In the right-hand sidebar there are two lists of TheSupercargo.com’s most popular posts. (If you are reading this on a computer or a tablet. If you’re reading on a phone you’ll have to scroll down.) During the last six months, the list showed the five posts I published between January 2020 and June 2021 that attracted most interest in that period. Below was another list with the most popular five posts published before 2020. Here we are now, at the end of another year, so it seems appropriate to update both. To do that I need to make a long-list of the most popular posts, which you’ll find below.
But, you may be asking yourself, how does he know what are his most popular posts? The short answer to that is …
As I’ve observed before, Google’s statistics require a deal of interpretation. They count all the times someone, or something, has visited a page on the website. But you have to look at the time visitors have spent on a particular page, because webbots, benign or malicious, make up the bulk of your visitors. Human visitors, though, are the ones who stay and spend time reading or looking at the different posts. (At least, that’s what I hope is happening.)
You also have to think about how long a post has been up on-line. A new post may have a glut of visitors the first week it’s up. (It might not, but you can always hope!) But then it might be completely ignored forever after.
Or the post may be a slow burner, with a few visitors dropping in week on week over a longer time. Most of the most popular posts from before 2021 fit this pattern. It’s the reason I’ve chosen to separate out posts published in the last 12 months and give them their own top pop list.
Huxley, Sundsvall and Doggerland
To my surprise I just discovered I published 50 posts in 2021. This was my target! (Before counting them, I was convinced I’d only managed 48.) Using Google’s statistics I find 20 of 2021’s posts have been opened by 322 visitors who spent an average of about 4½ minutes with each one.
The most popular post from last year, published last year, is my book review of Gail Aldwin’s novel This Much Huxley Knows, from August. People have opened it roughly 35 times since I published it, and on average they spent 4¾ minutes reading it.
The second placed post is the photo essay from my November visit to Sundsvall, the northern Swedish city where Mrs SC and I lived for 10 years in the 1990s. That’s received 30 unique page views, concentrated to December and the last two weeks of November, for an average of 3¾ minutes. I’m rather pleased with that result.
Third placed is Doggerland to Aeyland and Back in Time for Tea, published in September. Only 18 unique page views, but each visitor spent on average 23½ minutes with the page open!
Parakeets, tragic fires and the Beguines
Among the older posts, there are fewer surprises. Most of the top posts in this list seem to have settled down to ticking up visitor statistics month on month. This is either because people are curious and click on them in the sidebar, and/or because they contain key words that get picked up by search engines. Maybe also because of the policy I introduced in 2020 of adding “Read more” links at the foot of each post.
The top post this year is the one about Brussels’ parakeets, originally published July 2018. It’s been viewed 172 times in 2021 by visitors who spent an average of 4½ minutes on it. The most surprising thing about this is that it didn’t feature in the top ten in either of my previous lists.
The second most popular post holds the same place as in 2020. I originally published my retrospective on the Gothenburg Disco Fire in November 2018. In 2021 it received 145 unique page views, and visitors spent 6½ minutes of their time readng it.
The third placed post is also one that has previously featured in my top of the pops. It’s my answer to the question When did they begin, the Beguine? (Published in March 2017.) In 2021 this had 73 unique page views and visitors spent an average of 27½ minutes on the page. Pretty damn good!