Ahhh, late December. Is there a better time to be a blogger or a columnist?
You knew I wouldn’t let the whole season go by without phoning it in at least once. Not that I was up late drinking or anything; in point of fact I’m up early because my miserable cat pissed on my feet as I slept (2011 is getting its last licks in, apparently). But in the name of tradition and plain ol’ self-aggrandizement, my gift to you for the weekend is:
THE GREATEST HITS OF MISANTHROPOLOGY 101 IN 2011
This is it, then — with image searches filtered out as well as I could manage (an imprecise science at best), these were the 10 most-read posts in 2011. Not all of them are from 2011, mind you; these are just the favorites among readers this year. Without further ado, let’s start with…
Ahh, the touching story of feuding giraffes and the divorce lawyers advertising near their pen. This was posted on reddit.com, which I assume accounts for some of the popularity. Also, dearly as I love my local zoo, we all gotta admit that it doesn’t generate that many returns on a Google search, so I get some traffic from well-meaning tourists too.
I believe I can thank Elizabeth Craig for the high hit-count on this one, as she Tweeted a link to it (to her very large audience of followers, which of course includes me) some time after it originally went up. Double-dipping is always good for the numbers, and it wound up getting retweeted around for the next few days. But hey, if you wanted to go ahead and share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter today, no one would complain about you being late to the party.
The internet’s original cautionary tale about fact-checkers and their vital role in journalism! If you haven’t seen this story yet it’s worth clicking on today, and I can personally assure you that it does not include any ungulate eroticism — just plain old bad journalism. The high hit-count is mostly due to the story’s status as a hoary old internet chestnut; there’s still a lot of people out there Googling “giraffe penis.” Go figure.
Speaking of hoary old chestnuts, this was the site’s very first “hit” post (and it was a pretty relative term back then — still is, really). Subject matter is exactly what the title would imply. Why yes — yes there are pictures, now that you mention it. Perhaps worth a peek, no?
Star Wars content always does well. The post was also linked on a couple of message boards, which always helps. Even if you’re not big on the venerable trilogy, there’s a valuable lesson in plotting and script-writing that goes with this one.
An embarrassingly popular post, given that it is essentially a link to other people’s content. The blog The Passive Voice picked the link up, which certainly contributed a good number of hits.
I can’t tell if this one is popular because it’s a well-written essay with an actual message (unusual for MA101, I know) or because a lot of people search Google Image for “school bus.” But it appears popular even with the search engine hits filtered out as best I can, and it’s been linked a few times in other discussions, so I’m going to go ahead and score its popularity as legitimate. Something to be said for the occasional lapse into semi-serious thought, apparently.
Not surprisingly, this one surges in popularity every December. This year’s holiday-themed mockery was fairly late in going up, just a few days before Christmas, so perhaps it’ll be a strong shower by next year’s list.
Full disclosure time: I actually pitched this one at Cracked.com first, and they bounced it. I’m big on recycling that way. But readers seemed to like it here and Cracked went on to run a couple of my other pitches, so it worked out all around.
This will probably always be the site’s chart-topper. There isn’t much I can do about that. What can I say? People really hate reading.
And that’s it for the greatest MA101 hits of 2011. Did your favorite make it? Leave a comment and tune in next year…