201 – A Post Odyssey
I value you all, dear readers. You know that. So, when Double Word Score yesterday suggested a ‘Greatest Hits’ post, I just had to meet that request. So, here are the dozen most-read posts here at Wait Until Next Year. I hope this is what he had in mind. Otherwise, another post may well be following shortly…
- On writing: The romance of the writer from Hemingway to Gladwell – this was my first non-sporting post here, and bizarrely ended up on WordPress’ front page, as part of their ‘Freshly Pressed’ deal. It certainly brought in lots of readers, and I think one or two have since hung around. It’s a shame more didn’t, but considering my scattergun approach to blogging, I’m not surprised.
- England win – let the hype begin! – England reach the World Cup! And the journey to inevitable disappointment began! I think most people find this because they are looking for a nifty England flag photo, rather than to read my incredible footballing insight.
- Injury time – time for reform? – I moan about the unfairness of injury time. People always moan about this, hence it has remained a popular post.
- An unfunny night at the Greenwich Comedy – Ah, a recent one. My main example of how great social media can be. My little complaint got a fair bit of local coverage, which made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
- MLB.TV – What shall I buy? And when? – People looking for cheap baseball on their computer are disappointed to read this post, I’d imagine, as it offers few practical solutions.
- Man Crush Friday – Does what it says on the tin.
- What would Joe DiMaggio do? – Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea – Me going on about Hemingway again.
- Sports pages I’ve enjoyed this week – I think people looking for information about the old Sportspages bookshop make their way here. It is not a classic post. It does have a handy link or two.
- Fernando Torres and the stolen moment – More man crush-ery.
- What is a session beer? – BOOZE! All part of a really fun discussion.
- Stationery pleasures – Me talking about pens and paper and stuff.
- The Great Gatsby – or is he? – Me pretending to know what a book is about and stuff.
Well, that was fun. And a good way of digging up some old posts, I guess. I’d tell you the dozen least-viewed, but they haven’t been looked at for a very good reason…
Woo hoo greatest hits! If you had to pick a single best moment in your blog’s history, what would it be? Call me cocky, but I’d have to say that it’s the minute I started commenting…
Freedom is worth reading, by the way. It gets a lot of hype, the kind of hype you’d wish that all quality books would get. Like when I finished Adam Ross’ Mr. Peanut, I thought, “This book deserves some sass from Jodi Picoult.” To me, the backlash is more a commentary on US media coverage of literature than it is on J. Fran. Have you noticed, by the way, that British media covers literature better than the US? NY Times is good for finding out what to read, but the Guardian’s coverage is actually fun.
Of course, the moment you started commenting my whole life came into focus. Birds started singing, and all that other stuff. Apart from that, getting on the WordPress front page was fun while it lasted. But, to be a little schmaltzy, I genuinely get a kick every time I get a comment here. I’m really lucky to have some great regulars.
The Guardian’s book coverage is excellent, and they still seem to have the right balance between the tone of voice that works online, and the tone of voice that works in print – which is something they haven’t necessarily nailed elsewhere on the paper. Their Review section each Saturday is always a must-read for me.
How long were you on the WordPress front page? How does it happen? I notice you had a snappy title. Perhaps that’s the key? Can you stage a repeat?
DWS – I made the front page for a day or so. I think they probably have some sexy algorithm that picks out posts. Either that, or someone seeking out interesting titles/tags. I’m sure WP have a blog post about it somewhere. Considering it is a bit of a one in a million shot, I doubt I’ll be able to stage a repeat, but that won’t stop me trying.
I want to get on the front page. I think you’re right on the title/tag thing. I’ve created a lovely post with the front page as the goal. The tags are in place, but I need help with a title. The post is (whimsically) about depression. I need a killer title.
Here is the WordPress advice. A killer title does seem important, although they do seem to put up the odd post that doesn’t fulfil any of their criteria. Sadly, I can’t think of a catchy, whimsical title, but I’ll keep on it!
Congrats on post #201! Personally, I like the scattergun approach to blogging, as I like to read a mix of different blogs, ranging from ones which focus on a specific topic to those which are much more personal and wide-ranging in nature, like yours. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the kind words Tim – really appreciate it!
So, do you do *everything* doublewordscore tells you to? 😉
Getting other bloggers to respond to my whims is probably my coolest superpower, but I try to keep it in check. Great power, great responsibility, etc.
DWS has a file full of compromising photographs of various bloggers. That is how he does it.
Plus, I’m always open to requests.
Congrats on posts 200 and 201. I’ve just spent a happy 5 minutes rereading the post on “A Moveable Feast” a book I thrust eagerly (and aggressively) into the hands of entirely too many people. You’ve reminded me that I’m going to have to start sending those same people a link to your post as well. You manage to capture so much of what I think makes it a great book not just on Paris and not just on the literary celebrity tittle-tattle of the day – the bits on F. Scott are wonderful – but on writing as a craft and a lifestyle in a way I wish could emulate. Instead, I get overly excited, stutter and bore people while choking on large words.
So. . . thanks for that. Sometime I’ll have to share the story of visiting a certain cafe all while clutching my copy of “…Feast” in my sweaty, pretentious palms. Then there’s the story of someone I know, who thinks he’s the only person who reads, who spent a month in Paris and then told me anecdotes he’d cribbed from Hemingway’s book thinking people would never notice. I wonder what Papa would have had to say about that. . .
Wow, thanks MDS. That means a lot.
I love the story about cribbed anecdotes – I’m sure you could have had a lot of fun with that.
I bought the extended ‘Feast’ recently. I shall have to delve into it soon.