On Sunday I looked at “2019’s Top Five Posts.” I’ve enjoyed some solid traffic for 2019, especially here in the last quarter (December has been unusually good to me—must be all the Christmas spirit). Thanks to you, dear readers, for making 2019 a great year.
As I was looking through the most trafficked posts of 2019, I found at least a couple of dozen posts with only a single view. In the spirit of giving these pieces a hand-up (and not a handout), I thought I’d feature the worst pieces of 2019.
Note that “worst” here does not imply low-quality (although that may very well apply—you be the judge). I don’t like the idea of affixing value in terms of raw numbers, but these are blog posts, not people, so I’m taking a dispassionately quantitative approach to defining “worst.”
This list is long—a bit discouragingly so—but with slightly over 365 posts, there are bound to be some duds, traffic-wise. Also, some of these were posts written in 2018, but there’s no way to parse that conveniently in WordPress, so some of these pieces were once successful, but have now faded into obscurity or irrelevance.
So let’s show these loners some love and get them the clicks they (probably) deserve (in no particular order):
Well, that’s it! You can help these little posts grow up to be big and successful. Or you can callously neglect them, allowing them to persist in their current state of irrelevance. If there’s one thing blogging has taught me, words mean nothing if nobody reads them—so get to reading!
At the time, I was enjoying—as I am presently—the glory of Christmas Break. The blog had largely been dormant following a blitz of posting during the Summer of 2018, with only occasional posts here and there, such as transcriptions of my various “Historical Moments” mini-talks. Over the Christmas season, I was trying to get back into writing. I wasn’t in the custom of churning out 600+ words on a daily basis, so it took a bit more effort to sit down and write a post.
I never intended to keep a 365-day streak going. At first, I didn’t even realize WordPress tracked such activity. But I noticed (probably with this moderately popular post) that I had a three-day “steak,” as WordPress calls it.
So I decided to try to write something everyday for the month of January 2019. January tends to be a slow month in the school year, with everyone groggily easing back into intellectual activity during the grayest month of the year. I also find the cold intellectually stimulating—the bracing bite of mid-winter always seems to get the creative juices flowing.
2019 is winding down, and with this being the last Sunday of the year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to look back at the most popular posts of 2019.
These posts aren’t necessarily the best posts—although that’s an entirely subjective measure—just the ones that received the most hits.
When looking through the most popular posts, there were a few surprises. One thing I’ve learned from blogging is that posts I pour my heart and soul into may walk away with five views (and, oftentimes, only one!). Then other posts that I dash off in a hurry to make my self-imposed daily goal take off like Rossini rockets, garnering dozens of hits.
Some of that is timing and promotion. I find that the posts I have ready to launch at 6:30 AM do better on average. But some generous linkbacks from WhatFinger.com really created some surprises here at the end of the year, surpassing even the exposure I received from Milo Yiannopoulos. Writing posts about hot, current news items, the dropping links about said items in the comment sections of prominent news sites, also helps drive traffic, but I often lack the time required to do such “planting” (and it is a practice that can come across as spammy if not done with finesse).
Some posts take on a life of their own; I see consistent daily traffic from one of the posts on this list, “Tom Steyer’s Belt.” Apparently, a bunch of people are as mystified as I am with Steyer’s goofy, virtue-signalling belt.
Well, it’s certainly been an adventure. And while it may be premature—there are still two days left in the year!—here are the Top Five Posts of 2019:
Today’s post is a bit of a counterpoint to yesterday’s Trumpian triumphalism—not a repudiation of my own points, but a mild qualifier. Yesterday’s post discussed the hard numbers behind the Trump economy, and the enormous gains in the S&P 500.
I argued that, unlike the “sugar high” years of the Obama Fed—when stock prices soared, but wages remained low and unemployment high—the growth we’re currently enjoying more accurately reflects the reality on the ground. Americans are benefiting in their 401(k)s and their IRAs, to be sure, but they’re also enjoying higher wages, and more of us are working than at any point in our history since 1969.
