I can’t really say that doing something one year is the stuff traditions are made of, but once you do something for two years, well, there’s a chance it might catch on.
With that in mind, I present you, for the second year in a row, with my favorite blog posts of the year. This year, presented in no particular order or categorization (uncharacteristically for me!). Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!
1. You don’t have to die to live, by Danny Brown
If this post doesn’t move you, you might not be human.
2. 106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great, by Tommy Walker
I’ve known Tommy for a little over a year now, I think. He is one of the hardest workers you’ll meet and he never has a negative word to say about anyone. Can you imagine how pleased and proud I was to see this massive guest post of his appear on Chris Brogan’s site? Like, wow!
3. Take a Chance, by Chris Brogan
One can only imagine, then, how delighted I was to see Chris singing Tommy’s praises the next day. It brought happy tears to my eyes. I love it when good things happen to great people.
4. Whose Path Are You On? by Lisa Petrilli
What could be better than reflecting on a year of posts by this lady? Not much. It’s a beautiful and, dare I say, introspective post!
5. Worker dead at desk for five days, by Bill Dorman
This post begins with the tale of a man who sat at his desk, deceased, for 5 days. None of his co-workers noticed. This post grabs your attention!
6. Women are our own worst enemies, by Gini Dietrich
Need I say more?
7. Three Lessons from Blogworld, by Nancy Davis
I was already familiar with Nancy’s writing back when she wrote this post, but I must say that this post clued me in to just how genuine and real she really is. Although I am still harboring great jealousy that she got to meet Chris Brogan, Gini Dietrich, and Danny Brown. Someday, Nancy…someday…:)
8. My Highlights of BlogworldExpo-LA, Part 1, by Sherree Worrell
While Nancy covered the East Coast, my friend Sherree covered the West. Again, this post makes going to a huge conference seem a lot less scary, the writing is very real, and you get to see what a lovely, funny, and genuine person Sherree is. That’s a pretty good deal!
9. If Today Was Their Last Day, by Dan Perez
This post clued me in to the soul of one Dan Perez. I agree with every sentiment, and unfortunately had to learn these lessons in very similar ways. It’s a must-read.
10. No more public call-outs, by Geoff Livingston
How happy did this post make me? Um, like, woah. I hope everyone reads this one and fully absorbs it!
11. Why You Should Quit the Internet, by Julien Smith
The longer I spend in the online world (and I say this with all love and affection), the more this post resonates with me.
12. The Biggest Unkept Secret, by Suzanne Vara
A story of triumph, well deserved. I was really beyond thrilled to read this post!
13. At the Business Table, Where Are The Ladies? by Carol Roth
Carol Roth is one of the most smart, most powerful women I know, and yet she still must put up with ugly, sexist behavior. You should read her tale of her book cover sometime. This post inspired me to really watch how women are treated in the business world and online with a more careful eye, and it has stuck with me ever since.
14. The Roundup: What I Wish People Knew, by Amber Naslund
Amber stirred up quite a posting flurry when she noted that we probably have a lot of facets and characteristics that our online world knows nothing about. In response, people started writing their own “What I wish people knew about me” posts, which Amber then proceeded to gather up into this awesome collection. Pretty nifty!
15. Ugly, by Oliver Blanchard
“Favorite” isn’t really a great word to use for this post. But heart-wrenching? Yeah. World-changing (at least for me?), yeah. In the aftermath of Trey Pennington’s tragic suicide, some people opted to try to make some money out of it. Olivier called them out and got in response some people who carried their small battles to that comment thread. It was the most ashamed I have ever been of the online world.
16. Social Media, Pretend Friends, and the Lie of of False Intimacy, by Jay Baer
Trey Pennington’s death raised a lot of questions throughout the online world. Did Trey’s many online followers see this coming? Was there anything anyone could have done? Was there any way to intercede? I found this conversation difficult but highly memorable.
17. Blog Traffic Secret: Woo the Groupies, by Stanford Smith
The longer you stay in the online world, the more you see the wisdom behind this post. It may be something you need to experience to really understand, but trust me when I say it’s 100% spot-on accurate.
