Greetings from the flip side of the winter break! I’m back (more or less: I’m home sick with a stomach bug I caught just in time to ruin my New Years Eve party plans.) And I figured I’d start things off with a look back at what really went over well from last year. First, I’ll do a top 10 for posts that were published this year, and then I’ll follow that up with my current top 10 overall posts of all time. Ready?
TOP TEN POSTS FROM 2018
Ten: Is God’s Love Conditional? This response piece I wrote in reaction to a lesson I heard in church got a heartening number of views and likes on Facebook.
Nine: Credit Card Hacking Update. I’m still at the credit card game, incidentally. (Though I took time off over the holidays, because life was too hectic. I’ve racked up . . . around 200,000 Marriott points and around 300,000 Unlimited Rewards points, just by spending money I was going to spend anyway. I’m not in any more debt than I would be, and I’m eyeing a Caribbean vacation for free at some point this year . . .
Eight: Eighth Grade “Graduation”. A rare occasion where I griped publicly about some school traditions. Turned out my feelings were shared by many, though I don’t think anything will come of it.
Seven: On My Mission President. My mission president was given weeks to live about a year ago. I wrote a piece about my feelings for him and what an impact he had on my life. I’m ecstatic to say he’s still alive and relatively well, judging by the updates I get through Facebook. A definite bright spot for me in 2018.
Six: Crunching the School Budget Numbers (Again). Ah, the school budget debate. This was back in April. Thank goodness we emerged from that mess (for now, at least).
Five: On the Kavanaugh Hearings. I was actually quite surprised that more of my pieces of current events didn’t break the top ten.
Four: Sexual Abuse in Church. Sadly, my religion is not immune to scandals, just as with any other. Churches, being made up of imperfect people, will inevitably show those imperfections. Sometimes much worse than others. Thankfully, some steps have been taken to make this less likely, but I do believe more can and will be done.
Three: When Your Friends are Accused of Sexual Harassment. Back in February, a number of my author friends were accused of sexual harassment. Some fairly, and some (it turned out) falsely.
Two: Performance Based Education Continues. I’m still far from ecstatic about the PBE approach to grading, though Tomas has thankfully managed the transition very well. Life is a game, and you learn the rules to do as well at the game as you can. That doesn’t mean the rules are perfect all the time, however. I personally believe PBE will be changed again in the future. Not sure how long it will take, though.
One: Thoughts on Magic the Gathering: Arena. Who woulda thunk it? My piece on Arena ended up being my most popular new post this year. I still love the game and play it daily. It’s in open beta now, and if you’re at all interested in Magic or board gaming, you should give it a shot. (Though it still only runs on PC. I’m hoping this year brings it to iPad . . .)
TOP TEN POSTS IN 2018
As opposed to the earlier list, these are the top 10 posts that were read this year, regardless of when they were written. Some fairly big surprises for me this time when I went through these.
Ten: Fishing for White Perch: I Love Maine Reason #3,204. This post was written all the way back in 2011, and it shows. It’s much more sparse than how I write today. And yet somehow it found a following online. I assume Google’s algorithms had to do with that somehow.
Nine: Performance Based Education Continues. (This gives you a sense of where the new posts fit in with the old posts.)
Eight: Going Clear: Scientology vs. Mormonism. A post from 2015 that is a perennial favorite, likely due to the sensitive nature of it. (Helped by the fact that it’s been shared a couple of times on Anti-Mormon group pages. They like to drop in now and then and take a couple of pot shots at me before they scurry off again.)
Seven: Dear Guillermo Del Toro: Please Don’t Use Racial Slurs Throughout Your Films. This one comes from 2013. Del Toro has since explained he had no idea “Gypsy” was a slur. Of course, that didn’t stop the new film makers from naming a new Jaeger “Gipsy Avenger,” but Del Toro wasn’t involved in the sequel . . .
Six: Thoughts on Magic the Gathering: Arena. (My thoughts on why my number one new post couldn’t even crack the top five most read posts of the year? Algorithms. Once Google finds something and starts directing people to it, it has a much wider audience. New posts rely on people seeing me share it through social media. It’s sink or swim. But some old posts can find their niche and thrive.)
Five: Obscure Netflix Movie Review: The Dam Busters. Written in 2012, I have absolutely no idea how this post is doing so well. Netflix doesn’t even have the film on its service anymore. That’s a shame, because it’s a really good one . . .
Four: Honda Fit vs. Toyota Prius: Fight! Back in 2017, my post comparing the two cars is still popular, likely because other people are wondering the same thing. For the record, I’m still very happy with the Prius, and I think I made the right decision for me. (Though I still see why people love their Fits.)
Three: BYU Scavenger Hunt. This one was technically made by my awesome niece, Alexa, in 2017. I got her permission to post it online, and it’s been crazy popular ever since. (Likely because BYU students are often looking for goofy Family Home Evening activities, would be my guess . . .)
Two: A Mormon Explanation of the “I Believe” Book of Mormon Musical Number from the Tonys. From 2011, this post still gets a ton of traffic, for obvious reasons. Still glad I wrote it.
One: Getting Into BYU. I wrote this one back in 2014. I really don’t know how much of it still applies, but Google thinks it’s great, and it keeps sending people to check it out. It got almost twice as many views as the I Believe post. That’s how popular it is. Not even close. (And likely a sign of just how desperate so many people are for their kids to get into BYU . . .)
Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve been posting my book ICHABOD in installments, as well as chapters from UTOPIA. Check it out.
If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.