Yes, everyone is doing it.
It’s the ‘year-end most popular blog posts of the year’ post.
I’m not a big fan of these.
I see that Intelligent Discontent is the only Montana site to put one of these up so far.
For the most part, you see dated articles that are heavy on attacks, light on substance.
To me, these are articles you have no desire to read once the election cycle is over.
Sure, it’s fun seeing how many hits an article got – if that information is even given – but to tell you the truth…I don’t really have a hankering to go back and read those old articles.
- Most of the time they’re dated, no longer relevant.
- Lots of the time they were just hooey to begin with.
I’m sure I have a lot of both.
Actually, a lot of my popular posts of 2016 are that way.
The posts that continue to get the most views on this site are from 2013, 2014, and 2015…for the most part.
They deal with celebrities, rich bankers, and Montana mountain men and fur trappers.
That’s why people come to this site – to read that stuff.
They mostly come from Google, with about 75% of users coming here from that search engine for something on celebrities or mountain men, maybe something to do with eBooks.
Just 25% of my monthly visitors are return visitors, meaning they’re coming back for something.
So really, just about 25% of the readers on this site are coming to read my new content.
Anyways, I do keep track of the monthly analytics so I can go back through the old screenshots to see which posts got the most hits.
This is how it breaks down.
Back in January we saw my Hugh Glass article get real popular, mainly because of the film The Revenant.
The 3-year-old post got 2,274 views that month.
Besides that, it was mostly celebrities, old mountain men and fur trapping posts, and the always-popular Rothschilds, Freemasons, and Illuminati post.
In Montana news the most popular post was More Staff Changes in Bullock’s Office.
It got 668 views.
Moving on to February my most popular post of the month was The Economics and the Emotions of Montana’s Medical Marijuana Ruling.
Despite coming out at the end of the month it got 3,481 views.
Then we had old favorites (celebrities) before the 5th most popular post that month, which was What is American Lands Council Doing in Washington State?
It got 1,922 views.
Because I saw Hugh Glass getting a lot of views the previous month I wrote Is the Film The Revenant Historically Accurate?
It got 669 views that month.
In March it was two old celebrities posts that got the most views, then the 3rd most popular article was 14 Awesome Events to Gather Signatures for the Marijuana Legalization Initiatives in Montana.
It got 1,885 views.
I always thought that would be a good one for the statewide candidates to read to figure out obscure places to go to in their quest for votes.
After seeing the November returns, however, I’m confident that didn’t happen.
Besides that, the next most popular post (that was new) was The Sheriff, the Militia, and the Feds in Sanders County.
It got 724 views.
For some reason in April I didn’t take any screenshots of my analytics.
So…nothing to report.
The most popular article in May, as it is most months, was 25 Famous People from Montana You Might Not Know.
It got 6,939 views that month.
Another eight ‘old favorite’ articles come next before The Missoula Bernie Sanders Rally in Caras Park comes along.
It got 596 views.
The most new Montana article in June was New Info on the Bullock Scandal.
It got 1,585 views.
You might remember that this was the article that led to the news that Bullock had gone to the Paul McCartney concert.
That was not an issue in the campaign before I wrote that article, an article that spurred a radio station to follow up.
Many people were unhappy with me, the vast majority being Democrats.
It was sad – you report on the truth, but because it’s politics, the truth doesn’t matter.
Oh well. That kind of reaction makes me dig in my heels and continue on with what I was doing.
After that we had the article Shady Business Surrounding Young Montana Democrats.
It got 747 views.
Sadly, I view the second article as a much more egregious crime. The local media never picked up on it, however.
Missoula Democrats will therefore continue to have free reign when it comes to their financial improprieties.
Besides celebrities, Montana books, fur trapping, and rich bankers, the most popular new Montana article was Shady Business Surrounding Young Montana Democrats.
It was #9 on the most popular list.
It got another 523 views that month.
New Info on the Bullock Scandal was the next most popular, getting another 500 views.
The most popular new article this month was What’s Next for the Montana Marijuana Movement?
It got 603 views.
Besides that…a slow month.
The most popular new Montana article for September was What’s Going on with Steve Bullock and Meg O’Leary?
It got 1,434 views.
Next up was one from late-2015, Sex in Montana Politics.
