layout project during my third semester of college. I didn’t have a scanner at the time, so I didn’t scan the pictures that I wrote the story around. Now I have a scanner and can’t find the pictures. Go figure.
Why I think it’s popular: Oxygen is an incredibly addictive substance.
Oct. 26, 2005
What it is: A spoof of Prussian Blue, a neo-Nazi band consisting of two very young sisters. They’ve reportedly since disavowed their past and now smoke medicinal marijuana.
Why I think it’s popular: Boobs (legal ones). Also, funny song titles.
10 (tie) ) Britney’s bare! Get it?!!
March 29, 2006
What it is: A look at a sculpture of pregnant Britney Spears.
Why I think it’s popular: Boobs. Also, no song titles.
10 (tie) ) Why I hate the Pledge of Allegiance
Sept. 28, 2005
What it is: All the reasons I think the pledge is the epitome of rote patriotism.
Why I think it’s popular: Because I’m apparently the only person who has ever written anything with that title ... but not the only one who feels that way.
(Special thanks for the entire years of 2007 and 2008 for making this search go a lot faster.)