I plan to write a number of “year in review” posts this week, as we get ready to say good-bye to 2010, and hello to the new year. My first in this series, is looking at specific posts from the last year of blogging, ranked by number of page views. Five of the top 10 dealt with the election (primary and general), and the race for PA Governor. Two dealt with the issue of a constitutional ban on Same-sex marriage in PA, and the other were three individual posts. I wasn’t really surprised by this, given that it was a very important election year in Pennsylvania. For most of the US, the mid-term election was a primary area of focus. Only about 25% of my site visitors  are local to Allegheny County, so I wasn’t surprised that eight of the top ten dealt with issues that were not specific to Pittsburgh. Overall, there were 20,206 unique page views in 2010, and the average time spent on the site per view was 3:34 minutes, which is really wonderful (from my perspective as a blogger). It means people come and read the entire blog posts most of the time! Below, I’ll give you the Posts, but title, a link back to the post, and a short commentary.

There is much information here for me to reflect on, but a few of my overall thoughts as I put this post together:

1) 50 of the 441 blog posts I wrote in 2010 dealt with the Governor’s race. That’s an enormous percentage of time and energy devoted to that one subject. I suppose it was worth it, because five separate posts made my top 10 list, and on every day that I saw my site traffic spike to higher levels than ever before, it was because of these blog posts.

2) As I put this together, I was surprised by what I didn’t write about. for example, I barely wrote about the Sestak and Toomey race- a few posts, but clearly something I could have covered better.

3) This list doesn’t reflect the number of folks who actually read each blog post. The most hit “page” on the site is my home page. This means that many many people read the blog every day or so (actually I believe the greatest number read 3 or more times a week), and do so by visiting the home page. These numbers more closely represent those who search and go to a specific post, or who follow a link on Twitter or Facebook to get to a specific post.

4) Coming in at #9 on the list, is my “About” page. I’m glad people want to know a bit more about me and my blog, but I didn’t include that in my list of top 10 blog posts.

More reflection to follow, but here is the list starting from the most hit post:

1) A Partial Comparison of Corbett and Onorato for PA Governor, posted 5/29/2010

While published in May, it received only a small number of hits until about October 10, and then daily, it was hit pretty hard all the way up until November 2nd, when the number of hits skyrocketed. Looking back at the post, I wished I had thought to update the post, re-post it or write another, more complete comparison. While I know that a blog post lives on, and doesn’t go away after the date published, I need to remember as I write to do so in a way that helps a post remain meaningful days, weeks, or months after it was written.

2) Urgent: Bloomingfield Bashing- The Facts, posted 4/30/2010

In contrast to the #1 post, this post saw almost all of the hits on the day it was published, or within the 3 days following, and then nothing. To rank #2 says much about how many people hit this page on April 30th. I was really pleased with this post and consider it one of the most important I write all year. While a lot of different rumors and ideas were floating out there about this bashing, I was able to speak to Veruca, and get the facts from his perspective. These facts helped to calm some fears and direct anger and frustration in important directions. Unfortunately, Veruca never filed a police report, and so there was a point where the Police couldn’t do any more to investigate. But even this element of the story was important for me. Later in the summer, there was another bashing incident in Highland Park, and much more effort was extended to get that victim to make a report, which he did. Because of the report, a number of actions resulted which will help the whole of the LGBT community when it comes to dealing with the police. The Bloomfield bashing helped set the stage for these later efforts.

3) PA Governor’s Race: Dan Onorato, Joe Hoeffel and Lynn Griffen, posted 3/29/2010

Unlike the #1 post, this one saw quite a bit of traffic directly after being posted, then moderate traffic throughout the whole election season, and extremely high traffic for most of October till the election in November. Originally, the post contained only 2 video clips, of  Onorato and Hoeffel, but I was asked to add the video I had of Lynn Griffen who was a stand in for Jack Wagner. This post contained content that was available no where else, and I was glad to be able to make it available. This post generated some controversy too, but the video speaks for itself and what actually happened is clearly documented. Still the hits to the page during the general election cycle were greater than the number of hits during the comment/controversy period.

4) Hoeffel, Onorato, and Wagner: Same-Sex Marriage, posted 5/02/2010

Like the #3 post, this post had big hits directly around being published, and then continued to be hit strong through the general election season. Readers wanted facts and real commentary about the candidates and social issues. During the primary, for me, it was about setting the record straight (pardon the pun) and for readers during the general election season, I believe it was a desire to read about real issues at a time with the mainstream press was onyt focusing on who was ahead and behind in any given poll. What’s most interesting reading this post now, is that the criticism of Onorato’s stance on same-sex marriage set the stage/ led the way to Corbett’s victory, and the loss of the PA House, where we are likely to see a a bill introduced to pass a statewide Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Onorato was our only chance to keep Gay Rights from losing ground and turning back to the Dark Ages, yet so-called liberal/ gay rights bloggers went out of their way early on to Demonize Onorato even though Hoeffel had no chance of winning across the state.

