Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota Prairie Roots’ top 10 posts for 2010 December 31, 2010

WHAT WERE THE MOST-VIEWED Minnesota Prairie Roots posts during 2010?

Surprisingly, three of the posts which are in the top five this year were also in the top five last year.

But I’m going to keep you in suspense about those posts as we count down, beginning with the 10th most-viewed post in 2010.

10) “Inspired by Dr. Seuss: My sister’s fat cat,” a Dr. Seuss-type poem published along with three photos of my sister’s cat came in at number 10 with 392 views.

My sister's fat cat, Sable.

9) Whenever I write about old churches, I’m almost guaranteed that my readership that day will soar. So I was not surprised to learn that “Inside the 1894 Valley Grove Church” ranks as my ninth most popular post for 2010 with 411 views. In this story, I take readers inside the historic hilltop country church near Nerstrand.

Simplistic Norwegian style inside the 1894 Valley Grove Church, as viewed from the balcony.

8.) I have no idea why “Saturday ‘steals’ (deals)” held so much interest for Minnesota Prairie Roots readers. Maybe the 447 viewers who clicked on this story are avid garage-salers, just like me, looking for a deal.

The "new" Toshiba TV my husband got for free at a church rummage sale.

7) Like churches, barns bring lots of readers to Minnesota Prairie Roots. In “I love old barns,” I show readers the barn where I labored as a child—feeding cows, scooping manure, bedding straw and more. This post got 484 views.

The early 1950s barn on the Redwood County dairy farm where I grew up is no longer used.

6) When floods ravaged southern Minnesota this fall, I was there, photographing the disaster and interviewing survivors. My “Flooding in Faribault” post (among numerous flood stories) got 519 views.

A roadway arrow on flooded Second Avenue N.W. by the Faribault Foods office directs motorists into North Alexander Park.

5) “Henna tattoos and body art by a “gypsy woman,” which was the fourth most popular in 2009, fell a notch to fifth place in 2010. I still cannot figure out why this story about a henna tattoo artist at the Kenyon Rose Fest has drawn so much interest, with 530 views in 2010.

Henna art at the Kenyon Rose Fest

4) “An autumn drive in Rice County, Minnesota” attracted 549 views as I took readers on a Sunday afternoon drive through the countryside. Local tourism officials, take note. I’ve done my share to draw attention to the Faribault area.

A corn field ripens against a back drop of trees.

3) “Preserving the past at Immanuel, Courtland, MN.,” which was the most- read post last year, slipped to third in 2010 with 623 views. In this story, I take readers inside the home congregation of my maternal forefathers.

A view of Immanuel from the church balcony.

2) The second-place ranking of  “In praise of preserving country churches” does not surprise me as this post was featured on the homepage of WordPress.com on July 10. The Freshly Presssed selection garnered a record number of blog visitors, 1,052, on a single day. This post had 1,304 views in 2010.

An altar painting was transported to Moland Lutheran Church south of Kenyon by horse-drawn wagon from Faribault in 1893.

1) Finally. Number uno, the most viewed post during 2010 was written on November 5, 2009, following a presentation at Faribault High School. “Rachel’s Challenge: Start a chain reaction of kindness,” about the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, got 1,702 views. Last year, this was also one of my most popular stories, coming in at number five.

Rachel Scott, who died at Columbine, and the inspiration for Rachel's Challenge.

I wish I could explain the reasons behind the top 10 rankings. Some I can. I’ve noticed that certain topics—like churches and barns—really interest readers. But henna tattoos and fat cats? Figure that out.

IF YOU MISSED ANY of these most-viewed posts, click on the highlighted titles/words, which will link you to the stories.

DISCLAIMER: These are unscientific results given I simply pulled stats from my administrative page but did not factor in how long, for example, a post has been on Minnesota Prairie Roots. That can skew numbers. However, I am confident the above summary is fairly accurate.

CHECK BACK FOR MY PERSONAL favorite posts of the year.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Advertisements