Top Articles of 2014, Part 1: #25 – #11

Southern Crossing
Southern Crossing

One of my nerdy personality quirks is that I really enjoy statistics. I’ve obsessed at various times over SEC football statistics, music statistics (sales, artist rankings, chart positions) and, obviously,  I now pay attention to Internet statistics particularly as it regards my own site. End-of-the-year lists fascinate me probably too much. So, it’s natural that I would be interested in an end-of-the year examination of my full-time pursuit.

From your end, I realize that while some (three or four, maybe) of you who hang on my every word, most of you are far more interested in certain posts and others hold less interest for you. Do you ever wonder if other people like the same ones as you? You might notice that a post gets a lot of comments and think it must be very popular and sometimes that is correct. Other times it just means that a core of people have a lot to say on the topic. You might notice that when I post the link to FB it gets a lot of attention, but sometimes Facebook and the actual traffic on the website diverge.

So, I thought it would be fun to review the year while seeing what you thought was most interesting. A few caveats are in order: First, the numbers you will see associated with each article represent direct visits to that article. Each day a host of additional views go to the homepage (146K this year) and presumably they saw the article most recently posted, while many other people visit the site for other specific articles and may not see the lead for that day. Those are not counted in these numbers.

Also when I mention how the posts rank all-time on my blog, it is a bit skewed because the blog exploded in readership the last six months or so of this year. For example, at the beginning of the year, two years on FB had produced 1300+ likes. By the end of the year it was nearly 3600. While the best month of 2013 topped 30K page views, the best month of 2014 (December) will land close to 70K. This also means that posts later in the year had an extra advantage.

For the year (including today and tomorrow) I will have written 301 articles. I’ve covered topics from restaurants to music, from festivals to personal profiles, from development to design and preservation. Which did you like best and how does it compare to other readers? Here you go:

#25 Southern Crossing” Picking Up Steam: Jackson Avenue Proposal Update -From July 23, this proposal and guest post from architect David Denton drew significant attention and discussion regarding the development an design potential for the site on Jackson Avenue. This was an update of the original idea. Direct Views: 1,522

Metropulse Protest
Metropulse Protest

#24 What Does It Take to Get Knoxville Riled? Metro Pulse? – From October 20, the article actually examines a number of protests which drew varying, less-than-impressive numbers. Interestingly, later when the Michael Brown protests drew much larger numbers, the article on it didn’t crack the top 25. Direct Views: 1,535

#23 Missing Pieces: Metro Pulse and More – From October 16, the article originally was intended to note several other closures, but the Metro Pulse closure grabbed the headline. Direct Views: 1,542

#22 A Look at the Former Baptist Hospital: Present and Future – From April 24, this article looked at plans for the site. Of course, they were later changed. This is an example of a topic that garners interest on my site, but explodes on FB. Direct Views: 1,558

Baptist Hospital
Baptist Hospital

#21 A Change is Gonna Come – From June 2 of this year, in which I discussed my plans to make this website my full-time focus. I felt very supported and appreciated. At 44 comments, it’s one of the most commented posts. Direct Views: 1,585

#20 Knox Whiskey Works, Knoxville’s First Distillery, Set to Open Downtown This Spring – From November 24, this interesting project drew good attention on the blog, though you’d never know it if you judged by the single comment it elicited. Direct Views: 1,586

#19 Rearranged, Expanded and Re-imagined Tomato Head Opens – From January 27, not a single comment, but a very high interest post early in the year. We love us some Tomato Head. Direct Views 1,645

#18 End of the Year Rush: Businesses Close, Open, Move – From December 18, it drew 18 comments and it continues to draw views. I thought I’d covered the opening and closing topic, but there was much more to come. Direct Views: 1,714

Rock Paper Hair Studio, 714 S. Gay,  Knoxville, December 2014

#17 The Century Building Comes Back to Life – From February 11, it also drew 18 comments and, obviously, I wasn’t the only one wanting to see this building brought back. We’re still waiting for the upper floors to be built out. I hope to have an update on that, soon. Direct Views: 1,732

#16 An Inside View of Tailor Lofts – A Year Later, Plus Five Bar Restaurant Preview – From January 14, this is one of a series of articles I wrote about the re-emergence of this important downtown building. It fascinated me and it seemed to interest quite a few of you. Direct Views: 1,740

#15 Yassin’s Falafel House: Go. There. Now. – From July 2, I’ve rarely stated something so emphatically in a headline, but I meant it and still do. I think the business has been embraced as well it should be. If you are one of the last few people downtown who hasn’t been there, do yourself a favor and go meet Yassin. Direct Views: 1,757

#14 Mango’s Decor and Co. Opens in the Old City – From October 22, this article about a business pushing the borders of downtown retail drew a lot of attention. I hope it is being supported in a similar fashion. If you’ve not been by there: it’s right beside the Melting Pot. Please visit. Direct Views: 1,812

Mango's Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014
Mango’s Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

#13 NY Daily News and USA Today: Downtown Knoxville Rocks – From September 3, I felt these articles should be mentioned, but I didn’t really expect my article about the articles would be so well-read. Apparently we like to read good things about ourselves. Only six comments, but Direct Views: 1,825

#12 And Now For Something Entirely Different: A New Proposal for Jackson Avenue – From May 2, This is the original article from David Denton with his bold ideas for redeveloping the McClung site on Jackson Avenue. 2015 should be the year we learn the direction the city will pursue for this site. At 30 comments, it obviously initiated quite a bit of conversation. Direct Views: 1,836

#11 New Business, Flow: A Brew Parlor, Brings Beer AND Coffee! to Main Street – From September 26, This announcement of the coming Main Street business garnered great enthusiasm on FB and on the web site. Lots of love for the idea. I hope you are supporting Brad now that he’s open. Direct Views: 2,034

So, how are you comparing? Were these some of the articles that most interested you or are you scratching your head at your fellow readers? It’s a pretty good mix, I think, of the topics I cover on a regular basis. Tomorrow we’ll look at the top ten stories for 2014.