Friday, 3 January 2014

Celebrating the Underdogs

While everyone seems to be listing their top ten posts for 2013, I thought I might start the year off by being a contrarian: I'll make a list of the Top 10 Least Read Posts of 2013.

Putting together this list makes me feel like a mother of multiple children (in real life I only have one child, in case anyone is wondering) who is keen to understand why a certain child is being overlooked by the general public.

Here goes, in descending order of readership:
10.  He's Not Very Exciting

Well, the title says it all, doesn't it?  I can't imagine many people will be interested to read a post that is brutally honest about its content.

9.  Our Island Adventures: Needles

Now, this one mystifies me.  Then again, I can't claim to be completely unbiased about my own views, since this one is about a very English summer holiday, at a very English place of interest.  Maybe that's why not many people can relate to it.

8.  Be Sociable!

In this post I wrote about making Christmas gifts, cards, and generally hanging out with others.  My guess at its unpopularity is that the title probably suggests that it is another "socialisation" post discussing the overly-debated, yawn-inducing non-issue.

7.  The Backstage Pass

This is the I-can't-take-a-compliment post.  I'm working on getting over the tendency to be overly self-effacing.  If I work really hard at it, I might be able to start shouting from the rooftop by this time next year.

6.  Summer Plans: 2013

Planning posts are usually very exciting, especially if they were done at the start of an academic year.  Most homeschoolers have worked very hard through the year so by the time summer arrives, most people just want to relax and chill.  I don't suppose the work "plans" in a title about summer would interest anyone for whom studies and plans are at the very bottom of their concerns.  Maybe I'll adding the word "fun" in my summer titles this year, just to see whether that'll attract more eyeballs.

5.  Out of Love

Here I moan (only ever so slightly) about why a certain highly popular maths series is not working for us.  In the face of this series being quite the darling for most homeschoolers, being oppositional (as I have been) didn't do me any favours in the popularity department.

4.  An Evolving Story

Even though I'm a home educator, I'm also interested in a wide variety of topics that has to do with children, childhood, education, and schools.  From time to time, I like to share the information that I find to be useful and interesting, although not strictly related to homeschooling.  Then again, I've always held the view that the quality of education is determined by the attitudes and motivation of the people who are delivering it, rather than by artificial delineation of the presence of specific "qualifications" or equipments or physical structures.

3.  Some things to think about...

This is a short post with links to some philosophy about relationships and childhood.  It was useful at a time when our homeschool was transiting from being highly structured to more interest-led.

2.  Solutions to Maths Challenge

This post is only relevant to those who have read the related challenge.  It's no biggie, just a little fun towards the end of the year.

1.  On the Last Day of 2013

This post is only four days old, therefore very few people have actually seen it.  As such, it's not really fair to compare it with the other posts that have had months to build up their statistics, is it?  To label this post as 'The Least Read Post of 2013' would be as unfair as comparing the reading ability of a two-year-old to that of a twelve-year-old.  (I am aware of reports of some two-year-olds who read at high school level. I'm not talking about those two-year-olds).  That aside, if you were not one of 250,000 spectators along the Thames watching the fireworks on New Year's eve, you can still catch the spectacle in this post.

Hope everyone is having a good start to 2014, and you are all roaring to go.  We are still taking it easy, but we'll get there by next week.

This post is linked up to:
  1. Entertaining and Educational - Best Posts of 2013
  2. Collage Friday: Crying, Cooking, and More
  3. Weekly Wrap-Up: The First One of 2014
  4. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {January 4, 2014}
  5. Hip Homeschool Hop - 1/7/14


  1. Hwee,

    The same idea occurred to me when I was considering whether or not to do a top 10 posts of 2013. The most popular posts don't need any additional promoting unlike the ones that passed by virtually unnoticed.

    I sometimes wonder why certain posts of mine fail to attract many readers. I think it's worth pushing some posts back out into the spotlight for a second try. A few of my earlier unnoticed posts have actually become some of my most popular posts ever, second time round.

    Another thing I've tried is publishing posts again with a new title. That seems to work.

    I enjoyed all your remarks as you listed your top 10 underdogs. Maybe these posts will go on to be very popular!

  2. Well I read several of the posts you listed when they were posted. I'm sorry to hear your Life of Fred post was not well read. I particularly enjoyed that one as we have been using Life of Fred. I still like it, but both respect and value your opinion. I agree in that not everything is well explained, but the overall approach is so unique, I don't know of anything else comparable. Anyway, I always gain respect for people when they are confident in themselves and brave enough to share their opinions.

    Also, I find that post views often relate to the number of blog hops they are linked to, but if I post some free printible, the hits are always biggest.

  3. Thank you both for leaving your thoughtful comments, Julie and Sue! :-) This post is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek one, meant to be laughing at myself a little. But I suppose the intention has been lost in writing. :-)

    I do appreciate both of you sharing your insights of how to increase blog post stats. It is interesting for me to think about that, which reminds me a little of certain marketing and PR principles. Learning something, anything, is always interesting to me.

    Julie - thanks for sharing your thoughts on LOF. Don't worry about holding different views. I think all of us learn more from hearing different views on any topic. It's great to be able to agree to disagree. :-)

    1. Hwee,

      I can't believe I missed the tongue in cheek tone of your post! I love writing this kind of humour but like you, I have found lots of readers don't pick up on the humour and leave serious comments. So I'm surprised I was caught out. It was probably because I had been thinking about this topic myself but from a different view point. The main thing is you have put some great posts back out there in the spotlight. I hope they attract new readers.

    2. Oh, don't worry about it, Sue! :-) It's difficult to judge the tone of someone's writing without knowing the writer personally or seeing her facial expression, and we would all rather err on being too polite than being too rude! :-) I don't tend to write mischievous posts like this one, so it's not a surprise when most readers don't pick up on the mischief.

  4. I thought this was a brilliant idea too. I enjoyed all these posts! I wonder if sometimes the time of year affects how widely posts are read. Good idea to give them another chance by mentioning them here.

    I enjoyed your Life of Fred post very much, too. In fact I spent so long mulling it as we've worked with LoF I felt I'd missed the boat on commenting! Funnily enough I'm working on a draft post in which I refer back to that post. :-)

  5. Thank you, Lucinda. Looking at everyone's Top 10 posts just gave me the idea to take a look at the "unpopular" posts and wonder about them. You're right in that the timing of the posts certainly has much to do how widely they are read. End-of-year posts aren't as widely read, probably because most people are still taking time offline.

    I'm keen to read your post about LoF. :-)

  6. Oh, I am so doing this next year! I literally laughed out loud when I read the title!!
    I tend to have popular days, rather than popular posts, with the beginning and end of the week being the busiest and the weekend and mid week being slightly less so. That said, I'm fairly pedantic about what I post on those days, so maybe it is the posts after all! I'm not sure. I never give any of it much thought until I see others posting, then I take a peek at mine. It's always interesting to see the difference between the posts others enjoy and the posts I think others should have enjoyed!!

  7. It makes my day to know that I've made someone laugh. :-) Being involved in this 24/7 business of homeschooling and constant parenting can be a tad too intense and serious at times, so to start the year off with a light-hearted look at things can put us all in the right frame of mind for another year of hard work! :-)

  8. Hi Hwee. Happy new year. May your year ahead be full of delightful learning adventures. Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us.

    (homeschool help)

    1. Hi there, Chareen! Thank you for stopping by. Wishing you a very happy new year and I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts as well. :-)


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