The Opinionator’s 17 Most Popular Posts of 2017


In reviewing my most popular posts of 2017, here are 3 things I learned:

  1. Writing about a company on the cusp of an emerging trend will get you lots of traction (e.g. I first wrote about Herschel backpacks back in 2015) and as that brand got more popular, my post continued to show up in searches. My post about Open Table is getting similar traffic – and will for years to come since it is only now dawning on people how many restaurants are abandoning Open Table.
  2. Honest storytelling – and opening up about your vulnerabilities – attracts readers. People gravitate to the the personal e.g. my weight-loss saga.
  3. People want to learn and discover new things – especially if they trust your point of view e.g. Nat Geo trips, Des Moines as a cool weekend destination, how to host a great party.

And finally, and most importantly, the content has to be original.


Read on below for the 17 top posts 0f 2017.


1.Herschel Backpacks are suddenly everywhere – great case study on how to do authentic!


  •  Dates all the way back to 2015 but continues to be my most popular post.
  • Many of the hits come from people looking for an “authentic Herschel backpack”, the remainder are looking for info on branding, how to introduce a new product with “authentic” heritage bona fides. Extremely compelling for products aimed at millennials.
  • This is a great example of how long a post can stay active if the stars align.


2. What’s Up With Open Table? Everyone’s Suddenly on Reserve or Resy.


  • I wrote this in April and since then even more restaurants have abandoned Open Table – and anecdotally it looks like Resy may be coming out ahead of Reserve.
  • This topic, not yet covered extensively by mainstream media, it turning into a huge issue for restaurateurs and for those of us looking to make reservations at our favorite spots.


3. What I wish I had known at the start of my career


  • The power of kindness and generosity.
  • If you read tomorrow’s post, you’ll see this is one of my New Year’s Resolutions.
  • Kindness is shaping up to be one of the hot buzzwords for 2018.


4. At home with Jimmy Wright: Artist, LES Pioneer

A peek inside the fabulous home and studio of a longtime resident of the Lower East Side. This is where you get pea-green with envy at Jimmy’s early real estate acumen – he saw a gem and pounced on it when NOBODY wanted to live in this neighborhood.



5. How to become a frugal millionaire: 5 tips courtesy of my mom and dad


  • This is my PERSONAL FAVORITE. Partly, because it is so ME but also because I know this has influenced many people to create their first-ever budgets and adjust their spending habits – all things that will positively impact their lives for years to come.


6. Check out Des Moines: the Heartland has got it going on!


  • Visited for the Iowa State Fair and fell in love with this city.
  • Of the many places I explored and wrote about this year, Des Moines ended up the most popular with my readers.


7. This is what 67 looks like


  •  One of the most difficult posts to write – but “coming out” age-wise was also one of the most liberating things I’ve done.


8. Are man buns already being supplanted by pigtails?


  • Another post that just keeps on giving. I believe it has more to do with man buns continuing to be popular vs. the switch to pigtails.


9. What do entrepreneurs look for in romantic relationships?

Entrepreneurs – and the challenge of balancing love with work – was a hot topic. Lots of engagement on social media related to this post.



10. Nat Geo private jet travel: Wish all my travel could be this amazing


  • Re-reading this made me realize what a Nat Geo junkie I’ve turned into.
  • Hopefully, I will not go broke following my passion for travel.
  • Antarctica coming up next.


11. Top bathroom trends: Tile showers, touch-free toilets, universal design

Another perennial favorite from 2015. More people are doing bathroom renovations and this always comes up in searches.



12. College vs. trades: Avg. electrician makes $5000 more than avg. college grad

I’ve been on this kick for a while. This may have been my first post on the subject. And again, as more is written about it, these earlier posts get a second life.



13. What’s the latest trend in home entertainment? Private supper clubs

Takes dinner parties to a whole new level. And a great way to meet new people. Thank you Pamela Berger for such a fun night – and to Rodrigo and Elliott for hosting me in Atlanta!



14. Good manners: In short supply, become a major competitive advantage

Don’t get me started on this.



15. What phase of your career and lifestage are you in?


  •  Great insights from Eric Larson, one of my fellow Nat Geo travelers, on understanding which phase of your career you are in and what that means for you: Subject Matter Experience vs. Wisdom/Knowledge Stage.


16. Birthday celebration was amazing: Here’s what made it so outstanding

Tips on how to host a great party – a perennial favorite when it comes to blog topics



17. Losing weight and feeling so good


  • This is Pre-MBT – but topic has obviously been a longstanding issue with me.
  • Will see if my MBT posts gain as much traction. I believe they will.

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