If you missed them the first time around, I hope you’ll consider giving these best posts of 2015 a read.
Now that we’ve actually reached the end of the year, I thought I’d look back at my key topics and offer you a look at my best posts of 2015.
Coming up with a list of best posts is always a challenge because it’s always subjective. There’s a great temptation to define “best posts” by traffic only or by comments only.
The posts you might like might be ones that I didn’t think were that strong. The posts I might like might leave you yawning.
Then there’s Google Analytics, which might tell me that some of the most-read posts were those I’d like to forget ever having written, or that the posts I think should have gotten the most traffic were barely noticed.
Relying on comments is generally a bad idea, too, because sometimes a reader may feel there’s little they can add or may not wish to enter the debate; that doesn’t make a post bad by any means; to some, it means you’ve done an excellent job at covering multiple sides of an issue.
So what I decided to do this time around is to take each of my key topics (the ones across my main menu bar) and pick five posts that I thought were particularly worth at least one look.
Best Posts of 2015 on Blogging
The Problem With Blogging for No One
I’ve always had a hard time believing people who say they aren’t interested in an audience. Frankly, if you’re so uncaring about an audience, you don’t really deserve one.
I Wouldn’t Quit Blogging Because Huffington Post Said So
The Huffington Post came up with a list of reasons it may be time to quit blogging, based mostly on the likelihood your blog will or won’t achieve some huge degree of success. I came up with a question that’s a better one to focus on if you ever find yourself wondering if it’s time to fold up your blogging tent.
3 Blogging Rules I Think You Should Break
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not one of those people who looks for reasons to break rules; I think many rules exist for good reasons. But there are times when you may decide for your own reasons and for your own audience, that certain rules might not apply as well to your blog.
How Does a Blogger Find His Writer’s Voice?
I hear a lot of newbie and even a few not-so-newbie bloggers ask this question. There’s really only one way.
The ‘Is Grammar Important’ Blog Argument…From the Other Side
I wrote this post in response to those who say grammar either doesn’t or shouldn’t matter on a blog, and I found a counter-example to make the point.
Best Posts of 2015 on Entertainment
When Did Comedy Stop Being Funny?
How many of the comedies on television today are actually funny? There are “hit comedies” on the air today that I’ve tried to watch, and after ten minutes, I haven’t laughed once. Did I miss a memo?
Viewer Complains About TV Station’s Gay Logo Change
This is one of my favorite stories of the year just because of the absurdity of it and the fact that someone was clearly looking for something to be offended by!
Binge-Watching Television linked to Loneliness and Depression, Experts Say
A new study said those who can often be found binge-watching television tend to be among the most depressed and lonely people out there. They needed a study for that?
CBS Promotes ‘CSI’ Series Finale, Sends Fans Into a Tizzy
It was just one little word that rolled across the screen in a promotional graphic, but it was just the right word (or wrong one, depending on your point of view) to cause an uproar.
Are Spoilers Ruining TV?
There was a time when a promo that teased a character’s demise would have truly left the audience in shock and making a mental note to not miss the next episode no matter what other commitments they might have. But these days, before the promo is ever written, much less edited, the world of spoilers is letting the cat out of the bag.
Best Posts of 2015 on Faith
Jesus and Guns: ‘Enough’ with the Swords Verse!
Some Christians are apparently using a verse in which Christ tells his disciples to buy swords as justification of buying guns today. They’re clearly not looking at the verse in context and as part of the bigger picture.
Selling Your Church Shouldn’t Involve Knocking Mine
I should probably stop answering my door when the church folk come calling in a desperate hope to convert me to their denomination, which, in their minds, is the only acceptable one. But then we wouldn’t be able to have this kind of discussion!
Why Do Christians Focus on Them Instead of Us?
The typical reaction when a Christian is told about a person who is judged to be living in sin is to “love them, but hate the sin.” What might happen, though, if Christians would drop the “them” talk? Because as 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 reminds us, it’s not about “them,” it’s about “us.”
When Worship Music is Too Loud, What Do Worshipers Do?
No one seems to agree about what is and isn’t too loud. Musicians like loudness. The only thing resembling a “compromise” of worship leaders for audience members who complain about volume is to provide ear plugs. To me, that’s an admission of guilt and a case of adding insult to injury at the same time: who wants to listen to something with their ears plugged up? That’s not what I call putting your audience first.
What if the Church Would Fight Obesity Like Homosexuality?
This post was inspired by a South Carolina pastor’s post in which he asked that very question, then pointed to a well-known Bible verse that seems to inspire some sort of selective blindness: Many use it as a weapon against homosexuals without managing to actually read what it says.
Best Posts of 2015 on Grammar
The 2 Kinds of Grammar Enthusiasts: Which One Are You?
Mary Schmich wrote an interesting piece in The New York Times in which she named two very different kinds of grammar enthusiasts. Which do you most identify with?
Woman Beats Parking Ticket Over Missing Comma
This is one of those stories that stands as a perfect example of why the little details of grammar are important.
Handling The Growing Gender Pronoun Problem
The growing transgender movement advocating the use of the pronoun their even for singular seems to be simply pushing for a way to make sure all bases are covered. Grammar rules haven’t really caught up with this, yet.
The Word of the Year Isn’t a Word at All
It seemed like false advertising to me! To name something other than a word to be the “Word of the Year?” Well, that was a surefire way to prompt a blog post!
The ‘Greatest Casualty’ Leaves Me Scratching My Head
A popular charity misses the mark with their highly-annoying slogan. In fact, the first time I heard it, I was so distracted by it that I missed the rest of the spot’s message.
