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Ionarts Turns 10

Image by jfl

Ionarts was launched on this day in 2003, in an era when one had to explain what a blog was when you said you were writing one. The Age of the Blog (2005-2008, R.I.P.) has come and gone since. Most of the blogs we enjoyed reading every day are now defunct or intermittent, and these days we usually describe Ionarts as an online magazine.

In the last ten years, we have published 5,950 articles, at the rate of at least one per day and often more than that. On those articles we have published over 4,624 comments -- and that is only since 2005, when we switched comment systems -- some insipid, others brilliant, some congratulatory, some cursing me and my family (yes, literally placing a hex -- oh, boy, do we get letters). Most of our articles are read by all or most of our hardy regulars, but some blow up and become Internet sensations. Why this happens has nothing to do with quality or interest and everything to do with the all-powerful connections made by search engines. I know editors at reputable publications who make more and more content decisions on the basis of this kind of data, which I think is just stupid -- business-smart, perhaps (by a stretch), but stupid.

What are the most-read articles in the ten-year history of Ionarts? I did some data mining to find out, and it turns out that a few articles have been read in vast numbers, mostly because of an image or topic that makes it big in the algorithms of search engines. If we were to tailor what we write about only to what is most popular -- the list on the left below has the ten most often accessed articles, with the lowest at around 8,000 individual hits -- we would have a rather different site. To give a better idea of what this site is about, Jens and I have both chosen ten articles we have particularly enjoyed -- one from each year in the existence of Ionarts -- as a way to look back.

Most Read Articles on Ionarts:

10. Vuillard Painting Will Return to France (Charles T. Downey, January 12, 2004)

9. Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre (Charles T. Downey, April 25, 2005)

8. Save the Butterflies! (Mark Barry, February 14, 2007)

7. Washington Ballet 'Nutcracker' (Charles T. Downey, December 16, 2008)

6. Ionarts at Large: Bavarian State Orchestra in Gubaidulina and Strauss (Jens F. Laurson, November 3, 2010)

5. Painting on the Walls in Nice (Charles T. Downey, September 16, 2004)

4. Yuja Wang @ Terrace Theater (Michael Lodico, January 28, 2008)

3. Ionarts in Siena: Duccio's Maestà (Charles T. Downey, July 21, 2007)

2. Le Corbusier's Chapel at Fifty (Charles T. Downey, May 11, 2005)

1. Visionary Art: Séraphine de Senlis (Charles T. Downey, June 17, 2009)
Ten Posts by Charles T. Downey:

'Hedda Gabler' in Modern Oslo

Cage 100, Part 2: 'Freeman Etudes'

La Brewer, Diva of Divas

'Magic Flute' Revived, Restored, Re-Imagined

The Mess of 'Mass': Du bing, du bang, du bong

Ionarts in Santa Fe: 'Adriana Mater'

Ionarts in Florence: 'La Valchiria'

'Don Quixote' and Music

Massenet's 'Esclarmonde' with Washington Concert Opera

Thomas Hampson at the library of Congress

'La Juive' and, Once Again, Proust
Ten Posts by jfl:

Schubert, Schumann, Ives: Not Beautiful, Courageous!

Concert Program Synesthesia

Original and Happy Freaks: Alexandre Tharaud's Scarlatti

A Trophy Wife for the Munich Philharmonic: Maazel Signs His Contract

Grażyna Bacewicz – 100th Anniversary

Ionarts at Large: Widmann World Premiere with Mariss Jansons and the BRSO

Do You Notice the Symmetry?

Maestra Talks a Little: Ionarts Interview with Marin Alsop

New York Soundtrack

Dip Your Ears, No. 1

Happy Birthday, Menahem!

At the same time, we also recognize all of the guest contributors who have each placed a brick in the structure you see around you, all without any remuneration: Mark Barry, Michael Lodico, Robert R. Reilly, Todd Babcock, Noah Mlotek, Sophia Vastek, Janet Peachey, Richard Rice, George Pieler, Rachel Conrad, Karren Alenier, Anne Marie McMahon, Richard Fitzgerald, and likely others I am missing. Thanks also to the whole gang here at Ionarts Central -- Mrs. Ionarts, Miss Ionarts, and Master Ionarts -- all of whom have put up with and even shared my obsessions over the last ten years.

And, finally, thanks to all of you for reading!


marja-leena said...

Congratulations on your 10th blog birthday - and best wishes for many more!

Mark Barry said...

Congratulations, you are amazingly prolific, committed, passionate and a gracious editor. 10 more!

Varun said...

All the best for many, many more, Charles!

jfl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Pesci said...

Chuck D - Bravo to you and yours! fp