A Year Well Blogged

By Sean Carroll | December 29, 2011 11:33 am

‘Tis the season when bloggers, playing out the string between Xmas and New Year’s, fill the void with greatest-hits lists from the year just passed. But a question inevitably arises: how does one decide which posts to include? There are many different criteria, and preferring one to another might lead to very different lists. This is what’s known as the measure problem in blogospheric cosmology.

This year I’ve decided to confront the problem pluralistically. Thus: here we have five different Top Five lists, chosen according to completely different criteria. Let us know if your favorite Cosmic Variance post of the year somehow managed to not be on any of the lists.

First, the most crude and common measure, the posts with the most page views this year.

Next up, an equally quantitative and misleading measure of popularity: the top five posts by number of comments.

Since I know they won’t do it themselves, here are my five favorite posts by the CV co-bloggers:

And here are my top five favorite guest posts, in a very strong year:

Finally, here are my top five favorite posts by me, excluding the ones that made the first two lists. Be thankful I was able to restrain myself to only choosing five.

A successful year overall — I think Sept/Oct/Nov of 2011 were our highest-traffic months of all time. Here’s to seeing you all in 2012!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cosmic Variance, Top Posts
  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    happy new year!

  • James

    As ever, thanks for another illuminating and thought-provoking year, both comforting and discomfiting!

  • http://coraifeartaigh.wordpress.com cormac

    This is a really nice reading list for the hols. Many thanks

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/sean/ Sean Carroll


  • JimV

    I agree it was a great year as far as quality. I suppose that’s the main thing, but I wish you (and the other bloggers) had more time and could produce more posts. Sometimes it is like waiting for the next George R.R. Martin “Game of Thrones” novel to come out.

    Which inspires this suggestion for a New Year project: publish a collection of your essays in book form. Then you could go on “The Daily Show” and be interviewed by Jon Stewart about it. Meanwhile, you would have a good reason to write more posts, for added book material. That would be a win-win-win, as far as I’m concerned.

  • http://www.flisser.com Bob F.

    Have a great new year! Thanks always for the continuing education, from one of your biggest fans.

  • Pingback: My picks – 1st January 2012 « Joy of Science()

  • Pingback: সময়ের দশকাহন | সুবর্ণরেখা()


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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .


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