Most Trafficked Whatever Posts of 2012
Posted on December 29, 2012 Posted by John Scalzi 18 Comments
It seems unlikely that in the next two and half days the numbers will change all that much, so without further ado, here are the most visited entires of Whatever for 2012, in order of highest number of views.
1. Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is
2. Guest Post: A Doctor on Transvaginal Ultrasounds
3. A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians
4. Being Poor
5. A Self-Made Man Looks at How He Made It
6. Who Gets to Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be
7. An Incomplete Guide to Not Creeping
9. “Lowest Difficulty Setting” Follow-Up
10. Ten Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing
I’ll note that “Straight White Male” was far and away the most viewed piece of the year, with more than twice as many views as “Transvaginal Ultrasounds.” Between here and Kotaku, which reprinted it, it was viewed (and hopefully read) a couple million times, and engendered (heh) quite a bit of discussion out there on the tubes. It’s easily the site’s biggest hit, as it were, since “Being Poor”; it was certainly interesting being the center of attention of the Geekosphere for a couple of days.
Speaking of “Being Poor,” the piece was highlighted on CNN.com’s front page this year, which boosted its numbers considerably. It’s likely it would have been in or near the site top ten for the year anyway — it really is a perennial, with new people discovering it every year — but it’s nice to see the piece still having a significant impact after seven years. Likewise, “Ten Things” keeps trucking along, in no small part, I would assume, to its Google search placement, which puts it at the top or near the top of all the search variations of “teen writing advice.”
It occurs to me that of the pieces in the top ten this year, they fall into two very wide categories: Me explaining something or me thumping on people (or some combination of the two). Explaining things and thumping on people have their downsides, of course; do them poorly in either case, or both, and you become a textbook example of a blowhard. I don’t doubt there are at least a few folks out there who would say “yup, that’s you, all right.” And, well. Fair enough. I do try to use my blowhard powers for good, not evil.
This year I also managed to arouse the ire of a whole stack of racist, sexist, homophobic dipshits with the above posts as well as several others. If I did nothing else with my year, this would have made it delightful to me. They also gave the Mallet of Loving Correction plenty of use when they would drop by the site and learn to their surprise that the sort of smug trollery that passes for thought in the land of epistemic closure doesn’t get past the door here. This is not a delight to me — trolls are always irritating — but whacking them so that the conversational level here remains high has its own grim level of satisfaction.
In all, a spirited year for Whatever, in terms of posts. We’ll see what next year brings.
I didn’t read the “Being Poor” post. What sucks is that it is still and always will be relevant. 7 years. SMH.
I found your site via the guest post on Transvaginal Ultrasounds and have been reading it ever since. You seem like a nice person with a nice family and you post pictures of Ohio, my home state. Also, I like your writing. Happy new year!
Thanks for keeping up with being a voice (and actor on behalf of) kindness, thoughtfulness and having a willingness both to share your own experiences and to help learn from you and others. You sir, are, among many positively associated descriptors, a multiplier (current business school/consulting jargon but a good one) and a great model for me to try to emulate in my world(s). And I really like your books. Thanks!
PS – any chance you might be able to spill some of the plot points for SGU season 2? Kinda wondering how Eli et alia held up through the transition.
Thanks again for making this a safe place to visit and comment.
Transvaginal ultrasound… *sigh*
You’ll always be my favorite topic of 2012. Not just here but as covered by Rachel Maddow and Wonkette too. Virginia is not just for lovers. It’s for government so small and pointy-headed that it can fit in a woman’s vajay-jay.
One persons wiseman is anothers blowhard. I think you’re entertaining and wise. But plenty of people think I’m a blowhard so take it what it’s worth.
“This year I also managed to arouse the ire of a whole stack of racist, sexist, homophobic dipshits with the above posts as well as several others.”
I must say, that’s a *fine* set of people to have pissed off. It speaks well of you.
Dang, Bearpaw beat me to it.
Anything that discomfits the dipshits of the world (a renewable resource!) is Good by me. Keep “Taunting the tauntable”, John. A fair number will have heart attacks, die, and up the general intelligence level by their leaving.
It was a link to “Straight White Male” that got me to your site and I find that now I check it several times during the day just to see what you’re up to (don’t tell the boss). I also liked “Fan Letter”. It addressed the questions I had for the Republican Party for the last two Presidential elections. Okay, it was only one question – “What were you thinking?” Thanks for all the wonderful, insightful and entertaining writing. Happy New Year.
I think Daily Kos linked to the Fan Letter piece, which I assume accounts for its rank. That was pretty cool.
When I want to be exceptionally reasonable and well-reasoned, yours is the voice I think in. Thank you for all your writing, but this blog especially.
Straight White Male brought this site to my attention, and your other work and the comments thereon keep me coming back. I Love the Mallet.
I’m both disappointed and glad that I missed the Teenage Writing post. On the one hand, after reading there are a couple of questions that spring to mind. On the other hand, I can’t help but think I’d look like a pretentious jerk if I tried to ask them.
And while I really liked Straight White Male, I’m uncertain as to why it’s top of the heap. It was a good blend of sad and funny, but there wasn’t a terrible amount of depth to it and it didn’t point out anything that shouldn’t have already been common knowledge.
Doesn’t surprise me that most of these are political posts.
Something I’ve noticed – there really aren’t any conservatives working in SFF today. Any vocal ones, anyway. I’m sure a lot of us could make the “that’s because people in SFF are more intelligent” jab, but when I think about it… all the SFF writers today who talk about politics in either their blogs or Twitter feeds are liberals. Scalzi, Jemisin, Hurley, Ahmed, Windig, Abraham, Newton, Bacigalupi, Sykes, Brett, Carey, Durham…
Seems like if there are any conservative SFF writers, they’ve long since learned to keep their fucking mouths shut.
As they should.
I only started reading your posts this year, but I’ve read your books. I’ll be a constant reader of your posts and your other writings forever. Love reading everything you write.
Straight White Male is at the top because it pissed a lot of people off, then it got reprinted at Kotaku where it pissed a lot more people off, and then it got linked all over the Internet and Scalzi wrote like three whole followups. I was only lurking back in May, but that was an event.
Not going to try to match you one-for-one, but off the top of my head: Card, Pournelle, Flynn, Stirling, L. Neil Smith, Buzz Dixon, and Jerry Ahern until his death a few months back.
(And yes, I realize that a fair number of these may bridle and claim that they’re libertarian rather than conservative. Bull. If Newt Gingrich is your pal, if your blog posts regularly peg Breitbart and/or Newsmax as sources, and/or if the fandom/cheering section you regularly attract online espouses most of the Republican/Tea Party platform +/- weed, you’re a conservative for the accepted value of that term. Deal.)
As for them shutting up…nah. While I wish that a few of them would do so voluntarily (either because one Gish Gallop after another is really hard to counter, or because sustained condescending pomposity Gets Really Old), they provide a bad example if nothing else, and a small number occasionally find a truffle.
@Moki: I’m a vehement believer that free speech makes the demand of respect from all parties involved. I.e. just because you disagree with someone (note: right/wrong is also irrelevant) and you can say that they should “keep their f*cking mouths shut,” you shouldn’t. Any discussion worth being a part of requires civility and respect from all sides.
Take note that it’s called the Mallet of LOVING Correction. (Which is of course snarky but the point is that the reason I respect Scalzi and read this blog despite the fact that I’m decidedly right of center is that I think he’s a fairly stand-up who doesn’t bash people like I see in other corners of the internet. He might bash, but he’s, you know, polite about it. I would appreciate it if we all could be as well.)