They weren't bad posts, just misunderstood. Nevertheless, we wrote them and you didn't want to read them. Ladies and gentlemen, these are the least popular Gawker posts of 2009.
Generating massive page views isn't the only reason something gets posted to Gawker, but Nick Denton (who pays us bonuses if we get a lot of them) certainly encourages us to think that way. Still, Gawker writers are encouraged to write about what interests them and sometimes that bears no correlation to what interests the people who read this site. We'll be doing a list of our most popular posts of the year for tomorrow because very few of us will be working and people seem to like to click on those things.
But first, here's a rundown of the ten Gawker posts that got the fewest clicks this past year. I only looked at the 8,000 or so posts that jumped from the front page (so this list doesn't include photo captions or headline links). In fact, there were only 39 that got fewer than 1,000 page views. And there are a few topics that jump out from the least-clicked list: men over 40, newspapers, New York politics, and foreign affairs. We'll continue to cover all four in 2010. While we blame you a little for not wanting to read about those things, it's ultimately our job to make them interesting.
That said, here's the list of the ten least-clicked posts of the year in New Year's Eve countdown format:
10. Trades Bid Farewell to One of Their Own — 774 views
Army Archerd, who died in September at age 87, was a legend in Hollywood, writing his gossip column for Daily Variety for over 50 years. But you really didn't want to read about him when Richard Rushfield put him as the top story of the Trade Roundup.
9. Round Numbers Will Fix All Your Money Problems — 710 views
I thought it was ridiculous that Bloomberg News had a long story all set to publish as soon as the Dow Jones Index hit the 10,000 mark, as if that would be the moment when all the jobs would come back and your bank accounts would be refilled to their 2007 levels. Probably should have just said that.
8. Queens Dems Will Not Endorse Lady-Slasher Next Year — 700 views
The story of Hiram Monserrate, the New York State Assemblyman from Queens who was arrested for slashing his girlfriend's face with a broken glass, was one of my great story disappointments this year. I thought it had it all: Scientology! Even gay marriage! Sadly, in a year filled with so many villains, the tale of a creepy New York pol never really caught on and by the time Alex Pareene filed this update about his declining political fortunes in October, few were clicking.
7. Poetry in the Machine: 'Identity Info Sharing' — 699 views
Sure, a story like "Five Ways to Put Up Drywall" may get more pageviews than Brian Moylan's brave campaign to destroy the AOL News Borg with poetry. But he will not be deterred. Expect more of this in 2010.
6. Mayors Mike and Rudy Are Friends Again — 666 views
No one cared about New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg's re-election campaign because everyone thought he was going to win by a Saddam Hussein-like margin. (For example, Pareene's very good post in May about how Bloomberg was buying up every single political consultant on the Eastern Seaboard was the year's 45th least popular.) But it turned out no one really liked Bloomberg and he almost lost. Oh, well: King Bloomberg Forever!
5. No, That Is Not Anthrax — 660 views
Hamilton Nolan's rant about how anthrax scares are always overblown on cable and blogs was good, but managed to combine three things you don't like to read about: media companies, foreign affairs, and debunking stupid stories. Hamilton, please continue to do all three in the new year.
4. Front Pages: Climate Summit Showdown — 628 views
Ravi Somaiya's newspaper roundup each morning is one of my favorite Gawker posts, but it's never gotten a lot of clicky love. Maybe it's because you don't care what's on the front pages of newspapers? I don't know. I also like that it's probably the only front-page roundup written by someone whose byline also appears on front pages.
3. Happy Afghanistan Election Day! — 610 views
I asked Pareene to write this because I thought a lot of people might be interested in whether the elections were going to fix anything in Afghanistan. I was wrong. We may as well have used the headline "Quadratic Equations for Fun and Profit!"
2. Tentative Settlement Reached in Times vs. Globe Deathmatch — 521 views
Remember how the New York Times threatened to sell or shut down the Boston Globe unless the paper's unions agreed to massive cost-cutting? No, you probably don't. By the time both sides reached a settlement, few wanted to click on this Cajun Boy post.
1. Obama Headed to One of His Many Birthplaces — 75 views
And here it is: the absolute least popular post on Gawker in 2009! Sarcasm rarely works online. But still, I really have no idea how Pareene's satiric take on the announcement that Obama would be visiting Indonesia (you know, the place where Birthers claim he could have been born) got so few views. Traffic from "Is Obama a Muslim?" searches alone ought to have generated a couple hundred views. This went up while I was on vacation so I asked Pareene if maybe there was some technical malfunction. He said "hah."