My Top 10 Blogs of 2017
We're reaching the time of the year when countdowns, Top 10 highlight shows and year end reviews will fill the media, as newspapers, television, radio and internet sites scramble to find ways to fill time and space at the slowest time of the year for news.
On the other hand, I've always enjoyed looking back on the year as we reach Christmas and New Year's. It's part of the season and for the second year in a row, I'm counting down my most popular blog posts.
The results are solely based on the number of people who read each blog on the day it was released, so without further ado, here are my Top 10 blog posts of the year.
Every summer I occasionally find myself thinking back to when I grew up in Edmonton’s northeast end. I wrote this blog on my birthday this past August and thought back to what growing up in the 60’s and early 70’s was like. We had black and white television with only a couple of local channels, but got a daily dose of Popcorn Playhouse. The Edmonton Journal arrived each afternoon and it was my window to the world. I listened to CHED every day, as everyone else my age did. If you grew up in Edmonton in the same era, you need to read this blog. Well you don’t NEED to read it, but you should.
This blog followed the death of famed Edmonton photographer Con Boland. There likely has never been a photographer in Edmonton with more notoriety than Boland. He died suddenly last summer and a friend posted the news on Facebook. The news media wanted to talk to the family about the death, which led to some harsh feelings at a difficult time for Boland’s family and friends. The blog talked about the need to appoint a spokesperson to handle media requests when somebody famous dies.
I’m glad to see this blog made the top 10. I wrote it after the City of Edmonton took over much of Northlands because it couldn’t pay a loan it got for the Expo Centre. I grew up only about a 10-minute walk from Northlands and spent a lot of my youth at Klondike Days, the racetrack, the Gardens and Sales Pavilion, before the Northlands Coliseum had been built. Northlands is on its last legs but it was fun to look back at what it used to be in its glory days.
Municipal elections were held across Alberta in October. I wrote this blog about the lack of election coverage on television. The CTV station in Edmonton only did an hour of coverage after the polls closed and pulled the plug as results were starting to come in. That was the best coverage we got. The blog explained why TV networks have more important things on their minds than local election coverage and why that’s gradually happened over the years. It’s sad, but it’s also reality.
I’m also really glad this blog made it. People using extra words in conversation are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I know I’m weird, but when I hear people say “every single day”, “Tweeted out”, “all game long”, or “blocked off” I cringe. I’ve been cringing a lot lately because people don’t seem to understand they’re adding a word where it’s not needed. Let’s remember that Facebook was originally called “The Facebook”. People should try to remove words from their conversations, not add them when they don’t need to be there.
One of the simplest, but powerful communication techniques I teach during my executive communication workshops is the importance of knowing what you’re going to say before you say it. When you know what you’re going to say next, you become more confident, use fewer “umms and ahhs” and sound surer of yourself. There are steps you can take to learn this powerful communications strategy, so check out the blog for more information on how to do it.
I wrote this in November about a week or so before the Grey Cup. I was born and raised in Edmonton and as a kid sat in the Knothole Gang in the south end zone of Clarke Stadium. Like everyone else, I never thought at the time that the Eskimos should have a different name, because the one they had was offensive. That was then and this is now and the blog suggested it may be time for the Eskimos to change their nickname. If people feel name Redskins is offensive (I do) and the nickname Indians is offensive (I do) then maybe using Eskimos is offensive too?
When I wrote this blog, I had no idea it would be the third highest rated blog of the year, but it was written a couple of weeks after Trump took office and Saturday Night Live was doing some hilarious cold openings with Melissa McCarthy. They liked played a role in this blog being so well read. It looked at the role of a spokesperson, like Sean Spicer, who I felt sorry for. He knew his boss forced him to lie and no media spokesperson should have to operate that way.
I really had to idea this blog would be so popular. I think the catchy title had something to do with it being so well read. The blog was about four things you shouldn’t say or ask a reporter. It was a good blog, but in all honesty, I thought I did much better work. It’s an important lesson to show the importance of a headline. Look for catchy clickbait headlines in 2018 like “You Won’t Believe What Jean Chretien Looks Like Now.”
If I had a blog that went viral this year it was this one. In fact, it was read more often that all other blogs in the top 10 combined. You read that right. It was about the apparent reluctance of the Edmonton media to cover the story of Edmonton Oilers owner Darryl Katz, who was alleged in court documents to have asked a young actress to sleep with him in return for a movie deal. When sexual harassment stories broke later in the year involving everyone from Harvey Weinstein to Matt Lauer to Warren Moon I would have thought the Edmonton media would have provided an update on the story from April but it never happened. Whatever happened to that lawsuit? Was it settled? Thrown out? Not even worth a short followup?????
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts this year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I’ll be back on January 3 with more.