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what're you lookin at? [the most popular posts of 2016 on more like space]

i'm a little late getting around to these, but i feel like i needed some time to decompress from 2016. various commitments meant that i had less time for blogging last year. in fact, i had fewer posts than any time since 2010, when i was rebounding from the great ignoring of this blog. [this was largely due to the fact that i was maintaining a private blog on myspace- remember them?]

the thrilling and surprising thing is that 2016 was also the busiest year ever in terms of visits and in terms of diversity [i.e., the number of different locations from which you visited]. is it a case of quality over quantity? i had a dream last night where everyone in my school was telling me that they hated me because i talked too much. so maybe there's something to that.

for the second year running, the most popular post on the blog this year was music related: 'so hip it hurts', my tribute to the tragically hip and their unexpected effect on me wasn't something i expected to write, but i'm glad to know that i was far from along in how i felt. and, for the second year in a row, i'm honoured that people stuck around to read something of that length. in a world where it seems speech and dialogue is more compressed than ever, it's heartening to know that the attention span isn't dead yet.

i'm not quite sure how to interpret the reaction to the second most popular post, 'critical failure', and account of my embarrassing collapse on "game day"- my first opportunity to use some of my newly acquired language skills. and if that weren't bad enough, 'so the world hates me', a post about me losing a blog post, also ranked among the most popular. i guess sometimes your purpose on earth is to make others feel better.

in fact, posts about language learning were much more of a hit than i'd anticipated. i figured they were too self-indulgent to find an audience, but apparently the opposite is true. of the most popular posts of the year, about five of the top ten were on this subject. of those, the most popular were 'tongues, twisted' and 'in peril'.

i was not so surprised to see that posts on the american election were popular, since it seemed like it was all people could talk about for great stretches of time. what did catch me off guard, however, was the fact that the most popular of them [the third most popular post of the year] was my recap of the vice presidential debate, 'shut up'. i put that down to the fact that the title itself likely summed up the mood of the people more than any other statement. in second place among the political posts was 'the art of the feel', which again gave me that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing that people are willing to read a long ranty post.

one of the most interesting phenomena was that my cosmetics-focused posts 'making faces' drew a significant number of views, but each of them was about the same in terms of popularity. the most popular were my first ever post about perfume, 'making scents', and my review of urban decay's new lipstick line 'meet the vice squad'. but neither of those got significantly more views than others. the difference? no armani reviews. last year, those were extremely popular, but this year, there were just so many things launching that i never got around to armani's less spectacular [and often very pricey] offerings. although i only did one last year, colour analysis posts remain extremely popular. note to self: do more colour analysis posts in 2017.

to that end, i'm making a few blog resolutions: i'm fully aware that i haven't kept up with mental health mondays in recent weeks and, in the interests of keeping away from the rut of pop psychology, i'm considering reducing the frequency of those posts. i don't want to eliminate them, because i know that they have a following, but, given the number of subjects already addressed, i'd like to focus on providing something that's well researched and meaningful. mental health monthly? we shall see.

second, as i mentioned above, more on colour analysis. no, i'm not a professional, but not everyone can afford a professional, and even those who can don't always have the opportunity to see them. in general, i'd like to shift the beauty posts towards topics other than just reviews of new products. there are far better reviewers, with far more experience than i, and who are able to receive or purchase products on a much more timely basis. and i'm much happier talking about what inspires the different faces i put on, and about the ways that colour and makeup can be used. yes, there will be reviews, but i want to make them a bit different. [fyi, this is my favourite beauty post that i've ever done. it was written in the midst of a bunch of holiday posts about red lipstick.]

third, i want to keep a sharp eye on politics and talk about it. i'm the first person to criticise others for only being interested and active in the runup to an election, and then i do the same goddamn thing on my blog. no, i will not look up from my microscope [except occasionally to learn languages]. i will stay focused and talk about things that i think are important in canada, the united states, and everywhere else.

despite the fact that posts on music have been the most popular on the blog two years running, i'm hesitant to say i'll write more on the subject. for starters, i write a lot about music on other sites. then, there's the fact that my tastes in music are very far from anything popular, so i always wonder how many people can really relate. we shall see.

beyond that... it'll likely be more of the same and possibly some things that i can't predict [because i never know when my next obsession is coming]. 2016 marked the tenth anniversary of this blog, which has always been an outlet for what goes on in my head. i'm too stubborn to change and do all the things that i'm supposed to do in order to have a really good blog. i can live with that and i hope that you can too.

i am so grateful to all of you who've stopped by here. every time you comment, share, mention on another site, hell, every time i see a new visitor, it's a positive experience for me. it's been a rather difficult year on the personal front. i don't share these things too often on the blog [honestly, i don't talk about them too much in person either], but this is my outlet. this is where i come to just be me and to share things that i find interesting, in the hopes that there are others who will enjoy them too. so thank you, always, for making me feel that connection.

welcome, 2017. i'm not sure how good a year you will be, and let's face it, that january 20th bump is going to make things difficult. but we're all pulling for you to make some good out of the crappy situation you've been left. godspeed you, little year. 

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