Whatever Top Posts, 2013 Plus Thoughts on 2014

And as the year winds down, it’s time to look at what the most popular posts on Whatever were for 2013. In order of visits, they are:

  1. To The Dudebro Who Thinks He’s Insulting Me by Calling Me a Feminist
  2. Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is
  3. Being Poor
  4. Solving My Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit Problem
  5. Reporting Harassment at a Convention: A First-Person How To
  6. An Incomplete Guide to Not Creeping
  7. 10 Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing
  8. A Contract From Alibi
  9. Amazon’s Kindle Worlds: Instant Thoughts
  10. My New Convention Harassment Policy

It’s an interesting mix. One, there’s not a political piece in there, which is unusual, but then again I didn’t write too much on politics this year, so maybe that’s a “chicken-or-egg” sort of thing going on. Two, the archives continue to be a source of traffic, with four of the top ten spots going to pieces I wrote in other years.

Three, clearly, this is a year where I spent a lot of time dealing with/ruminating on sexism and other harassment issues in my community of science fiction and fantasy (and in the online world in general). And, you know, I feel pretty good about that — I think I had useful things to contribute and also that I helped move the conversation forward. That said, let me be the first to suggest I need not pat myself on the back too hard there. As I’ve noted before other people have been doing the hard work on these topics. I’ve been adding my voice to the chorus. The good news: The chorus seems to be making real progress.

The plan for Whatever in 2014 is the same as it ever is: I’ll write what I want to write about, and then we’ll see what happens then. With that said, I would expect that as it’s a mid-term election year here in the US, you’ll see me probably write about politics more. By this time I suspect most of you know what my biases are, politically speaking. Consider yourself warned. I’m also giving some thought about format — specifically, whether to do more short pieces and/or compilation pieces. We’ll see as the new year rolls around. Which, uh, should not be too long from now.

In any event, before the year finally switches over, thanks again for dropping by and reading. It’s been an interesting 2013. Let’s hope 2014 is interesting, and yet doesn’t make us all want to strangle each other by the end of it. It’s not too much to ask for.


34 Comments on “Whatever Top Posts, 2013 Plus Thoughts on 2014”

  1. Speaking of archives, all of the filmcritic links are borked. (I watched John Carter last night, and went to view your filmcritic writings about Barsoom)

  2. “whether to do more short pieces and/or compilation pieces.”

    Please don’t. I can get flash thoughts and churned content anywhere. Thoughtfulness, please.

  3. “Same as it ever was, same as it ever was….”

    Good year, John. Thanks for this. Whatever is a bright spot on the internets.

  4. Happy New Year, Scalzi.

    I have warm fuzzy feelings about Whatever. I started hanging around here in college and have been kicking around the joint ever since. So as we close out another year, a big thank you for making your digital living room a comfortable place to hang out.

    Thanks also for using your rather large megaphone to help make the rest of the internet (and fandom at large) a more safe and comfortable space, and for using that megaphone to amplify other voices on the subject.

    Also for managing the Big Idea pieces, because they form the backbone of my book-shopping list.

  5. Happy New Year John. I look forward to another enjoyable year of Whatever. Though I sometimes have to sit on my hands to avoid arguing with folks on here, I always enjoy your entries and generally enjoy seeing what other people have to say as well.
    There are a few people who comment here who I wish would grow up a little, learn to let things go, and stop needing to prove how right they think they are so badly, but that is generally true of the whole internet. So unless I want to give up looking at interesting websites, I just don’t say anything to them. You do a very good job of reeling folks in when they get too outrageous anyway.
    Happy New Year everybody.

  6. Did you not make a policy change recently that precludes new commentary on blogs from the archives? So, next year’s list could not possibly have any of the archive blogs on the list, right? Have you considered adding a permanent sidebar on this blog with a list of selected archive blogs that still admit new commentary? If so, I nominate #2, #3, and #7 for inclusion on that sidebar.

  7. Gary Willis:

    Number of visits is not the same as number of comments (and also, I re-opened comments. Generally speaking it was not reducing the amount of spam I was getting).

