256,000 people visited the Café in 2011, 27 percent of those for the first time, and 34 percent visited over 100 times. Our thanks to all of you.
The most viewed item was the Social Media Nativity, that was a fad all over the internet last year. We will be looking at the most frequently read news stories later today, but first, the most popular essays that appeared on the Daily Episcopalian section of the Café.
It appears we have quiet seasonal phenomenon on our hands. The most viewed original content was Ann Fontaine’s four-year-old essay on Blue Christmas, which continues to be found by people who have a difficult time at the holidays, or want to reach out to those who do.
Our second most popular essay was the Rev. Stephen Ayres tell-all about Sarah Palin’s visit to his church—the one that is famous because Paul Revere jumped from the belltower to warn the British that Barack Obama was coming to take away their guns. Or something.
Sarah Miles essay, on taking Ash Wednesday into the streets, was our third-most popular.
Bishop James Mathes’s op-ed on the ways in which a column in the Wall Street Journal misrepresented recent controversies in the Episcopal Church, got a lot of attention, as did P. Joshua Griffin’s column on the challenge and opportunity that the Occupy movement presents to the Episcopal Church, and Linda Grenz’s article on whether the church was “tinkering its way toward oblivion.”
But our two most consistant crowd pleasers of the year were Derek Olsen and George Clifford. Derek’s three-part essay on Communion without Baptism was more widely read than any freshly-written essay on the Daily Episcopalian blog this year. Individually, those three essays were the fourth, sixth and seventh most popular essays on the site, and his piece on communicating a parish’s essence through the mass media was fifth.
George has a way of asking the big questions that confront the church, and his pieces on the future of seminaries, whether the Episcopal Church was going the way of the Grange, and the future of traditional church music were the tenth through twelfth most widely read essays on the site.
Later today, or perhaps tomorrow, depending on the vagaries of travel, we will look at the most most frequently read stories that appeared on our news blog, The Lead.