All of that is true, and good. But as I wrote yesterday’s post, I couldn’t escape the nagging feeling that something is still off. There remains a real disconnect between the prosperity we see both in reality and on paper, and the sense that there is a lack of prosperity.
Since popular politics is a matter of emotions and feeling far more than it is about reasoned discourse, addressing that enduring sense of economic disparity and privation is critical. My foolish but troubled generation, which came of age and fought for jobs during the Great Recession, perceives that gap profoundly—with potentially major consequences for the future of the United States and the West.
It’s also been a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and to overeat lots of delicious, rich foods. If you’ve never heard of the Appalachian delicacy “chocolate butter,” do yourself a favor and look it up. Yes, it’s even better than the name suggests.
It’s been a wonderful Christmas season (especially after getting through the stress of staging a fun-filled school Christmas concert). The day after Christmas—Boxing Day in Canada—is always a joyous day, as we head out to hit the after-Christmas sales and enjoy a little downtime (for those folks that have to work today, my thoughts are with you; if you’re in a certain kind of office job, though, it’s one of those gloriously still days, with nary a phone call for the duration of a shift).
Last Christmas, my real-life blogger friend Bette Cox re-posted one of her own poignant pieces, “Who doesn’t like Christmas?” I’m one of those fortunate souls for whom Christmas doesn’t carry too heavily the memory of lost loved ones (other than my two wonderful paternal grandparents). One of my great trepidations in life is that this season of mostly unmitigated Christmas cheer will not endure forever.
But the hands of time tick on—all the more reason to honor our ancestors in our Christmas observances. As such, I thought it would be apropos to revisit Bette’s post—a reblog of a reblog.
Merry Christmas, and please spare a thought and some prayers for those struggling with loss this Christmas season.
A poignant piece from Esther’s Petition, an excellent blog about faith. It’s been a tough Christmas season for some friends of mine, with death and heartbreak hovering around and darkening the usual brightness of this season. Ms. Cox writes beautifully—wrenchingly—about how the holidays can be difficult, and how we should strive to be understanding of that difficulty. –TPP
This is a re-post from November 2010… still appropriate for many people, I think. That rhetorical question from a movie blurb has played over and over in the last week – Christmas movies have arrived on cable TV. But it’s not rhetorical for me. The answer is, “Me.” Christmas used to be a happy time […]
It’s hard to believe it, but Christmas is nearly here! As a child, the anticipation seemed too much to bear, and the calendar from Halloween to Christmas seemed to stretch into endless, soggy days.
Christmas Eve is always the most magical, mystical part of Christmas time. Popular depictions of Jesus’ Birth take place, presumably, on Christmas Eve—the angels bursting into the black, silent night above Bethlehem. The whole event is supernatural—the Virgin Birth, the Star guiding the way to the manger, the angels appearing to the shepherds and singing. Tradition has it that even the animals in the manger talked at the moment of Christ’s birth (at exactly midnight, of course). If the rocks can cry out, singing praises to Him, why not some donkeys?
It’s Christmas Week! And what a glorious week it is. It’s been raining persistently in South Carolina since Sunday morning, but I’m enjoying the coziness of the hygge—warm coffee and lazy reading.
PragerUhad a little video up this morning from historian Andrew Roberts about Napoleon. It’s an interesting take on the not-so-short French emperor—an apologia, really (for those that prefer reading—as I often do—to watching videos, here is a PDF transcript).
Roberts argues that Napoleon was not the necessary precursor to Hitler, et. al.; rather, Napoloen was “sui generis“—a man unto himself. While I believe the ideas of the French Revolution did unleash the totalitarian forces of Hitlerism, Stalinism, Maoism, and all the rest—a murderous, bloody Pandora’s Box—I’ve never considered Napoleon among their ranks.