I’m a little late to the Most Popular Posts of the Year list party, partly because I wanted to wait until the year was actually over, and partly because Google Analytics was being Difficult, and I had to switch back to the “old” version to get actual numbers out. Having sorted that out, though, here are the top posts to this blog for the calendar year 2011:
- Because 4% of the Energy Controls 100% of the Photons, 28607 pageviews
- Links for 2011-09-04, 11470 pageviews
- The Innumeracy of Educators; or Mark Twain Was Right, 9048 pageviews
- Faster Than a Speeding Photon: “Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam”, 8363 pageviews
- Experimentalists Aren’t Idiots: The Neutrino Saga Continues, 6434 pageviews
- Watching Photons Interfere: “Observing the Average Trajectories of Single Photons in a Two-Slit Interferometer”, 6351 pageviews
- The Advent Calendar of Physics: Force and Momentum, 6351 pageviews
- You Will Never Die, 4200 pageviews
- The Status of Science: We Have No-one to Blame but Ourselves, 3905 pageviews
- Quantum Mechanics vs. Relativity: It Depends on What “Understand” Means, 3815 pageviews
- Science, Statistics, and the Supernatural, 3680 pageviews
- What Goes Around Is Really Round: “Improved measurement of the shape of the electron”, 3585 pageviews
- Statistical Significance Is an Arbitrary Convention, 3523 pageviews
- Everybody Thinks Scientifically, 3509 pageviews
- The Most Precisely Tested Theory in the History of Science, 2897 pageviews
- The Real Point of Zero Point, 2699 pageviews
- Great Moments in Deceptive Graphs, 2667 pageviews
- Christmas Physics: How Strong Is One Grinch?, 2652 pageviews
- Nobel Prize Betting Pool 2011, 2637 pageviews
- The Advent Calendar of Physics: Torque, 2534 pageviews
(This is cut off at 2500 pageviews because it’s the square of 50, and also because that gives us a nice, round 20 posts.)
What can we learn from this?
Well, first and foremost, we learn that judging blog posts by traffic is a silly and frustrating business. The second most popular post on the blog for the entire year was a Links Dump, I think because it links to an article about Ayn Rand. The most popular post of the year is a dorky visual joke that I knocked together in GIMP. As the man said, you’ll never be more popular than that picture of bacon taped to a cat.
Other than those two, though, I’m fairly happy with this list. It’s a good mix of stuff, and three of the top 20 posts traffic-wise are ResearchBlogging reports on journal articles. There’s actual science here, not just meta-blogging and ranty stuff.
I would’ve liked to see some more traffic for some of my blog experiments– the roller slide physics, say, or the sad balloon— but you can’t always get what you want. And the Grinch post is in a similar vein, albeit sillier.
Speaking of silly, I also want to mention two jokey posts that almost made the list: The Tale of Little Red Robin Hood (1968 pageviews), and This Week’s Reading in the Church of the Larger Hilbert Space (2059 pageviews). Just because I still find them amusing, even if nobody else does.
And that’s your year in blog. The total number of pageviews for the year was 886,106, down a little from 2010, but then there were two long stretches this year where I hardly posted anything, so it’s not too bad, considering. And while ScienceBlogs as a whole saw a rather significant decrease in traffic starting in August, when a lot of the political content moved elsewhere, traffic here stayed at the same level, or even increased a bit. So I’m pretty happy with it, all things considered.
June of this year will be the 10th anniversary of the founding of this blog, so maybe I’ll put together a decade-long best-of list at some point. I don’t have good statistics from before the move to ScienceBlogs, though, so it’ll be a little tricky to find the best of the really old stuff, but some time when I have something else I really, really don’t want to do…