Monday, April 1, 2024

Popularity (Part I)

Let's continue to today's theme of navel gazing by taking a look at the most popular posts of this blog by pageview, according to Blogger's own stats. I'd like to see if they reveal anything about what my readers have enjoyed over the years. 

  1. By a wide margin, 30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time is my most viewed post and understandably so. Its title alone probably ensures that it's one of the top hits in any online search for "greatest D&D adventures" or some variations thereof. From my perspective, it's not an especially great post; I'm not even sure I still hold the same opinions about the modules on the list.
  2. By contrast, Gygaxian Naturalism is a good post. This is the origin point for that particular term, which still gets bandied about online after all this time. I couldn't be happier about that.
  3. Sci-Fi Archetypes is bizarre to have at the number three spot, yet there it is. It's a trifle of a post that I can only assume owes its place to its title playing well in search engines.
  4. Fifty Years Ago Today is on this list because it celebrates D&D's half-centenary and that was a popular point of discussion back in January.
  5. REVIEW: Mörk Borg was my first post on this blog after nearly eight years, which is probably enough to explain its popularity. That Mörk Borg was, for a time, the online flavor du jour likely played a role, too.
  6. Pulp Fantasy Library: Pigeons from Hell is a decent enough overview of the classic Robert E. Howard horror short story. It's not my favorite, let alone my best, entry in this long-running (and temporarily dormant) feature of Grognardia, but it's solid. Why it's in my Top 10 of popular posts, I could not tell you. Perhaps another algorithmic artifact? 
  7. How Dragonlance Ruined Everything is a good post and one of my favorites. I'm not surprised it's in the Top 10 and it deserves to be there.
  8. Remembering Norman Bean is almost certainly here for algorithmic reasons. I'm not unhappy to see a post of Edgar Rice Burroughs, one of the founding fathers of modern fantasy and, by extension, our hobby, get more attention, but I am surprised it's a Top 10 post.
  9. Shock and Betrayal is here for a lot of reasons, including, I suspect, the Internet's love of drama. I'm also likely one of the higher profile fans of Tékumel online, so I suppose it was inevitable that others would be interested in my take on this particular bit of unpleasantness. 
  10. An Interview with Lawrence Schick is an early interview with a notable figure of the early days of gaming. There's some good stuff in the interview, though it's too short. Why, of all the interviews I've done over the years, it's the only one to reach the Top 10, I have no idea.
Looking over the Top 10 posts in terms of pageviews, I don't see much of a discernible pattern, except perhaps the role search engines play in directing traffic on the Internet. Of these ten posts, only a couple – "Gygaxian Naturalism" and "How Dragonlance Ruined Everything" – are really all that representative of my considered thoughts about roleplaying and its history and culture. The rest seem almost random in content; they do very little to help me get a sense of what readers enjoy. However, the next ten most popular posts are, I think, a bit more representative, though, even there, there are some oddities. 

I'll take a look at this second tier of popular posts tomorrow.


  1. Among my most popular posts are the second part of a two part review of a D&D5 adventure (but not the first part), a drawing of a Doctor Who supporting character, and a preview of an obscure computer game. All of which is to say that I have no idea why the internet finds certain things popular, either!

  2. I always enjoy reviews from bloggers whose opinions I respect, they help me decide whether something is worth my buying...especially with the high output of OSR games.

  3. Awesome! Thanks for a handy index to some of your goodest postins' to date... particularly the older ones that I had not seen yet.

    1. Most popular. Whether they're all actually good, let alone goodest, is another matter :)

  4. I account for 4-5 views of Gygaxian Naturalism in the past few years, I like these kind of posts!

    1. And I'm about to bump that up by one again because I'm working on Gamma World ecosystems tomorrow.