Best Posts of 2015 on Hot Topics
Some Christians Upset About the Starbucks Christmas Cup
Let me be as delicate as I can: If you were a Christian fuming over the design of Starbucks to the point that you’re calling for a boycott, I think you should definitely give up the coffee: clearly you are ingesting too much caffeine and it might just be clouding your judgment.
Will Doing Away With Tipping Really End Tipping?
The idea of ending tipping in restaurants appeals to restaurant owners because their employees can depend on a more stable paycheck while they end up having to do less paperwork. It also means the money from increased prices can be better distributed to servers and kitchen staff, which is often left out of the tip distribution.
The Truth About Fat Shaming (and Why You Probably Won’t Like It)
A student at a Pennsylvania college received an apology after the college sent her an email invitation to join a program designed to help students shed pounds and raise awareness about weight-related health risks. But for many of us who might carry a few extra pounds, the “offense” is all in our heads.
Police Videos May Expose Problems Both Ways
The shooting of a black motorist by a white police officer in Charleston back in April prompted new legislation requiring body cameras for police officers. But there are some important points to keep in mind once the cameras start rolling.
Once Confederate Flag Comes Down in SC, Where Does It End?
Following the shooting of nine people in a black church in Charleston by an accused white gunman who reportedly told investigators he wanted to start a “race war,” a movement brought down the Confederate flag. But a very important question followed: What’s the line between removing a symbol of hate and rewriting history?
Schieffer to Aspiring Reporter: ‘Pick Up the Phone or Drop By’
CBS newsman Bob Schieffer received a note from an aspiring reporter that sought advice on a school project. Schieffer’s gracious response included his phone number, something you wouldn’t necessarily expect someone of Schieffer’s experience to offer. You won’t believe what happened next.
Would They Rather The Media Stay Silent on Severe Weather?
When people complain about coverage of pending severe weather, what do they really want? When you tune in to find out what’s happening, do you want the weather team to ignore the worst-case scenario model because it’s the worst-case? Do you want the team to only mention the best-case scenario so that, if the worst-case scenario happens, you’ll be completely unprepared for it?
Pastor Blasts Coverage of News Crew Killing
Sometimes media criticism is, when one thinks about it, so absurd in its total lack of logic that it just has to be pointed out, because, inexplicably, many other people out there can’t seem to see how without logic it actually is.
If You Only Read the Headlines, You Aren’t Getting Informed
I was amused when I saw a Facebook comment by an angry viewer the other day who complained to a news organization that they should know that people only read the headlines and not the details.
Millennial News Consumers May Not Be So Different After All
Research about where people get their news these days can be a bit discouraging to journalists if they don’t take the generation gap into consideration. The younger a “news consumer” is, research suggests the more likely that person’s first, and in some cases near sole source of news on a day-to-day basis is Facebook. Dear Lord!
Best Posts of 2015 on Life
Jimmy Carter: ‘At Ease With Whatever Comes’
Back in August, former President Jimmy Carter revealed a cancer diagnosis and his strong continuing faith.
Death of Cecil the Lion Leads to Misplaced Anger
The well-publicized death of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe led many people to get angry at the wrong people.
Study: Your Bond With Your Dog is Like A Parents’ Bonds With Their Kids
The next time a parent looks down their nose at me when I make some reference to my dog seeming like my “kid,” I can point them in this post’s direction.
Hey, Cashiers: Remember Me? I’m the Customer!
They don’t seem to teach cashiers one of the basic tenets of customer service these days. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to teach managers to pay attention, either.
Remembering The Emanuel 9: A Powerful Day in Charleston
The Sunday after the massacre at a black church here in Charleston, the interim pastor delivered a powerful message as people across the country remembered the victims of a senseless act.
Best Posts of 2015 on Saturday Coffee
A Horrible Week
Here was my take on the Charleston church shooting as someone who helped cover the tragedy.
Flag or Identity?
I offered a few patriotic thoughts about the American flag as a bigger fight was brewing over a relic from the past.
The Confederate Battle Flag Battle
We did not need the deaths of the “Emanuel 9” to realize that the Confederate flag means one thing to one group and something very different to another group. Just as the swastika has a very different meaning these days, the Confederate battle flag doesn’t say the same thing to all people.
A Question of Priorities
An interesting comment to an older post about one of many battles of students fighting school dress codes over a right to self-express prompted this post. The comment was interesting in what it put the focus on and, by comparison, what it nearly ignored.
Let’s Drop This War on Christmas Nonsense
Enough is enough. When someone says, “Happy Holidays,” it’s not an attack on your faith.
Best Posts of 2015 on Tech & Web
Early Exposure: Babies Using Mobile Devices, Study Finds
A new study looking at babies using mobile devices find that by the age of 6 months, many babies have already used a tablet or smart phone. If that’s not frightening, I don’t know what is.
Future of Wearable Technology May Be Very Good for You
I attended a conference back in April that included a talk about what wearable technology was rolling out for the masses. The future might just be amazing.
Are We Changing Our Opinions on Cell Phone Etiquette?
Ninety-two percent of American adults now own a cell phone. Of those, 90% say that their phone is “frequently with them” and 31% of cell owners say they never turn their phones off. As cell phones become more ubiquitous, people’s opinions on cell phone etiquette appear to be evolving.
Couple Claims Facebook Barred Them Over Last Name
Here’s an example of the havoc that can happen when computers do all the thinking rather than allowing the human equation to enter the picture.
Police Response to Facebook Comment Goes Viral
In a growing anti-police culture, a police response to a snarky Facebook comment is getting lots of attention. And I’m siding with the cops on this one.