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World’s Strongest Librarian’s 12 Most Popular Posts And The Stories And Updates Behind Them

I’ve done a lot of writing in the past year. I’ve written posts that I thought would be well-received and pretty much flopped.  I’ve written posts that I thought were so-so that wound up being extremely popular.

A lot of people have asked me where I get my ideas. Basically, I get through each day without dying and keep my eyes open for observations. I spin those observations out into smart-sounding pseudo-philosophy and away we go!

But seriously, it’s been a wonderful year of blogging.  The 12 posts below are not the ones with the most comments, but they have received by far the most traffic and web attention.

1. The Things We Already Know

When things begin to snowball for a blog and real momentum builds up, a lot can happen very quickly.  The Things We Already Know is only a couple of weeks old at this point, but has received well over 50,000 page views. Honestly, this was a post I wasn’t in love with. I didn’t have any real expectations for it. Shows what I know. It is by far my most-viewed post. I think I’ll always believe the things that it says, for what it’s worth.

2. Book Review: Where The Wild Things Are

Apparently a lot of people look up book reviews of Where The Wild Things Are. And as my blog’s authority and popularity has grown, more and more people have found me via this little post about one of my favorite books of all time. It didn’t hurt that I’ve highlighted my disgust for the weenies who have tried to ban this book.

3. Reasons To Keep At Least One Journal

Since I wrote this post, my daily journal writing has not been as consistent as in previous years. The blog has been, I feel, an adequate substitute for me. My training log and nutrition diaries and book-reading journal are still going strong.

4. Book Review: Convict Conditioning

This was my first real realization about how powerful a blog can be when it is perceived by the search engines as an authority.  Type Book Review Convict Conditioning into Google and guess who is usually number one?  And wow, I’ve made a lot of affiliate sales from this little review I wrote back in December.

If you’re a blogger and you’ve heard about how Pagerank and Authority are useful for your blog, it’s true. If you want a great explanation of these concepts, check out PageRank Explained by my buddy and mentor, Yaro Starak.

5. The Terrible Day I Met Bruce Campbell

Good grief. The only real story is that I made a fool of myself and it’s an awesome story. I’ll never get sick of it, now that the shell-shock is over. This was my first experiment with using the Audio Player I use to stream my audio stuff with. This is one story that I told for mostly selfish reasons: I knew it would be a hit and get me some traction.

6. Book Review: Watership Down

Awesome book about so much more than rabbits. This piece also resulted in the nastiest piece of hate mail I ever received (or probably will ever receive).  I addressed this issue later with this post, Three Great Novels Featuring Disturbed Protagonists.

7. A Life Lesson From Victor Frankl

I don’t know if I have more respect for anyone who has ever lived. Victor Frankl has influenced my life in ways that nobody but my parents have been able to. Turns out a lot of other people feel the same way. Frankl survived the Holocaust and dedicated his life to helping others. I aspire to be the shadow of his shadow of his shadow. It would be enough.

8. Book Review: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Another entry from the banned book series. A lot of people search for these books online, looking for criticism, gross pictures, nostalgia, and more. I love these books; looking at the pictures puts me instantly into the tent in my backyard in Nevada, reading by a flashlight and wishing the sun would come up.

9. Seven Quotes That Will Make You Love Kurt Vonnegut

I wore black the day Kurt died. I loved that man. Luckily, I’m not alone. After I read Slaughterhouse Five, I did not read a book by another author until I had read every single word Vonnegut had published up to that point. I reread at least four of his books every year. No damn cradle...

10. The Easiest Way To Become A Negative Person

I officially belong to the Church of Don’t Be A Dick. Who wants to design a logo for me? Other people can be the best part of life, or the worst. I really, really don’t want to ever be the dark spot in someone else’s day. Life is hard enough without us all making it harder for each other. I believed it then, I believe it now, I’ll believe it it 50 years.

11. Book Review: Enter The Kettlebell!

Kettlebells are awesome and this book was my first real introduction to them. In the year after I read the book, I would go on to become an RKC certified kettlebell instructor and completely go off the deep end with my strongman obsession. This was also the time when I really started working with Adam Glass, which eventually led to one of the most rewarding friendships of my life and the whole Walk The Road Less Traveled experiment.

12. The Human Conversation In Keywords

I was learning how to use Google Analytics (which I high recommend, bloggers) and I realized that I could see which phrases people were finding my blog with. I’m so unfocused that many, many people just stumble in here by accident, say, “What in the world?” and hit the road. An illuminating experience for me, however. This was a lot of fun to write and was equal parts poignant and hilarious.

And there you go. These weren’t necessarily my favorites, or yours possibly, but they have treated me right by the unfeeling laws of algorithms and pagerank formulae.

And now for a moment of complete self-serving grubbing. If you’ve been around here for longer than an hour, I’d love to know if you have a favorite post.

I love you madly,  Loyal Weirdo


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  • Amy Harrison March 19, 2010, 3:43 am

    I’ve not got a favourite post as yet as I’m still digging into your archives as a realtively new subscriber. Just to say, I like it round here, and I picked up my first fiction book in a long long time the other day after realising how much I missed reading. 😉

    Happy birthday to the blog!

  • Mirella McCracken March 19, 2010, 6:07 am

    Congratulation on your one year of blogging Josh!
    It is a great idea to review your old posts.
    Very nice sharp looking website too.
    Good luck!

  • Gary Berenbroick March 19, 2010, 6:57 am

    the video in the library will never be topped Josh

    • Gary Berenbroick March 19, 2010, 6:59 am

      100 swings
      $1.00 off library fees
      no exceptions


    • Gary Berenbroick March 19, 2010, 7:01 am

      obviously, I’m watching it again

      “why settle for OK, when you can have awesome”

  • Casey (North and Clark) March 19, 2010, 8:26 am

    I love sneeze pages and seeing what’s popular. I am surprised to see which of these are the most popular ones. None of them are in the How to have Tourrettes series? Those are my favorite.

    Also, can’t wait for the book to come out. Partly because I have high expectation for it and partly because I am bored with what I am reading now.

    • Josh Hanagarne March 19, 2010, 12:46 pm

      What’s a sneeze page?

      • Casey (North and Clark) March 22, 2010, 9:53 am

        Sneeze page is something Darren Rowse talk about. It is a page where you highlight old content either because it is newly relevant or because you think your new readers haven’t seen some of your great stuff. It sneezes people from your most current post to information around your site.

        • Casey (North and Clark) March 23, 2010, 9:33 am

          I actually learned about them from problogger where I eventually got sneezed to you.

  • Mike March 19, 2010, 9:32 am

    Great stuff but my fave didn’t make it?


    Simple, yet hilarious. Keep up the good work!


  • Heather March 19, 2010, 10:57 am

    Congrats, Josh, and I’LL GLADLY DESIGN THE CHURCH LOGO! How could I turn down an opportunity like THAT!


    Ibid what Mike said about the Gang post. That one, and the one entitled, “Dear Weakness. . . BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME”.

    Thanks from this loyal weirdo!

  • Hilary March 19, 2010, 12:09 pm

    Hi Josh .. it’s good to look back, and you write so well – giving us a good overview of each of the posts – that really helps. Interesting read .. thank you .. and 50,000 page views .. whew!! Thanks too for the links to information you found useful … have a good weekend .. & Sunday off I hope – like you said! Hilary

  • We love you madly too… you loyal writer of weirdo compositions. 😉

    As a newer reader I am so glad you highlighted these old posts. Now I have some reading to do. Thanks Josh.

  • Adam March 20, 2010, 12:35 am

    first time you hit 60 seconds with no ticks and You vs. Teen wolf are still my favorites this year