That's right it's time for a year-end list of Top 10 things. To explain a bit about the process:
First, I look at the things over the course of the last year that were, and I put them into categories and lay them out over a table. Some get blue stickers, some red, some green, depending. Then, I try to make sure there are at least an equal number of all three stickers, so that it's fairly and widely distributed among the potential things that are "top."
Once all those things are gathered, I do what I call the annual "gut check." Some things just feel right and others don't. I think we often get too analytical, and it makes us forget how much instinct drives us. That's what might explain why one year, on the Top 10, we left off Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Overthought things, you know? I'll always regret that.
Anyway, after the "gut check," we (my wife and I) go through a more complicated process of ordering things in Excel, trying to quantify. We take into account influence, reach, "the long tail," page views, aggregates, points, polls, overall sales, total sales, net versus gross, Nielsen ratings, our Pop-O-Meter, state-by-state polling data, unsubscribes and Twitter followers.
This usually brings the list into something like a near-focus. Finally, we use a dart board. Ten bullseyes later, our Top 10 list is complete.
And so, without further ado
10. The Walking Dead
9. Occupy Wall Street
7. Spearmint Gum / Pepper Spray (Tie)
4. CM Punk
3. Earthquake, Japan
2. The Oprah Network
1. Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.