To wrap up the year, I'm listing my 4 worst columns.  Or, at least, the four columns that got outstandingly terrible readership.  I searched for a pattern or justification for why people stayed away in droves, but darned if I can spot one.  If you've got any ideas on why some columns sink while others swim, feel free to speak up.

To be fair, I'm only selecting from articles, not blog entries, as blog entries typically get half the traffic of a typical article.  Well, except for these under-read items, each of which got under 500 readers.  Most of my blogs beat these out anyway.  Seriously, that's not missing a decimal place, I mean half a thousand, as in, they disappeared with barely anyone noticing.  For comparison, one of my popular articles here can hit 10,000 readers, so these really are the statistical losers.

At fourth worst, The Future of International Astronomy (461 readers), which was an excellent article but, I'll admit, has a pretty weak title.  In fact, I had to re-read it to remember what I'd written about.  (It was live coverage of a conference with the same title.)

In a close third, Sufi Mystics and Science Understanding (451 readers).  Okay, I can see that being a bit eclectic.  Is the title too non-hard-science to appeal?

Second place, with 425 reads, is Networking for Freelancers.  That's fair, it's definitely a niche topic and appeals to a different audience than most of my work.  As long as most of those 425 readers were freelancers and not, say, irate science fans disappointed by a career-focused article, I'm happy.

And finally, my least read piece: "SpaceShipTwo Debuts!".  Just 315 readers.  Perhaps the topic was covered too widely by too many outlets?  It does seem to argue that chasing new content is better than covering stuff already on the mains.

Happy holidays,
Alex, the Daytime Astronomer

Tues and Fri here, via RSS feed, and twitter @skyday
Read about my own private space venture in The Satellite Diaries