2010: The year in review

The year’s end draws nigh, and I feel I should produce some sort if review of the twelve months gone by…

First up, the topic that is dearest to our hearts, this blog. Here’s our top ten posts for the year, by traffic:

  1. Second Life demographics – a brief review
  2. Second Life, with graphics, on the iPhone?
  3. On Second Life and addiction
  4. O Superman
  5. What’s up
  6. Zombie Epidemiology
  7. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
  8. Anatomy of a scandal
  9. Running Away
  10. That gum you like is going to come back in style

The demographics post is top by miles, with nearly as many hits as the rest put together, thanks to Google deciding that it should be the #1 result for the query “second life demographics 2010“. It got a lot of traffic in October, presumably due to media studies students researching start-of-term assignments, with another surge this month, probably because other SL bloggers are preparing their end-of-year posts. I think that the fact that this very slight essay, which I knocked out over one lunchtime back in April, should still be able to masquerade as an authoritative source says more about the paucity of serious academic interest in the topic than any brilliance in my writing.

Of the others, the addiction post benefited from my efforts to promote it by dropping a link into the comments of any blog post that mentioned the topic; the Superman post got a boost after it was featured in the Herald; “What’s up” gets traffic from people looking for pictures of 4 Non Blondes (a Google quirk that has at various times also given us hits from searches for Laura Palmer, Mae West and Catherine Deneuve/Susan Sarandon); the Zombie post is still getting referrals from the Undead Report; the rest, I don’t know, probably just random clicks.

Other posts from this year that I thought were OK, but that didn’t make the top ten:

I’m not sure if there was a theme to our posts this year; possibly something about the importance of narrative in the formation of identity, or some such pseudo-intellectual nonsense.

The year in Second Life? Stagnation, layoffs and general management chaos are the things that spring to mind; more detailed round-ups can be found at Daniel Voyager’s blog and Your2ndPlace if you’re interested.

In the real world it’s been a busy year politically; the event with the most direct effect on us was the return of a Conservative government to power in the UK. It’s been a bit of a phoney war since the summer, with only some student-led skirmishes, but the cuts will start to really kick in from now on, and the class struggle should get more intense. 2010 saw the right resurgent over in the US too, without much sign of the left regrouping; hopefully that will change in the months ahead.

In our last New Year review I suggested that we would be posting more general cultural comment during 2010; this remained, alas, an unfulfilled ambition, but I have belatedly managed to think about picks for book, film and album of the year.

Choosing a book was the hardest task; looking back I see that I didn’t read a single new novel all year, though I did buy a copy of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, which is glaring at me accusingly from the shelf. Instead I stuck to the classics, of which my favourite was Fielding’s Tom Jones. I hardly saw any new films either; from a restricted field I would have to give the nod to The Social Network. I did buy a lot of new albums; the two I’ve listened to most are Majesty Shredding by Superchunk and The Suburbs by Arcade Fire.

And so to the future… I expect I’ll keep this project going, out of habit if nothing else. Things might be a little quiet in January, while I’m busy with my New Year resolutions – do more serious writing, get more exercise – but once these have been discarded it’ll be back to our usual cavalcade of whimsy.

I’ll finish by sending our best wishes for 2011 to all our readers – may the New Year find you happy, healthy and prosperous.

One Response to 2010: The year in review

  1. Ciaran Laval says:

    We don’t have a Conservative government, we have a conservative and the I’d sell my own granny for a seat at the big boys table coalition. What the difference is, nobody is sure.

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