18. How Adding One Plugin Boosted My Blog Traffic By Almost 700%, by Mack Collier
Let’s face it, that headline is going to grab you. The funny and not so surprising thing is that Mack’s advice is, as always, just perfect!
19. Stunning Facebook Pre-Filled Form Results, by Christopher S. Penn
I can’t help it. I’m a marketing geek AND a research geek, so when I saw this post I loved it. On top of that the information is also extremely useful. Check this out if you are trying to build an e-newsletter and/or Facebook community!
20. Suicide and Depression, by Steve Woodruff
Trey Pennington’s death inspired Steve to share his very personal story in the hopes that it would offer others hope. If you are going through a hard time, read Steve’s post and check out his e-book!
21. Five Things to Boost Self Image, by Nancy Davis
Nancy always offers the greatest advice. If you follow these five tips, you are sure to get your smile back!
22. The Ice Man Cometh, Sort of, by Molly Campbell
Why did Molly’s husband receive an enveloped directed to the Ice Master? Molly didn’t know, and oddly enough, her husband had no idea either. This is just a taste of Molly’s impeccable sense of humor!
23. Make it work: Why newspaper artists make the best designers, by Rufus Dogg
My favorite part of this post is where Rufus notes that the worst designers tend to be those with unlimited resources. The best – the ones who have to work with newspaper. Fabulous post about creative genius and design!
24. Oh the joys of being self-employed, by Peter Pollock
OK, maybe it’s not all bon-bons and joy, but Peter does a great job with this post of weighing in on the pros and cons. A valuable post if you work from home or are thinking about doing so!
25. My honest look at the real true value of social media, by Susan Giurleo
I am pretty certain this is the post that assured me Susan (Doktah Gee) and I would remain friends for quite some time. If this post doesn’t inspire you, you may not have a pulse. Sad but true.
26. Your Stress About Others Is A Reaction And Not A Solution, by Craig Morton
This advice sounds simplistic, but as you read Craig’s morsels of wisdom, you realize that we all spend way too much time worrying about what other people are doing and saying. Isn’t that a silly way to spend our time?
27. The End of the Internet, by Kat Caverly
A beautiful tale about a lady and her love affair with the online world. This resonated with me – I bet it resonates with you too. After all, you’re here!
28. Hello? Is Anyone Out There? by Debra Ellis
Do you sometimes feel like you’re just talking to yourself in the online world? Well fear not. Debra Ellis explains why this sensation comes to all of us and what we can do about it!
29. 5 Content Usability Tips for Mobile Sites, by Lisa Barone
Mobile is only getting hotter as we head into 2012. Is this post still relevant and wonderful? Oh my yes!
30. Are we enjoying life or just “checking in?” by Lauren Gray
This topic came up a lot throughout 2011 and I’m sure it will continue to be on our minds for awhile. Lauren words this post so well – when you go out, are you focused on your phone or on the people you’re with? What’s the best way to go?
31. 25 Bloggers Not Giving Advice on Blogging: A Different Blog Interview, by Brankica Underwood
The title pretty much says it all. Learn things you may not know but would enjoy learning about 25 great bloggers! Fun stuff
32. Hey Blogger, You’re Really Not That Important. Seriously. by Marcus Sheridan
If you are in the online world, it’s pretty easy, what with all of the positive feedback you get, to start thinking that you are the best thing since sliced bread. This post wisely reminds you of the importance of staying grounded. More important words are seldom spoken in the online world about the online world!
33. Why I don’t want your help, by Jenny Bones
Isn’t it weird how we hate to ask for help, even when we *know* we need it? Jenny Bones treats this potentially sensitive issue with a light, fun touch that will charm your pants off!
2011 was a remarkable year in a lot of ways. The killing of Osama bin Laden is an event that will not be soon forgotten, but was it worth releasing bigotry out into the online world?
35. How to explain social media to your spouse, by Mark Schaefer
I don’t have a spouse, but I’m surrounded by family and friends who are not nearly as invested in the online world as I am. To say that this post resonated and still does resonate with me is a marked understatement!
36. Are you smart enough to know you may not be that smart? By Clay Forsberg
Sometimes we go into situations thinking that we know everything. It’s humbling to find out that we didn’t know nearly as much as we thought we did. A great story and reminder here!
