Herald website readers vote with their mice

December 29, 2012 

Readers of the Tri-City Herald's website showed eclectic tastes in 2012. The most-read stories ranged from sports to state employee salaries to movies and zombie attacks.

Here are our top 10 stories for the year, ranked by number of page views:

1. High school basketball video shows power of social media (http://bit.ly/AEkWaB)

This Jan. 4 story, by Jack Millikin, reported on the controversy over a YouTube video showing hard fouls in a Connell-Highland boys basketball game. It attracted 34,168 page views and almost 300 comments. Most of the traffic was local, but it got a small boost from Yahoo prep sports. You still can view the video.

2. Washington state employee pay database (http://bit.ly/V9Q42N)

This database, originally posted in 2011, continued to interest readers with 25,163 page views in 2012. It shows gross pay for workers at Washington state agencies, colleges and universities in 2010. It's still online, and you can search by name, agency, department or school.

3. Pasco baseball fan's tattoos tell story of America's pastime (http://bit.ly/IhErig)

Dori O'Neal told the tale of Pasco's Mike McWain, who tattooed images of baseball legends such as Honus Wagner across his back, shoulders and arms. The April 23 story netted 25,071 page views, and an accompanying video by Andy Perdue was viewed 3,476 times.

4. Mid-Columbia school delays, closures (http://bit.ly/aP5J7y)

The Herald offers live updates on school delays and closures as a service to readers through an arrangement with FlashNews. Need to know whether the kids are staying home? Bookmark it in your web browser. The page was viewed 23,101 times in 2012.

5. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance ranks as worst movie in years (http://bit.ly/A89FG5)

Readers want to know whether a flick is worth their hard-earned cash. By that criteria, Ed Robertson's Feb. 18 review (19,191 page views) performs a public service. Key sentence: "There is nothing in Spirit of Vengeance that ever needs to be seen."

6. Prometheus an Alien prequel? Yes and no (http://bit.ly/Vm67tJ)

Gary Wolcott's June 7 review of the Ridley Scott blockbuster Prometheus was a thoughtful look at its parallels with the 1979 classic Alien, racking up 17,289 page views.

7. Local GOP apologizes for turning 1,500 away from caucuses in Kennewick (http://bit.ly/ypJUvz)

Michelle Dupler's March 3-4 coverage of the Benton County GOP caucuses attracted 12,790 page views, split between a breaking news story Saturday (12,790 views) and another on Sunday (2,079). Facebook referred some of the traffic.

8. Christmas sign runs afoul of rules in Pasco neighborhood (http://bit.ly/U7nT5c)

Michelle Dupler's Dec. 12 story about a west Pasco resident's conflict with his homeowners association (11,537 page views) interested both local readers and fans of the website Fark.com, which hand-picks "funny and weird notable news."

9. The Words great script ruined by lame ending (http://bit.ly/X13vHn)

Gary Wolcott raves about the acting in his Sept. 6 review (10,752 page views) of The Words, but he doesn't mince words: "The film implodes ... ."

10. Is the Tri-Cities ready for a zombie attack? (http://bit.ly/P6VckE)

A light-hearted read by Michelle Dupler about the Tri-Cities' preparedness -- or lack thereof -- against a zombie apocalypse.

The Sept. 9 article (10,454 page views) stressed the need for emergency planning for real-life catastrophes that don't involve undead creatures. Individuals and families should put together a kit with food, water, blankets and other supplies to get through the first 72 hours until public agencies can mobilize and help comes.

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