  8. I wish I had known about that “10 Things Teens Need to Know about Writing” bit when my eldest was busy flunking out of a creative writing magnet because, you know, “editors are mean and I’m an *artist* and stuff.”

    It was at that point we had the “Do you want to be a writer, or do you want to be a rock star” discussion.

  9. This is a kind of odd, semi-related question. Do you see new comments that are made about older – sometimes much older – blog posts?

    I’m a relative newbie reader of your blog, and I had not seen “10 Things Teens Need to Know about Writing” until you linked it above. It really resonates with me on many levels, and it’s something I want to share with a certain 12-year-old aspiring writer I know, but I have one question/concern about it (not related to the “your writing sucks” part, by the way) that I would like to ask you about before I send her a link to the post. I know it would be off-topic to ask a question about that post on this thread, but I’m also just a little baffled about how you’d manage to keep track of all the comments made throughout the course of a 15-year-old blog.

  10. I’m glad I discovered Whatever this year and look forward to reading your posts in 2014, whether long or short or compilations or whatever.

  11. I second Annalee’s sentiment about how you’ve used your considerable megaphone to help make on- and off-line spaces safer. It has meant a great deal to see people like you, Jim Hines and others use what influence and reach you have to help others, rather than either shrugging issues off because “they’re not your problem” or even worse, pushing back against any progress.

    I have forwarded several of the pieces you’ve listed to people I know who’ve wanted to learn more about sexism & harassment in geek spaces, how men can be involved in feminism and what social privilege is. They (and other pieces) have been excellent resources, so thank you for that as well.

    I look forward to reading more of Whatever in 2014 (and also finally getting around to Old Man’s War).

  12. mgwa

    If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will find the ‘random’ link which will take you to a randomly selected piece from Whatever’s vast archives. It’s superb at all times, but particularly good for ‘blah’ days when you are down with the plague or common variants thereof.

    It would be even better if there were a random cat picture link, but Scalzi has been unmoved by my requests for this; we just have to do it the old fashioned way. I suspect that Her Highness would be outraged at the very thought of Her acolytes not having to do it the old fashioned way, so it’s probably all for the best…

  13. Hmm. This may be off-topic, but you sort of brought up future plans for Whatever at the end of the post, so I’m going to risk it: have you ever considered incorporating the occasional open thread around here? I feel like with as good as the local commentariat is it might produce interesting things if used once in a while.

  14. Regardless of the politics surrounding it or anything else, I thought the dudebro post was very well-written. I also thought the followup to the creep cycle- where you talked about how you can’t control how you come off to others, in any context- was really interesting.

    I’m having trouble finding a dark horse favorite of mine- it was a brief “new rule” type post in which you warned against opening with “I know I’m going to get flamed/attacked/set on fire for this, but…”. It was a great little piece of writing. Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

  15. Oh, hey, yeah. Am I on crack or did you used to do the occasional “Open Thread.” I would like to see that, although, now that I think about it, it’s probably a modding nightmare, considering the dude-bros and your pet trolls.

  16. …You don’t think that “Straight White Male…” is political? It’s not explicitly partisan, but I think it definitely counts as political. Worldviews are part of politics.

  17. I personally thought that Number 5 – “Reporting Harassment at a Convention: A First-Person How To” was the most important. Fantastic post.

    Happy New Year.


  18. Thanks for a thought provoking, and entertaining, set of posts in 2013. Happy new year, and like many I’m looking forward to what you’ll be writing in 2014.

  19. Silly Willis. # of visits is not the same as # of comments. Yeah, right. Reading too fast slipped that one by my neuron processing guardians. So, you reversed your new policy and reopened comments on the archived blogs? I simply missed that one. But then every November December holiday season, I become a less faithful reader here as so much of the holiday season hoopla competes and takes higher priority.

  20. Happy New Year and I would also like to echo what others have said about your web site, your writing and your compassion for your fellow human beings. You share your idea’s, your thoughts and (a bit of) your family with us all and that is a very generous thing. Your site is one of my favorites places because you attract people who talk to rather than over each other. I think I read the comments primarily because it shows me that there are so many decent people out there in the world even when evidence sometimes feels to the contrary.

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    Your writing style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

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