37. Treasure in Weeds Behind the Barn, by Mary Biever
The story of the diamond in the rough has nothing compared to this story of delectable strawberries Mary found behind her barn. A really important reminder and a beautiful message, too!
38. 11 Benefits of Blogging For Your Nonprofit, by John Haydon
Are you running a nonprofit or know someone who is? Be sure to follow this excellent advice from John Haydon. He knows what he’s talking about!
39. Blog Success: Are you on track? by Heidi Cohen
Speaking of someone who knows of what they speak, Heidi Cohen provides you with 60 awesome blogging tips! What could be better than that?
40. In Loving Memory, by Susan Fox (aka @gagasgarden)
In May, it’s natural to think of our mothers. In this beautiful post, Gaga remembers her mother’s love for one of my favorite flowers, the peony.
41. OMG! The Dumbing Down of America, by Peggy Fitzpatrick
Peggy published this masterpiece when she was still pretty new to blogging. Hard to believe, huh? She had the touch right from the start
42. Leadership, Vision, and a New Birth of Freedom, by Lisa Petrilli
I still need to read the book that Lisa talks about here, but let’s face it, any post about Lincoln is going to stick with me. I think Lisa knew that, too
43. Don’t give the SOB’s the Satisfaction, by Lou Imbriano
Lou gets you up and out of your chair with this post. The more people pressure you, the more you rev your engines and show them who’s boss. This is why Lou is a great writer. Well, one of the reasons.
44. What To Expect When Moving WordPress to New Hosting, by Kristi Hines (@kikolani)
Man, this post came just a few months too late for me, but what a fantastic resource! If you want to move the hosting of your blog or think you might want to at some point, bookmark this amazing post!
45. B2B Marketing – Face The Fact That It Is A Long Haul, by Dawn Westerberg
Many people do not really grasp this about the world of business-to-business…business. However, Dawn Westerberg nails this subject in her usual pristine, clear, easy-to-understand way.
46. A Veteran’s Perspective on the Job Search, by John Durfee
Too many veterans are still unemployed here in the US. John Durfee wrote this powerful post for Carol Roth around Memorial Day to remind us that veterans need help when they get home, too.
47. How many A-Listers are non-English speakers? by Nic Wirtz
This question comes up too often in the online world. People classified as A-listers are often white, often men, and often speak English as their first language. Why is that? Great and thought-provoking post here.
48. 12for12k Supports Jodi’s Voice to Combat Stalking, by Danny Brown
Don’t think for a moment that Danny Brown is lacking in the “heart of gold” category.He has you covered there. I had not heard of Jodi’s Voice until I read this post. If you have not heard of it, I highly recommend you read this post!
49. Newsflash: BSOS Plague Sweeping Country, by Nicole Fende
A hilarious post about a very real problem, Nicole wrote this post even before Google Plus launched! By the way, BSOS stands for Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome
50. Going down in flames: 5 reasons for burnout, by Daria Giron
Are you feeling totally burnt out? Sometimes half of the struggle is figuring out why you’re feeling that way. Daria Giron throws out 5 potential causes of that burnt out feeling.
51. Why Are Women Afraid of Foursquare? by Maggie Fox
I still refuse to use FourSquare, despite assurances that it’s as safe as anything. Maggie Fox wrote over the summer about why a lot of women feel the way I do. However, she also notes some reasons that fear shouldn’t get in your way.
52. Why defending your reputation is a waste of time, by Justin Kownacki
Justin is not a fellow who beats around the bush so you know you’re going to feel strongly about his writing, one way or the other. What are your thoughts on this interesting post? Do you agree? I’m still trying to decide!
53. Clowns, Charlatans, and Social Media Name Calling, by Jay Baer
Gary Vaynerchuk raised quite a stir over the summer when he noted that 99% of those who participate in social media are clowns. Jay Baer notes here that name-calling doesn’t seem to be the most productive way to spend one’s time, but then again, social media is a means to an end, not an end to a means. Right?
54. How to manage Twitter in 20 minutes a day, by Laura Click
One of the biggest complaints you hear about Twitter is “Ohhh, the time!” Well, Laura Click can provide you with a checklist that will help you manage Twitter in just 20 minutes. And hey, everyone has a spare 20 minutes, right?
