Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011: Scarry Thoughts That (Maybe) Made A Difference

Looking back over my blog posts for the past year, it's interesting to discover that some definitely had a bigger impact than others. Is it because they were on subjects people care a great deal about? Or because they were well-written? Or simply because they were well-promoted? Food for thought ....

Here are the blog posts that got a lot of traffic and/or on which people spent a lot of time:

I'm A Tuesdayista!
Afghanistan Protests
Chicago: All Signs Point to Revolution
Oldies but Goodies
My Personal Favorites

(1) #NoIranWar - Published just a few weeks ago, this blog post about seven big reasons people should be wary of the growing talk of war with Iran has been the sixth most viewed post over the past four months. The high level of traffic may have to do with active promotion on Twitter, and with links from

More interestingly, the average time spent reading the post is over 6 minutes. Clearly, people are deeply interested in the threat of U.S. military action against Iran.

This blog post has become closely associated with the #NoIranWar tag on Twitter, and I hope it continues to be an important part of the movement to resist war with Iran.

(2) I'm A Tuesdayista! - This page -- about being one of the dedicated participants in #AfghanistanTuesday -- was viewed more than any other page over the past four months. I think this is mainly because many people were invited individually via Twitter messages.

Considering the large number of views that seem to be attributed to direct invitations, it is somewhat surprising that people spent an average of over 3 minutes reading the Tuesdayista blog post. I think it is because people understand how important it is to not just participate in tweeting about ending the war in Afghanistan, but also to attract additional people to do so, too. That's what being a "Tuesdayista" is all about.

(3) Making an Impact on #AfghanistanTuesday - This was the page that launched a thousand tweets -- or, anyway, became the explanation for #AfghanistanTuesday back when it was a new idea. Since this page was first published in August, I've published dozens of other #AfghanistanTuesday pages. But this is still one of the most viewed -- and, if the length of time people spend on the page is any indication, most thought about -- guides to the topic.

Here are two other posts about #AfghanistanTuesday that people have viewed a lot:

#AfghanistanTuesday - Top Tweets List - Understandably, this gets viewed a lot, because it is a growing list of the top tweets for each list, AND a list of the top tweeps, AND a list of important #AfghanistanTuesday hash tags.

#Occupy Tuesday! #UNoccupy Afghanistan! - This is one of the newest posts, and is taking #AfghanistanTuesday to the next level: how do we go beyond Twitter?

(4) The Hour is Approaching: Make a Commitment! - This was one of many posts that dealt with protests marking the 10th Anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. It asked, "What can YOU do to be an active participant in driving toward COMMITMENT on the part of millions of people to end our wars?"

Many people clearly have been -- and continue to be -- asking themselves, "What am I prepared to do?" Other big traffic pages involved the actual October 8 protests themselves, and other similar protests:

Chicago Antiwar March: October 8, 2011 - This post included links to information about all the speakers on October 8, plus press coverage and follow-up activities.

Chicago - Dec 10 Human Rights Day Protest - This post talked about the main protest on December 10, plus film screenings and talks taking place later the same weekend.

(5) Chicago: All Signs Point to Revolution - Ever since October, the Occupy movement has been a growing subject of blog posts. This one got an especially large amount of attention, and it seems to have made people think (judging by the fact that they spent an average of more than five minutes on the page!).

This was one in a series of blog posts associated with hand-drawn "Scarry Signs" that I made for protests in Chicago.

(6) Oldies But Goodies - Several posts continued to get views long after they were published. They deal with issues that people continue to be curious about, and frequently search on Google.

Holocaust Museum: "Those Nazi Bastards!" - This is a heavily-viewed piece, with a lot of organic traffic generated by the search terms "Nazi" + "dog".

Drones, 1984, and Foucault's Panopticon - This continues to get a surprising number of hits. Apparently, a lot of people search on the terms "Foucault" + "panopticon"! (Who knew?)

Flag Symbolism in Hong Kong - This was one of a series of posts about protest images from Hong Kong that I wrote about in early 2010, and they continue to get traffic!

(7) My Personal Favorites - My favorite posts aren't always the ones that are viewed most heavily. These five are very close to my heart:

Why Weren't People Talking About It? - What I learned from my mom. (I need to write a lot more posts about Mom!)

Never Try to Silence a Tuesdayista - A rare opportunity to combine two of my greatest loves: activism and botany!

Obama Nobel Peace Prize - REVOKED! - People seemed to have no trouble believing that the King of Norway made a special trip to Chicago to revoke the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Barack Obama in 2009.

Seven Little Words in Kuwait I've been involved with the film, "The Response," for several years now. This piece described the most exciting development yet.

WWJD? Occupy! - The last shall be first? Expect to be hearing a lot more on this subject in 2012!