From the Midnight Sun blog:
If I was to write Midnight Sun based on page views, the blog would be lingerie football and Justin Bieber all the time.*
At least that's what this roundup of the 50 most clicked-on posts of the year tells me about Midnight Sunners' reading habits.
Out of the total 1,000 or so items that ran on the blog this year - reporting on topics as varied as crime, local music trends, business developments and nightlife - it's something of a mystery how these ended up being most read.
After all, some items that included lots of reporting were overlooked, while others that were just a few paragraphs were highly read. Other items benefited from being linked to by Andrew Sullivan, and some others simply generated lots of debate in the comments.
But, in 2010, it seems readers were most interested in breaking crime news, music festivals like Virgin Mobile FreeFest, and the Charm City Circulator. Bieber, of course, interested locals a lot too - though it may not be something they admit to - as did scantily-clad football players. Shocker, that last one.
The posts here are divided in two sections: January to August, when Sam Sessa wrote the blog, and September to December, since I've been at the helm.
Overall, though, it was a big year for Midnight Sun.
In fact, in terms of audience, there was a 15 percent jump in page views from last year, making 2010 our most read since the blog's inception three years ago. And for that, we want to say: thank you for reading.
December - September, 2010:
20. Weekend Crime: Man beaten outside DC9 club; police officer Brian Stevenson killed in Canton
19. Review: Vampire Weekend at Merriweather Post Pavilion, in which I upset whiny Vampire Weekend Fans. Incidentally, I've been vindicated.
18. I survived Justin Bieber at the State Fair. Now, if only Bieber's fragrance hadn't.
17. Recording Industry: Here's a handy guide on best websites for stealing music Service journalism!
16. Introducing Gameday Warehouse, a new Ravens bar, here likely thanks to the best Ravens bar story.
15. Review: Wayne Mahaffey's Bistro Rx: This review generated a lot of debate, with Mahaffey even writing his own defense.
14. A fourth Charm City Circulator route considered
13. U2 to play Baltimore in 2011, maybe: Interestingly, the confirmation that the band would actually play, wasn't as well read. Still, the U2 show led to this 1A story.
Continued:12. Girl Talk's new album posted online as a free download, includes Rye Rye sample: Baltimore loves Girl Talk, and free things. Mostly free things.
11. Maryland takes out Four Loko, which pointed you towards the amazing sentence, "The often fruity drinks are popular among the young, who say they like the way the caffeine mitigates the soporific effects of the alcohol."
10. Girl Talk announces 40-city tour
9. America loses its mind over Four Loko: Thanks Atlantic, Reason, and Andrew Sullivan!
8. Concert review: Lady Gaga at Verizon Center
7. Crime: Thirsty Turtle liquor license revoked
6. Trent Reznor's 'Social Network' soundtrack online for free: Yes, movie was good. But the free MP3s were better.
5. With slots approved, Rams Head Live discusses plans for Arundel Mills venue: David Cordish was among the most polarizing figures in Baltimore this year, as was his campaign to install slots at the mall.
4. Review: Roger Waters' The Wall Live at Verizon Center in Washington DC. Waters gave Sessa nightmares.
3. Stabbing Thursday night at Power Plant Live: Another startling crime scene, at the massively attended kickoff party.
2. Four Loko banned in college campuses; Maryland schools respond: Maryland students were curious to see how their schools would handle "blackout in a can."
1. Virgin Mobile FreeFest schedule: post included updates on T.I.'s up-in-the-air performance and a printable PDF of the official schedule, but mainly, it was most seen because Midnight Sun posted it first. It was the most read post about Virgin FreeFest all year, and the third most read post overall.
August - January, in descending order:
30. The vodka eyeball post: the drinking meme that preceded Bros Icing Bros.
29. Concert review: Phish at Merriweather Post Pavilion: Sessa let a publicist write this after the dude commented on an old Phish review.
28. My rocky Vince Neil run-in: (several days after Sessa pressured the "sober" Neil about the glass of tequila in his hand on his latest album cover, Neil was arrested for DUI)
27. O.A.R., Zac Brown to play Preakness InfieldFEST
26. Deadmau5 collapses at 9:30 club: a short item with big news for fans of the DJ.
25. Dru Hill reunites, plans new album, reality TV show: who knew Sisqo still had so many fans?
24. Corkboard: Who has the best Cinco de Mayo specials?: Corkboard, a feature that should make a comeback next year.
23. Concert review: Muse at 1st Mariner Arena
22. Facing lawsuit, Ottobar holds benefit: One of the too-few cases of a club owner taking responsibility for an unfortunate incident and turning it into a positive fundraiser.
21. Concert Review: Black Eyed Peas at Verizon Center
20. Rumors: HFStival to return to Merriweather: rumors begin...
19. Third Eye Blind, Billy Idol to headline HFstival: and then they are confirmed.
18. Insubordination Fest pits promoter, fans against Sonar: Chaos erupted at the two-day festival; the post was one of the most commented of the year.
17. Minus5 ice bar & lounge coming to Power Plant Live: A cool idea which didn't last the fall.
16. 2010 Virgin Mobile FreeFest line-up announced
15. Baltimore's best places to watch the fireworks on July 4:
14. Liquor board finds Bourbon Street not guilty
13. Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2010: What bands would you like to see? Nearly 200 people answered.
12. Confirmed: HFStival to return to Merriweather Post Pavilion: '90s music lovers let out a collective sigh of boredom at this aging, largely irrelevant lineup.
11. 1st Mariner Arena named best arena of its size in the U.S.
10. Lingerie football is coming to Baltimore: There's no shame in traffic bait.
9. Woman mistaken for Justin Bieber: a dumb person brings TMZ to Ocean City
8. Concert Review: John Mayer at Verizon Center: Contributor Patrick Gaven reviewed the show, where Jennifer Aniston was not mentioned once.
7. Virgin Mobile FreeFest to return to Merriweather
6. Brewer's Art will can Resurrection Ale in May
5. Concert review: George Strait, Reba McEntire, and Lee Ann Womack at 1st Mariner: Beating Gaga, Bieber, even the Black Eyed Peas as the most read review of the year on Midnight Sun.
4. The Bros Icing Bros post: in which Midnight Sun put to the test an Internet fad. Hilarity ensued.
3. Racially charged sign posted outside Sid's Tavern: The bizarre story of Sid's Tavern. Sessa got a tip at 10 p.m. one weeknight about this, and sprung to action! Justice was eventually served, depending on who you ask.
2. Introducing Tiki Barge, South Baltimore's new tiki bar: Popular thanks to thousands of Google searches from people wondering "Where/what the heck is this place?"
1. Pickled Parrot Owner arrested: a short item on a drunken brawl in Canton ends up generating a big debate over the bar, crime, and the neighborhood, which nicely sums up several of the interests of Midnight Sun. It was also the most read post of the entire year.
*Having said that - much like Bea Arthur Mountains Pizza, football lingerie and Justin Bieber sounds like a great tumblr.