I just wish that following the primary, progressive and LGBT bloggers would have put their differences behind them, and worked harder to elect Dan Onorato. If they had, there was a real possibility to beat Tom Corbett. We lost, and we will pay dearly over the next few years as we watch right wing activist legislators try and take away rights and build bigotry into the PA Constitution.

5) Phone Calls Needed Against PA SB 707, posted 3/14/2010

I was so happy to see this so high up in the list! In the Spring of 2010, we had to fight off a possible Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage introduced in the State Senate. This post was a call to action, asking people to call a select list of state senators. Ultimately, we were successful, and the Senate committee voted to table the Bill. I am not sure we will be so lucky with the next attack being prepared bDarryl Metcalfe for the State House. Time will tell.

6) What You Can Do About PA SB 707, posted 2/11/2010

This was also a call to action regarding SB 707, the Anti-gay marriage ban  in Pennsylvania. These two posts were almost equal in number of page views. A special thanks to all of my readers who helped kill this bill. Start getting ready now to defeat this type of bill when we see it again in 2011!

7) A Young Guy’s Video about Gay Teen Suicide, posted 4/16/2010

This is the only post on the top 10 list that surprised me. It never had any Facebook “likes,” no comments, and I don’t think it saw any re-tweets via Twitter. But since the day, it was published, it has had hits every single day. I didn’t even write very much, but the video I included is really powerful. I believe we will see anti-bullying efforts or posts about the effects of bullying and hatred are going to rise over the next year. The bullying of gay youth is possibly the most significant issue facing the LGBT movement as a whole today.

8) Does Bloomfield Hate the Gays Now?, posted 6/05/2010

This post represents a real turning point for me in my blogging. It generated, probably the biggest controversy ever surrounding my blog adequately illustrated in the 22 comments attached to it. A call it a turning point, because I learned (I hope) a really valuable lesson about being a blogger and how to accomplish my goals s by blogging. I felt then (and still feel today) that I had very valid and meaningful questions to raise and ponder, yet, in hind sight, I did a lousy job of raising them in a way that opened a door for real dialogue and examination of the ideas. The post was perceived as attacking those in the Dyke march, rather than shining a light on the march itself. Women and many who see the Dyke march as a crucial method to raise their voices against oppression felt personally attacked, and sent the personal attacks flying back at me. This led to some dialogue, but not nearly as useful as it could have been. I needed to write a far better blog post, framing my questions and ideas in a way that showed greater respect for the participants of the march, as well as more respect for the importance the event has for them. Valid questions, when asked in a lousy way are just lousy questions and lousy opinions. A more thoughtful blogger finds a way to ask the really hard questions without coming across as attacking individuals. I don’t regret writing this post., I’m glad I did it, and proud that I own my own actions and words. I have tried to keep lessons learned from this episode central in my mind, and it has influenced how I have written about other things on my blog and elsewhere.

However, there can always be someone who is offended and pissed off at you when you write a blog. My goal is not to offend no one. My goal is to make sure that my thoughts and ideas are not lost within the controversy. I stand by everything I wrote about in this post, I just wish I had found different ways to write it.

9) Who Wants to Elect Tom Corbett?, posted 6/22/2010

This post probably only made the top 10 list because it was “election” related, and so it showed up in search results and received a ton of hits from the date posted all the way up to November 3rd, when it was hit five times more than on the day it was posted. But I’m very proud of it as a blog post. It is short (something I’m not known for), clear, and to the point, It was also prophetic:

…Tom Corbett is very clear on LGBT issues, and if he gets elected, we will see a governor who will actively work for a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and a state-wide non-discrimination law, which is closer than it has ever been before will be gone for good (or at least for the next 8 years).

During the primary, it at least made sense why some would be critical of any one candidate since there was such a large field of candidates running, and for some, there was no hope except to try and trash the front runner. But the primary is over, and the next 8 years of the lives of LGBT Pennsylvanians is at stake.

How ironic it is the words of a lesbian blogger, “our blessed Sue.” are used to keep taking swipes at the only candidate for governor who has a chance now of stopping Tom Corbett.

10) Dan Onorato LGBT Gathering: A Follow-up, posted 10/4/2010

Like the other election related posts, it was hit heavy though out the election season, but this one was posted so late in the season, it didn’t have enough time to build higher numbers. Some very cool stuff grew out of this gathering, and it was just a shame that more bloggers and writers weren’t there to cover it. Personally, I really appreciated Joe Hoeffel’s speaking at the event. I hope we see more of Joe in future elections.

So there you have it- the top 10 read posts on my blog in 2010.

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