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What Gets People Talking? Most Popular Posts of the Last 3 Years

December 9th, 2009 at 12:57 pm



It's been nearly three years since I started this blog. The approach of year's end has put me in the mood to reassess, evaluate and quantify. Today, 102 entries and 668 comments later, I can gauge which posts were most popular with readers, based on the number of comments.

Interestingly, my most popular posts included the launch of the annual No Heat Challenge and multiple updates and entreaties to throw on a sweater. All told, the 15+ posts on this topic averaged 11 comments each, while all other posts averaged just 5 comments.

Aside from the No Heat Challenge, could you guess which posts generated the most interest? No, they didn't address some aspect of personal finance, which is, after all, the predominant theme of this blog. Surprisingly, the most talked about posts, after the No Heat Challenge, had to do with my cats. My request for help in naming Luther (2/16/09) and later, Waldo (4/17/09), each elicited 20 comments each.

What can I deduce from these findings? First, that "Theo" and "Boris" are last on the list of preferred cat names in the minds of many. But more seriously, that matters of money management are perhaps more palatable, and a heck of a lot more fun to read about, when you can participate in personal challenges, quizzes or cat-naming contests to break up the stream of more weighty reading.

So that's what I'd like to strive for in 2010: the creation of more personal challenges that we can all participate in, and in the process of doing so, motivate ourselves and others to improve their financial picture in some way, big or small.

What kinds of challenges would you be up for joining? In my challenges I'd like to emphasize strategies to reduce spending, since the ongoing $20 Challenge already addresses saving money.

I'd love to track home energy efficiency, but with multiple variables (regional differences in energy prices and weather patterns, different types of energy used and varying home square footage ), it would seem a difficult thing to measure in a national challenge.

Any ideas?

9 Responses to “What Gets People Talking? Most Popular Posts of the Last 3 Years”

  1. gamecock43 Says:

    lol. I love this post! Personally I love the name Theo but agree with everyone that Boris is not a cute or pretty name.

  2. Caoineag Says:

    I think any post that is more of a question tends to garner more responses; people just like being able to interact. As to ideas, its a little hard to think of things that would draw participation. I like the no heat, no ac challenges (I really shouldn't participate in this one, I don't have ac), the turn things off challenges. Maybe periodic no out to eat challenges (I would lose)? or no shopping challenges? Sorry I can't be more helpful.

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    It's always kind of amusing to look at the most talked-about entries on the front page, and consider why that is.

    Personally, I've never made a point to try to win popularity contests in that way, and on a few occasions, have even removed my own comments so my entries will fall off. Big Grin

    But yeah, after a while, there does seem to be certain themes that seem to garner more responses than others. For that matter, I think there may not always be a direct correlation between comment responses and how often the entry actually gets read.

    For example, if I simply wrote, "Today is my birthday." chances are good that I will get more responses than if I wrote an entry that states, "Bank X has increased their savings rate." The latter is clearly more useful, and who knows, may even be read more often, but it is also likely to get less responses.

    Either way though, this is indeed an interesting topic.

  4. frugaltexan75 Says:

    This is a great post. Smile I'm wondering how you figured out your stats for most commented, etc.? Offhand, I think the ones of mine that have had most comments are when I've gotten the most gut-honest about life - like my post about weight, or losing Monkey, or losing my job, etc.

    I think maybe having monthly challenges ... such as January - No eating out; February - Show You Care Without Spending Money; March - No spending; April - Find ways to reuse or to reduce impact on environment; May - Find new food sources (i.e. container gardening; new plant in established garden, etc.)....

  5. fern Says:

    FrugalTexan, I like your idea of monthly challenges very much. It allows people who might not be interested in one particular challenge to join in another as long as they keep rotating.

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    Agreeing with BA, I don't think number of responses necessarily shows what's most popular. There are plenty of interesting posts that I enjoy reading but don't comment on. But if someone suffers a loss, or is celebrating a victory of some kind, or asks a question, I'm more likely to comment on that. It gets into the community feeling I get from this site, which I wasn't looking for or expecting when I first joined, but which has become very important to me. I want other people to feel as cared about, to the extent you can in this virtual world, as I do.

  7. tightwad kitty Says:

    Fern I love reading your posts.

    Next year I am planning to do Waste not,Want not challenge for the whole year.

    On monthly challenges, some months people will join you and other months very few do! This has happen on another forum I am on.

    So best of luck with your challenges.

  8. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Great idea about the challenges. Maybe one could be a "purge 5 items a day challenge". People could freecycle, toss, donate, sell, barter, whatever. We all need to clear our clutter. And I'd love to hear about other challenges.

  9. baselle Says:

    I've been having fun with my own challenge - find some coin every day. My best string of finding money was 21 days. And then remember LR Johnson's CA minimum wage challenge?

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