It’s my year-end tradition to highlight the year’s posts that were most read, commented, and liked.
But before I do that, a reflection on this year of blogging. I expanded from three to six posts a week in July, and now I wish I had done that years ago. Since then, you’ve commented and clicked Like more often. A major reason I blog is because of the positive response you give me, so thank you!
Here are my five favorite posts from 2014. I poured my heart into these, so if you haven’t read them, I’d be honored if you’d do so now.
- $159 a week — Of all the stories I’ve told here, this was the hardest.
- Photo essay: Getting ready for winter — I took a loaded Polaroid camera with me on my final yard-cleanup run of the year.
- Fatherhood changes when teenagers are almost ready to launch — Can I admit it? I wish my teens would stay teens for a few more years yet.
- Things I wish Christians would stop saying: Anything whatsoever about homosexuality — It’s not the Christian’s job to tell anybody how to live.
- Things I wish Christians would stop saying: “God won’t give you more than you can handle” — There are simply some things you can’t handle. And by the way, God doesn’t give them to you.
The two most-viewed posts that I posted this year were deliberate experiments in using Google searches to bring visits to the blog. The first was this post about where to get film processed, and the second was this post about the Wolverine Super F2D film-to-digital converter. It took a couple months for Google to catch on, but now those two posts get about 60 visits a day each and have seriously juiced my total daily visit counts. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell none of those visitors have stuck around, but I suppose I should have expected that, as someone looking for advice or a product review is probably not also looking for a long-term relationship with a blog. But check out this stats graph showing the lag between the time I posted the film-processing post and when Google found it and ranked it high in searches about that topic:
The rest of the top five most-visited posts among those I wrote this year are about cameras from my collection:
- Konica Autoreflex T3 — I’m glad this post got a lot of views because this mid-1970s SLR is a gem and deserves to be better known.
- Nikon F2AS — Many thanks again to John Smith for introducing me to the world of pro Nikon gear.
- Kodak Instamatic 104 and Kodak Hawkeye Instamatic — I was surprised at first to find that this post was so popular, but I guess a lot of people must find these common-as-pennies cameras in Dad’s sock drawer, wonder what to make of them, and turn to Google for answers.
These five posts gathered the most comments from you.
- Film photography blogs you should follow — I shared a bunch of film-photography blogs that I read and enjoy.
- Reflections on seven years of blogging — Hard to believe I’ve been doing this so long.
- The year of the Nikon F2 — You all had a lot to say about my photography with this classic SLR.
- When do you give up on your car? — My Ford has been fairly unreliable this year and I considered when to sell a car rather than keep fixing it.
- How the modern potato chip was ruined, and what you can do about it — Modern chips are all salt and crunch. Here are some Ohio-made chips that still taste like potato.
You clicked “Like” most often on these five posts.
- Green, yellow, and orange — A whole bunch of you really liked this short post of some autumn photos on über-colorful Velvia 50 slide film.
- Blue flowers — This is a photo-only post of some blue flowers. The number of likes I got on it really surprised me.
- Imagining the stories behind old photographs of cars that weren’t that old yet — I bought some old color slides of people with their cars on eBay.
- My garden’s flowers up close — You liked so many of my nature photography posts this year that I’m thinking I need to photograph nature more often.
- Photo essay: Getting ready for winter — I’m glad you liked my Polaroid photo post so much.
Finally, just for giggles, here are the five most popular posts of all time (going on 8 years!) on Down the Road:
- Cameras — This page shows all the cameras I’ve shot and reviewed here.
- What’s a guy who still shoots film supposed to do? — This is an earlier version of the post I posted this year about film processing.
- Defending good grammar, sort of — This 2010 post was featured on WordPress.com’s Freshly Pressed and got 10,000 views in a couple days. I get about 12,000 views a month today.
- Vintage TV: The CBS Late Movie — Thanks to Google, this has become one of the most popular posts on the Internet about this program that used to air on CBS after the late news.
- Yashica MG-1 — People who want to know about this camera invariably wind up here.