This content-producing lark isn’t exactly an exact science. If someobdy knows the formula that tells you what’s going to be popular and what’s going to receive tumbleweeds, they certainly haven’t shared it with us here at Harpin Manor.
We could spend ages carefully crafting a 2000-word writeup with rugby analysis, a theme, pop culture references and everything and it could only get a fraction of the hits a 9-second video of an Ulster fan smoking a cigarette after his team got a winning try. But such is the blogging game, and that’s part of what makes it such an interesting one.
As it’s New Year’s Eve and all, we thought we’d share the ten posts you thought were the most clickable in 2015. We’ll start you off with numbers 10 through 6 for now then count down the top five from 4pm until 9pm.
So without any further ado (assuming what I’ve done so far qualifies as “ado”) here we go…
IRELAND-20 ARGENTINA-43 : “Blindsided”
If this count down was based on the toughest content to produce, this would definitely be number one. We post our writups on Monday but as this particular match took place on the Sunday I seriously considered putting it off for an extra day as the emotions were still raw. I’m glad I didn’t though. No point in running a site about a sports team if you’re not willing to harp on the disappoinments as well as the successes.
Leinster-8 Ulster-3 : “Snooze Button”
Saw a lot of online discontent after this match yet after all that had gone before in Europe, I took great heart in our defensive organization so I tried to bring people round to seeing the positives despite the low scoring. Since it cracked the top 10 posts of the year, I guess it must have made something of an impression.
Ireland now a world leader in wearable sports technology
We normally cross the street to avoid content with political undertones on the site but in this case we were honoured to be asked by Brian Hayes MEP to publish a guest post by himself on the GPS technology worn by the players. We were genuinely interested to learn more about how those gizmos worked.
80 words on Leinster's preseason by Big Joe Shep
Our new feature for 2015 was a format we call the “8-0-review”, a “mini-writeup” where you only have 80 words to describe what happened in 80 minutes. One commenter on Facebook described as “Star length with broadsheet eyes”. Big Joe Shep adapted it to describe Leinster’s pre-season and it turned out to be our most popular guest post of the year.
Leinster-18 Bath-15 : "Missing The Points"
Leinster were a tad lucky to get past Bath in the Champions Cup quarterfinal at the Aviva, but the way BT Sport banged on about the penalty award at the end of the match pissed me off and I made that known in the piece. Whether or not they read it, we’ll never know, but in the next episode of Rugby Tonight Brian O’Driscoll and Lawrence Dallaglio to their credit went back over the incident and seemed to agree with my take on it.
Judgement Day III - An Irish verdict
I had the nerve to offer an opinion on the goings on in Welsh rugby, and boy did I pay for it. The twitterati from across the water came at me after this post on my thoughts over the concept of their “Judgement Day” occasion where all four regions take part in a double header of Pro12 matches at the national stadium. How dare someone Irish say anything about Welsh rugby! It’s not as though our fortunes are intertwined in any way, right?
Ian Madigan & The Catch 22
Might be higher up the list if there were a few more days left in the year. ICYMI the post only went up a few days ago after the news of Ian Madigan’s imminent departure for France broke. He had us well chuffed here at Harpin Manor when he tweeted his own approval.
Leo Cullen, Lengthy Contracts & Leinster Culture
I had intended to wait until the appointment was made official but so many online commentators were trying to say it would be a mistake on Steve Staunton levels that I couldn’t wait any longer to set the record straight. Got a decent amount of positive feedback from a lot of Leinster fans.
A statement from HoR on the 'Wayne Barnes Cheats' video
Any defeat to Wales is frustrating as is any match where you feel hard done by Wayne Barnes, so when the two happen at once, sparks can fly. Yet someone went a tad too far by producing a YouTube video with cherry-picked hightlights that “proved” that Barnes was somehow cheating. Given how some Welsh fans like to lump all Irish fans opinions into one box and people who dpn’t use social media do similar to those who do, we felt moved to comment.
Sure, there was a depressing result or two in the latter half of 2015 for both Leinster and Ireland. But why should that be the most lasting memory of the year? Maybe we can remember it for this instead. As I say at the start of this post, not every piece of content needs a lengthy essay full of the latest rugby terminology. Sometimes just a few words to go along with a video sent in by a reader can beat all the others for the most popular post of the year. And this one did just that.
As always, many thanks to all who have read, liked, shared & commented on our posts throughout the year, Special thanks to all guest contributors like Big Joe Shep, Ciarán Duffy, Emma McGarry & Kristian Ross.
Enjoy yourselves tonight and have a great 2016!!! JLP