55. You will die by that same sword, by Anthony Iannarino
You really want to win that new customer, so you lower your price to sweeten the deal. Don’t be shocked, a few months or years later, when someone else comes along who undercuts you. Brilliant advice from a sales master!
56. Many Careers, One You, by Ted Coiné (for YouTern.com)
A lot of people these days stray from career to career. Ted points out that you don’t have to start from scratch every single time. You can take skills with you – and you should!
57. How to guarantee your social media ROI is zero, by Heidi Cohen
ROI is most certainly a hot topic in the world of social media. Heidi Cohen notes, however, that a lot of people who claim an ROI of zero may simply be living out a self-fulfilling prophecy. Very good points made here, and ones you should consider if you’re using social media for your business!
58. My word for the month: proclaim, by Paul Flanigan
It’s always nice to think that we could proclaim something, but what would you proclaim if you had to proclaim something right now? It’s not as easy to figure out as you might think!
Talk about an inspiring guy who makes you want to get up and get going – that’s Simon Mainwaring. Liz does a great job here of highlighting why Simon is so admired and how he wants to change the world.
60. 30 Things You Should Not Share on Social Media, by Jeff Bullas
Whether you’re new to social media or whether it’s now old hat, this post is a great one to bookmark and measure yourself against from time to time!
61. Death by iPhone, by Aaron Biebert
I may never forgive Aaron for this post because it scared the goobers out of me, but after recovering, I realized he makes a great point. With all of our attention focused on texting, emailing, and playing Angry Birds, how likely is it that we will meet a completely accidental but very tragic end? Definitely something to be wary of in this modern world.
62. Essential Ingredients for an Exceptional Logo, by Paul Biedermann
Lots of people think that creating a logo is super easy…till they try to do one. Paul Biedermann lays out exactly what you need to know to make your logo sparkle and shine!
63. 5 reasons that list blogs (do not) suck, by Daniel Newman
Dan and I have reason to support this line of thinking through our association with 12most. Despite the bias, I think Dan makes some pretty solid points here. Don’t you?
64. Robert Scoble Discusses Women in Tech, by Geoff Livingston
Geoff and Danny Brown tag-teamed to write a post about the distinct lack of women in the tech world. Robert Scoble felt that some of the comments made about him were unfair, so Geoff invited him to respond via interview. What resulted is a very important discussion that I hope all of you check in on.
65. On being roasted, by Chris Brogan
This is another post that I can’t say was a favorite for happy reasons, but posts like this are why I admire Chris. He’s not afraid to admit that he is flawed as a human being, which is more than a lot of us can say. Plus, it was awesome to see the names of so many people I adore on his blog.
66. How Blogging Changed A Life, by Mark Schaefer
Another post that is not happy per se, but it will stick with you long after you read it. Mark is one super guy, and I’m surely glad he opted to join the blogosphere!
67. The weakest link in law firm marketing, by Sean McGinnis
If you are a lawyer or if you know one, you want to read this post by the awesome Sean McGinnis. This is one of my favorite posts not just because the advice is so darned solid but also because it is part of Sean’s new venture, and I’m so durned happy for him!
68. You Were Carried, by Rufus Dogg
This is a beautiful post in and of itself, but it’s also an essential reminder for people who like to say they are self-made. In most cases, that’s just not altogether 100% true. We all get carried a little.
69. Happiness in an unstable environment, by John Falchetto
We often really like to make plans, and then we get really excited about those plans. And then, if those plans fall through…we get pretty bummed out. How can you keep your chin up under those kinds of conditions? John answers that question just for you.
70. Micromanaging Ourselves to Death, by Amber Naslund
Amber has a way of wording things so that sometimes you think, “Wull yeah! Why didn’t I think of that?” But that is the stream of great wisdom, and this post is no different.
Being the editor-in-chief of 12most, I feel I must leave a special section of 10 for some of my favorite posts from that site. These are certainly not my only favorites are the best of…just some that stuck with me!
