What a difference a year makes! Last December, I had been at this blogging thing only a few months and had a handful of followers and a little under 3300 views on the blog. I’ve had some surprises over the last year. This month, the blog has had more views (over 5,000) than all of last year. A question about growing up in working class Youngstown turned into a series of posts and its own category on the blog and the most viewed post of the year. In fact, due to interest from a couple Youngstown Facebook groups, strictly speaking all ten top posts for the year were in this category. What I decided to do with my top ten list was to post the top Youngstown post, which had over 10,000 views and then the next nine non-Youngstown posts. So here is the countdown!
#10: Dear Son, We’re Sorry to Inform You… This post was a parable. I’ll leave you to discover the point of the parable!
#9: Privileged, Persecuted, or Participating? In response to an online symposium, I reflect on three possible postures Christians working in higher education might take toward the university world.
#7 So Whose America Is It Anyway? My response to Coke’s Superbowl commercial with a diverse ethnic mosaic of people singing “America the Beautiful” and the firestorm of criticism it elicited.
#6 What’s Missing in the Diversity Discussion? This is the post that led to the “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown” series as I discussed how class is often (not always) overlooked in diversity discussions.
#5 On the Passing of Robin Williams. My own reflections on the news that this gifted comedian had taken his life.
#4 Sexual Imperialism. A response to highly-rated Gordon College’s possible loss of accreditation because of its statement of sexual ethics.
#3 Freedom of Worship = Freedom of Religion –Not! This post has had an interesting life, attracting little interest at first but eventually becoming one of my “most viewed” posts of the year, despite its awkward title!
#2 Let’s Retire This “Christmas” Song! Just posted a week ago, this post became the second most viewed post of the year. Seems a number of people agreed with my argument that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a song about date rape, has nothing to do with Christmas, and should be dropped from play lists.
#1 Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Food. This is the post that received over 10,000 views. Obviously, we Youngstowners love food, and this post is full of memories of quintessential Youngstown foods.
The irony is that, apart from the “Teddy’s Rules” post, none of these were on reading or books! A post on Higher Education Books just missed the Top Ten and as more people learn about the blog, the reviews are getting more attention. But it is interesting to me that the more “issue-oriented” posts were your favorites. Oddly, those for the most part are the most serendipitous–they just happen!
At any rate, there’s the list. I need to give a few shout-out’s at this point. One is to the admins on “I Used to Live in Youngstown” and “I Grew Up in Youngstown” for letting me post on these pages. I also appreciate the hundreds of people who have commented and added your memories and insights to mine. I also want to thank my son, Ben, and his blog [BTW] Ben Trube, Writer and Tom Grosh who administers the Emerging Scholars Blog for all the people you’ve sent my way!
Most of all, I want to thank all of you who have stopped by, read, commented, and followed. It would be a whole lot less fun without you!
Look for a special New Year’s post where I preview some plans for Bob on Books in 2015!