What would the end of the year be without a "top posts of the year" entry? It just won't be satisfying, IMHO; can't welcome the new without first acknowledging the highlights from the past.
The site's certainly grown over the last 12 months, specifically in terms of eyeballs and contributors. There's a wider awareness of S&A, and thus even more respect for what the site has done and continues to do, which is be THE #1 online destination for all things cinema of the African Diaspora. And yes, I can say that with a straight face!
Granted, there's still a lot of work to be done, and you'll see some additional features introduced in 2012 - some I've already teased - that I think many of you will appreciate, and I expect the site will continue to grow as content becomes even more varied, the family expands, and more collaborations with others all help keep you folks engaged, entertained and informed.
I'm looking forward to it, despite the challenges ahead.
In coming up with the top 10 posts of the year list, I should first say that I'm only including the period since the site joined the indieWIRE network in mid-April. Yes, I realize I'm clipping off the first 3 1/2 months of the year, and there were 2 or 3 high-ranking posts (based on below criteria) I can think of that were made during those early months; but it's just easier this way. Deal with it :)
Also, I came up with the list based on a combo of number of comments, number of pageviews (per post), average time spent on each post per view, how well they traveled across the web via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and other criteria.
And finally, there were some posts that ranked highly but I didn't put on the list, mainly because of how/why they are ranked highly, as well as whether the content was what I'd call *worthy.* For example, there was an entry I posted in Septmber on Creflo Dollar going into the film business. The number of pageviews on that post was quite high, but a large number of them came from a single source. In short, members of Dollar's ministry repeatedly spammed the site (many of their comments were deleted) because they didn't care for the content of that specific post, and wanted it removed. I didn't remove the post. And I didn't include it on this list.
Another example of a post that ranked highly but didn't make the list was the announcement of the DVD/Blu-ray release of Fast Five. I just didn't think it was *worthy* of being included; also, the reason it ranks so highly is because a popular site linked to the post, and a whole bunch of traffic came from that single source, spent 60 seconds reading the info within the announcement, and most of them never returned to the site again.
So, you get the picture.
And without further ado, here's the list of 10, starting with the most popular (I think the titles speak for themselves; each is a link, by the way, so you can click on them to read the post referenced):
10. 8/27/11 - BBC One Orders 3rd Season Of Idris Elba's "Luther"
So, what can we learn from this list? Well, with 3 of the top 10 posts centered on the project, I can tell you that Django Unchained is going to be one of those heavily discussed and debated films in 2012 and 2013; if not THE most debated/discussed film. It won't be released until the last week of 2012, so I suspect much of the chatter will really explode in December, and continue into early 2013. I'd expect we'll start to see glimpses of it throughout 2012 - still photos, and eventually a trailer and clips maybe during the summer and fall, which will all generate discussion.
Also, Ari Aster's short film certainly sparked a fury; posted in mid-November, it managed to overtake the thousands of other posts made much earlier in the year to claim the #2 slot. I wonder what's going on with the project/filmmaker currently. I'm surprised a studio hasn't already nabbed feature film rights to the it :)
And only 1 single Tyler Perry post made the top 10? Just 1? Seems like every Tyler Perry post attracts hundreds and clicks and comments. Maybe folks are finally starting to tire of the Tyler Perry debate.
Who knew there was all that interest in Holly Robinson-Peete being replaced on The Talk? I certainly didn't. I've never even watched the show, so I must be out of touch.
Kudos to long-time S&A reader Mr "Accidental Visitor" as most of you know him. His reader-submitted op-ed - The Crisis Of The Black Leading Man - made the cut!
And with that, let me take this opportunity to say that reader-submitted op-eds/editorials are more than welcome; so if you've got a piece you've written, or that you want to write, and you think it'll be a good fit for S&A, send me an email (email@example.com).
That's all folks! Another year is just about over; time just seems to be moving at light-speed that it's almost scary.
Make every second count for something; take risks in 2012; worry less about what others think; be bold, be brave, be brilliant! No regrets.