71. 12 Most Heart-stopping Leadership Lessons from a Black Hawk Down Army Ranger, by Lisa Petrilli
If you remember the tale of the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia, you can probably not even imagine what it was to live through that. Keni Thomas did live through it. In this amazing post, Lisa Petrilli pulls some of Keni’s most valuable lessons out of his book recounting his amazing story.
72. 12 Most Poppin Ways To Get Started on @Pinterest, by Peggy Fitzpatrick
Peggy was well ahead of the curve on this one, at least from where I stand. It’s an awesome post and a great resource!
73. 12 Most Ridiculous Job Titles in Social Media, by Sam Fiorella
This is one of the posts that put 12most on the map, and there is no question why. Sam’s wisdom mixed with his dry and awesome sense of humor shine through here!
74. 12 Most Fundamental Habits of the Super Fit, by Heather Frey
This post really highlights the fact that fitness is a way of life. Heather illuminates the habits that the super fit share and shows you that you, too, can live the healthy life!
75. 12 Most Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger, by Jay Baer
This post is sheer brilliance. Plus, how awesome was it to see Jay on 12most? Yeah…pretty cool
76. 12 Most Significant Imperatives for the Future of Brands, by Cheryl Burgess
Everything Cheryl writes is monstrously wonderful, but I think (though it’s hard to say) that this may be one of her best posts ever.
77. 12 Most Apropos Questions to Ask Before Building Your Mobile App, by Ted Curtin
As a marketing geek, I found this post so incredibly useful. It’s a great resource!
78. 12 Most Karmic Ways to Pay It Forward Online, by John Boyle
I’m all about paying it forward, and this post does a great job of explaining the hows and why-fores!
79. 12 Most Outrageous PR Stunts in the History of Marketing (and lessons learned), by Stan Phelps
This post, with the events that Stan chose, the images and videos to support his points, and the lessons he pulls from it all, remains one of my all-time favorites of the year!
80. 12 Most Needed Improvements to Hot Chocolate, by Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan
OK, so, she had me at hot chocolate, but some of these ideas can literally make my mouth water in 5 seconds flat. It’s a serious (but yummy!) problem
Great Guest Posts I Hosted Here
I was very lucky to host some amazing guest posts here on my site this year. Here are just a few of them.
81. Social Media and the Journalist, by Deb Morello
Deb is a woman I admire a great deal. She is a journalist, she has worked her butt off, and she offers a perspective on social media (and on life) that I find invaluable. I was delighted that she agreed to write a post for me, and I think this is one of the best posts on my site, period.
82. The Journey from Blog Failure to Success, by Stanford Smith
Stan is another blogger who can “keep it real.” This is an extremely powerful post and one that is worth referencing throughout your online career.
83. An Encouraging Journey, by Tristan Bishop
How awesome it was to be able to host Tristan here. He is a wonderful man, a wonderful friend, and he exemplified it here by highlighting the people who have helped him along his online journey.
84. Born a Brand on Twitter – The Awful Truth, by Lisa Petrilli
Ever wonder how the amazing Lisa Petrilli got her start in the online world? Wonder no more
I was very lucky and happy that Tommy agreed to write an entire series here for me, showcasing his Facebook expertise, his keen ability to teach, and of course, his awesomesauce-ness. These are all amazing posts and I’m proud to host them here!
92. 5 steps for staying social with RSS, by Jason Sokol
This is an innovative approach for using RSS to enhance your engagement strategy. It was a post I would not have been able to write myself and Jason took the task and RAN with it!
Some of mine (just a few). Cuz I do like some things I write
93. My Advice: Don’t Listen To Me. This post introduced me to many fabulous people, plus it’s something I really believe!
96. How to survive your first year of social media (it was my anniversary)
97. 50 Twitter Accounts Dedicated to Social Good (because they’re the real stars)
Finally, I end this look back by remembering two men, Trey Pennington and Bruce Serven. You are missed and I am confused you’re not here.
99. Social Media Return on Investment (ROI), a Review, by Trey Pennington
100. Warning: Self Deception and Manufactured Fame Kills “Entrepreneurs, by Tommy Walker (Bruce’s site is no longer up, but this tells his sad story and is an amazing post).
I hope you enjoy this list. I know I didn’t include every post that touched me this year. But these are a good solid handful.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/funadium/553343932/ via Creative Commons