What a great year for Pop Mythology. We reached two big milestones on Alexa.com: first, becoming one of the top 5% most visited websites in the world in mid-year and then reaching the top 2.5% by year’s end. We also broke numerous internal records in terms of page views, likes and such, and hit our end-of-the-year goal of 2,000 followers on our Facebook page.
Because of this, as Editor-in-Chief I thought a list of our most popular posts this year was in order. The three barometers that I used to determine popularity were total page views, likes and comments, and along with each post are the stats for that particular post at the time of writing.
The result is a pretty good representation of our efforts to provide a balanced mix of thoughtful, probing commentary with fun, lighthearted content that you can enjoy during your coffee breaks.
Thank you again to all our readers and supporters for a wonderful year and here’s to an even better 2014.
614 likes / 938 views / 44 tweets / 11 comments
Originally this post was published as the 15 Most Popular Posts (as you can see from the title and URL) but in my haste to finish the post by a certain day, I missed another popular article that deserved to be on this list while digging through my article archives. This is a post I wrote about the burgeoning expat arts movement in Seoul, Korea, focusing on a work that I felt was a representative face of that movement, the indie film Amiss.
94 likes / 1745 views / 11 comments
The timing of this one was very good, riding the crest as it did of the zombie wave. But it wasn’t just the timing. Jonathan Brown’s post really got to the heart of the psychological appeal of the genre and why so many people — perhaps a bit foolishly but understandably — want to trade-in their humdrum, everyday reality to live in a zombie apocalypse.
66 likes / 5394 views / 21 comments
I wrote this one very early in the year when the site wasn’t getting nearly as much traffic as it does now. Back then I wrote these superhero posts simply because I enjoyed it and because I was using them to inspire myself as much as anyone else. The post got little attention at the time, but somehow over the course of the year it accumulated a respectable amount of views, likes and comments from people accidentally finding it through search results on Google.
213 likes / 1608 views / 57 tweets
Not much explanation needed here, really, is there? It’s Daryl!
267 likes / 1737 views / 67 tweets
This was a guest post written by the lovely Mel Massey, pagan priestess, practicing witch and author extraordinaire. Like the zombie apocalypse post above, it took timely advantage of the new boom in witch-related content in pop culture.
91 likes / 19,350 views / 16 comments
While this post by contributor Anthony Nowicke got less likes than the two posts above it, it got far more actual views overall as well as more comments. And as many bloggers know, comments can sometimes be the hardest to get.
286 likes / 818 views / 21 tweets / 9 comments
It was an honor for contributor Raoul Dyssell and I to interview this man whose name might not be as recognized as other names from Batman-related media such as Bob Kane, Adam West, Tim Burton, Christian Bale and, of course, Chris Nolan. But he is arguably just as important as all of them, arguably more so when it comes to the shift from the campy feel of the old TV show to the darker turn beginning with Burton’s Batman in 1989.
316 likes / 2263 views / 6 comments
When we first posted this article about the Heath Ledger-Chris Nolan portrayal of the Joker, we received one critique from a reader who said that the post was too outdated. True, it has been a few years since The Dark Knight graced the silver screen and amazed us all, but the popularity of this post proved not only the enduring popularity of the character but also that readers don’t mind revisiting an older topic if the post manages to offer something interesting. And this one did.
401 likes / 2956 views / 11 tweets / 6 comments
When the Internet s**t hit the fan over Ben Affleck being cast as the new Batman, rather than join in on all the hating, Jess Kroll, Patrick Renfrow and I opted to look back at all the other casting choices over the years that had fans in an uproar and yet turned out pretty well if not superbly well (again, Heath Ledger). The result was one of our first very popular posts.
505 likes / 11 tweets / 505 views
While reviews are an essential component of any entertainment website, they don’t typically get that much traffic. Unless the Queen of the Damned herself, Anne Rice (a very active user of social media), personally likes the review and shares it on her Facebook page. This book review by prolific contributor Andrea Sefler is the only traditional review of any medium (movie, book, game, comic, music) that made it on this list. Bizarrely, when I last checked, this post also got a perfect ratio of 505 likes to 505 page views, which almost never happens.
614 likes / 11 tweets / 3951 views
The popularity of this post by our very own “Captain” Kirk proves that there are still a lot of people out there who care about education and either believe in or are intrigued by the idea of incorporating pop culture into the classroom.
609 likes / 26 tweets / 5944 views / 14 comments
After this one, all the remaining posts on this list were lucky enough to be shared on social media by celebrities, which boosted their popularity. This one didn’t because if you talk about certain celebrities being jerks or bad people, chances are they’re not going to endorse your article. And yet this post by resident film critic Jess Kroll still managed to rack up a healthy heap of likes, total views and comments, ranking highly in all three barometers of reader engagement. This meant, of course, that the content was good enough on its own such that regular people were compelled to keep sharing and commenting on it.
885 likes / 22 tweets / 3489 views / 6 comments
This is one of two posts covering the podcast phenomenon that is Welcome to Night Vale. Cecil Baldwin is one of those celebrities who know how to be celebrities: friendly, down-to-earth and very approachable. It’s probably one of the reasons his fans love him so much other than his wonderful work as the voice of the hit podcast. And contributor Clint Nowicke picked just the right questions that Baldwin’s fans were aching to read more about.
2K likes / 5256 views
Of all the posts I’ve done, this one took me the longest to research, collect material for and actually put together. By far! Which is funny because when I first started it I thought it’d be a quick and easy one. I feared that all the hours of work might go to naught if the post didn’t do well, but apparently people never seem to tire of looking at jaw-droppingly impressive craftsmanship and hot guys and gals in tight outfits. Hell, I don’t.
2.2K likes / 12 tweets / 5,690 views / 7 comments
I figured this one would be at least somewhat popular due to the LGBTQ angle which is less covered in mainstream media, but then Cecil Baldwin himself shared the article on his Facebook page and practically overnight the post got over a thousand likes. 7 comments is actually not accurate because even though that’s all we got under the actual article itself, far more people commented on how much they liked the article under Baldwin’s FB post.
44K likes / 95 tweets / 44k+ views / 64 comments
This is our only post so far that we can say has genuinely gone “viral.” And even though I wrote it, never for one moment did I kid myself that its popularity was due to how good the content was. You see, Jean-Claude Van Damme, the “expendable” action star that people had written off as a washout still has a fiercely loyal fan base and, like Bane in the sewers, has been quietly amassing his army of followers for a big comeback. And so when the master of epic splits shared this article on his FB page, the resulting tsunami of traffic was so great that it crashed the server we were using at the time. Lord knows how much traffic we lost during the downtime but we’ve since prepared for such miracles/disasters in the future by upgrading our server.