All the news outlets are doing "top stories of 2008" this week, so I thought I'd recap the top posts of the year on The Chief's Corner, where there were just over 136,415 visits in 2008. Now, how do your measure the most popular posts?
You could count the total number of page hits. Page hits, though, come primarily from external links or from backlinks contained in other posts--something I do a lot of. As the year wears on I might write three of four new posts with a link referring to the same post I wrote back in February, for example. That could generate quite a few page hits. A lot of external hits come from Google searches, particularly images. Since I post quite a few photos and graphs, if you do an image search on something like "SWAT" or "call box key", it's going to generate a page hit.
Alternatively, you might count the number of visits per day. Theoretically a good post will generate a large number of visits compared to a dull and boring one, and those visits will come on the day of the post or perhaps a day or two thereafter.
Finally, you might count the number of comments. A provocative post ought to create more dialog and comments than a lame one, although sometimes the comments take off in a completely different direction than the original post. So here's the top ten lists for 2008:
Most page hits:
Most visits in a day:
My personal favorite never made any of the lists.