It got 819 views.
After that we had my Revenant article (one that got about 500 views every month this year).
Then the Dakota Access Pipeline issue blazed to life and my old 2015 article on The Yellowstone Pipeline’s Troubled History got popular.
Those articles got 616 and 605 views, respectively.
I like those last to the most – real issues with real history that should be important today.
I’m not as much a fan of the sexual impropriety articles, but hey…it’s news and if it’s news in Montana and I find out about it, I’m gonna write about it.
I know that bothers a lot of people.
Politically, things heated up in October.
The 4th most popular article on the site that month was a new one, Why’d James DeHaven Quit?
It got 623 views that month.
After that we had the article about legislators and their money laundering, Two Very Corrupt Women.
It got 587 views.
Next came the February article, Who is Montana’s Melissa Romano?
It got 510 views.
After that we had Why is the State of Montana Paying Former Employees Not to Talk?
It got 479 views.
Then it was Looking Into Corruption with Deloitte, DPHHS, and Bullock.
It got 474 views.
Finally, after a few celebrity posts, we had September Spending for the Montana Statewide Races.
It got 422 views.
Election month saw an old 2015 article called 10 Signs You’re a Conservative Democrat get the most lovin’.
It got 726 views.
The Yellowstone Pipeline article did well again that month.
It got 564 views.
My election night post Live Montana 2016 Election Results and Analysis got 516 views.
Finally, we had the post Are Democratic Staff Shake-Ups Coming?
It got 438 views.
The most popular new article this month was Which Montana Democrats Could Win the Special Election?
It got 592 views.
Next up was Legalize It Montana.
It got 429 views.
Pretty interesting, huh?
For many, those numbers won’t be impressive. Small potatoes stuff.
I mean, lots of others sites get more traffic on that, including many in Montana. Hell, just look at their Facebook likes.
For others, those numbers are enviable. Writing a website long-term isn’t easy, nor is getting people to read it.
I’ve done both, and those are my numbers.
That’s what people in Montana choose to read when it comes to my site.
Lots of people do not like it that this information is on my site, freely available for anyone to read.
Those people are often the ones the articles are written about.
Hey, that’s fine.
I get it too – I’m not a popular person in Montana.
I’m fine with that. I didn’t start this site to get popular – I started it to make Montana a better place.
I feel I’m making progress with that goal.
Politicians and bureaucrats and those thinking about becoming one know that there’s a site out there that will hold them accountable.
If they’re caught with their pants down or their hand in the cookie jar, so much the better – my audience likes those posts the most.
And why shouldn’t I write about that stuff?
Honor…decency…some moral code?
Please, take that shit somewhere else.
If you’re not putting the state’s best interests first, I’ll make note of it. If it becomes a problem, I’ll write about it.
If you don’t like that, jump back into the private sector…if you were ever there to begin with.
Because when it comes down to it, these politicians and bureaucrats don’t have to make taxpayer money as their salary.
They could go out and get a real job that pays them based on their skills, expertise, and what they can contribute.
And I’m sorry, state jobs do not qualify.
I worked for the state – you’ll keep your job no matter what, and that includes if there’s not enough work to do.
Every time I’ve worked for the state, there’s never been enough work to do.
Many resent comments like that. I can live with it.
I can live with a lot of things – politicians hating me, the public ignoring me, blogs chastising me, and even my own future being ‘ruined’ by what I write.
I’m still here though, and coming up on 4 years.
I guess I like doing this, I guess I have some kind of passion for it.
I still feel like quitting a lot, and I think that’s typically the case with most things we love/hate.
But I keep getting up each morning and I keep going to work. I keep trying to make this world we live in a better place.
I do that by using the skills and talents I have, and for the most part that’s my ability to write and research.
It’s what the University of Montana trained me to do, even though not a single person working there could tell you who I am.
I dunno…maybe someone in the History Department has an inkling of who I am.
At least you know.
And that’s really all that matters.
You know you can come to Big Sky Words and get honest thoughts backed up with information you can verify.
It’s why hundreds of people just like you come here each day.
I hope you keep coming.
2017 will be an exciting year, as they all are.
Let’s move through it together, one word at a time.
My goal for 2017 is simple – keep writing on this site.
Thanks for reading.