On this last day of 2014 I’ll interrupt our usual service to thank all you for your support — our readers and authors — those who comment — the authors and periodicals who generously allow their work to be re-published here — and those whose donations support this website.
A report card for the FM website
We ended the year on a strong note, with aprox 106 thousand page views in December. In 2014 the FM website has 311 new posts, bringing the total to 2,917 since opening in November 2007 — over 5 million words.
WordPress doesn’t give the number of comments per year; there have been a total of 35,275 comments posted. Readers vote their opinion of posts by their comments and page views. What’s the score for 2014?
In 2014 I wrote some of my favorite and most popular posts. Number one in 2014, and a record high, was Explaining the season 6 finale of “Castle”, and what’s coming next (May) with 85 thousand hits. It had 66 comments, not even in the top 50. I suspect Castle fans were outraged at my prediction that Richard Castle faked his own death. Since that proved correct, this was also the most successful prediction ever on the FM website, proudly added to the list of “wins”. We still don’t know why he did it, so that prediction remains open.
Second place with 35 thousand hits went to last week’s post of straight journalism: The FBI told their story about North Korea attacking Sony. Before we retaliate, read what they didn’t tell you. (as was #11, debunking alarmists hype about a super-monster El Nino in 2014).
My personal favorite was #3: The 1% won a counter-revolution while we played. We forgot that we are the crew of America, not passengers. (April), exploring the primary theme of the FM site.
Fourth and fifth places went to classics from the past: Update on Europe: Tinker Bell fails to deliver (2012) and Still good news: global temperatures remain stable, at least for now (2012, but frequently updated with new research). My thanks to Judith Curry (Prof Atmospheric Science, GA Inst Tech) for mentioning it at her website, Climate Etc.
This year we expanded coverage about geopolitics and the arts (music, film and books). Sixth and fourteenth places went to two of Locke Petersen’s movie reviews: Transformers 4: the Greatest Film Ever Made About 21st Century America (August) and Hollywood transforms “The Hobbit” into The Desolation of Tolkien (October). Ninth place went to a book review from 2010 made relevant by the movie: The little-known dark side of Ender’s Game.
Much of this website’s traffic comes from posts of previous years. Some have become classics, still getting hits as they’re as relevant today as when written.
- GI Wilson’s 2011 posts The Psychology of Killer Drones – action against our foes; reaction affecting us and Careerism and Psychopathy in the US Military leadership (see all his posts).
- Marcus Ranum’s series about cyberwarfare and cybercrime, especially About Attribution (identifying your attacker), — timely again after the Sony hack.
Successful Predictions and Smackdowns
It’s not a serious project unless we keep score. Under the masthead are buttons for two pages: Predictions revisited. How do they look now? and Smackdowns. I don’t update these as I should. Post in the comments what you believe should go on either page that’s not now there. The list of successful predictions looks good, largely because keeping track makes me careful about making them.
On the other hand, here are too many errors on the smackdowns page; some are embarrassing (hat tip for this idea to Brad DeLong).
What do you think about the posts this year, or the FM website?
What was your favorite post? The one you least liked or most strongly disagreed with? Post your thoughts and reviews in the comments. Much of the content here discusses things on the edge of the known, so nobody can say for certain what’s so.
Two last notes to you for the year
The FM website takes an tremendous amount of time to run. Your support is greatly appreciated, not only to defray the costs but also as tangible evidence that some people find it worthwhile.
Best wishes to all of your for a great New Year.