What was Most Popular Topic in 2021

A lot of what’s happening in the world now happens on-line – not just buying stuff (e-commerce) but also news and community interaction.  Most of us have got used to the idea that we can find out facts with an Internet search but the water gets muddied when we search for political or health “facts”.  A lot of this is opinion but it’s often hard to separate opinions from facts. News sites like Cobourg News Blog try to present facts but comments (opinions) are also allowed.  Although I don’t collect personal information like Google does, I can rank which articles got the most attention (hits) and which generated the most comments.  Like all polls/surveys, some interpretation may be required. For example, does the popularity of a topic indicate interest in the subject or interest in what people are saying in the comments.

So I selected the ten topics with the most hits and separately, the ten topics with the most comments – some were in both lists.  Here is the list ranked by hits.

Topic Date Hits Comments
Qty Rank
Cobourg’s East End Continues to Grow 8-Feb-21 5334 39  
Demolition by Neglect 8-Dec-21 4914 98 10
Trudeau Campaigning in Cobourg 16-Aug-21 4410 185 1
Brookside has Closed 12-Feb-21 3591 70  
Why not sell the Trailer Park 20-Nov-21 3314 103 9
Managing High Volumes of Visitors at Victoria Beach 3-Feb-21 3279 153 3
Beach to be closed on Weekends and Holidays 26-May-21 3203 116 5
Next Step on Harbour Repairs 6-Feb-21 2968 62  
Beach Survey Results 4-Mar-21 2866 48  
Over $1 Million Tax Increase for Organization Changes 5-Oct-21 2834 105 8
Police Responding to Public Concern about Demonstrators 12-Apr-21 2830 107 7
Move on Council to Open Beach on Weekends 21-Jun-21 2786 161 2
Is Tourism Good for Cobourg? 28-Feb-21 2649 111 6
Council Closes Beach until 7 June 19-May-21 2528 123 4

The list was generated on 23 December 2021.

Keep in mind that some interpretation of this data may be required – I’ll leave that to anyone who cares to comment on this post.

Note also that posts from earlier years continue to get hits although comments are not permitted after 90 days.  Go here for a list of earlier posts. This list includes the number of comments but not the number of hits.

The total number of comments made on this blog from September 2017 to 23 December 2021 was 22,216.  There were 927 posts.  The most prolific commenters have each made over 1000 comments on the blog.

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29 December 2021 11:06 am

Thank you John for all you do. Your blog has become an integral part of our
community because of all the time and effort you put into it. Happy New Year.

29 December 2021 8:55 am

Thank you John for your time and dedication to getting information out to the community. When we could travel, your blog was what we read around the world to keep in touch with home.
Keep well.And we look forward to more of your reports and insights in 2022.

28 December 2021 8:37 pm

Looks like Victoria Beach is the topic of greatest concern, all in all.

Last edited 10 months ago by JimT
Ken Strauss
Reply to  JimT
29 December 2021 8:47 am

The beach is of far more interest than our high and ever increasing property taxes. So much for housing affordability. Sad!

Reply to  Ken Strauss
29 December 2021 12:20 pm

I believe the interest was because of the ramifications of keeping the beach open at full capacity during the pandemic. Your comments arent exactly accurate in my opinion

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
29 December 2021 10:26 pm

How inaccurate, Informed? The decision to waste $1M annually on new managers who will provide no clearly defined benefits was #8 on John’s popularity summary. The 6.3% spending increase didn’t even make the top 10. The beach held 4 of the top 10 issues with ranks of #2, #3, #4, #5. In my opinion that shows that the beach is of far more interest than housing affordability. Please explain my inaccuracy.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
30 December 2021 7:51 am

Taxes and housing affordability are ongoing issues. I believe people were more worried about beach visitors during a pandemic than taxes and housing. It doesnt mean people dont care about the latter, arent interested or dont think housing and taxes are important.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 January 2022 8:46 am

Perhaps Ken it is only you , and a few others – primarily the Cobourg Taxpayers Association, who are obsessed with the level of taxation. Others just get on with their lives and comment on what’s important to them about living in Cobourg.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben
7 January 2022 10:23 am

So what if they are obsessed? I’m obsessed with poetry/art and culture. Madonna is obsessed with performance. Musk is obsessed with rockets and electric vehicles. Please explain how an individual(s) obsessed with taxation is detrimental to municipal affairs?

Reply to  Wally Keeler
7 January 2022 6:15 pm

Please explain how an individual(s) obsessed with taxation is detrimental to municipal affairs?”

The obsession is probably not detrimental to Municipal Affairs if those affairs are only concerned with paying for Municipal Services. Where the problem becomes yours Wally is when the penny-pinching, “I refuse to pay for what I consider to be frills” attitude refuses to pay for the Cultural aspects of Municipal Life.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
7 January 2022 7:01 pm

Ben, once an unacceptable budget such as Cobourg’s 6.3% spending increase is approved there are few options to “refuse to pay” for the indefensible expenditures. Please explain what you feel are reasonable alternatives to paying.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 January 2022 8:28 pm

Ken there are no alternatives and you know that so why should I rack my brains to find the impossible just to make you feel good in making your point. Which is that you find the latest budget and its tax rise to be unacceptable to you.

However I would suggest that if you feel so strongly that this Council erred in its decision you should do what hundreds of others have done – get yourself elected and change things.

If you don’t then all you have done is to show us all that all the sniping from the sidelines has few consequences and if done often enough is just empty noise.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
7 January 2022 11:02 pm

Ben, I’m too old to serve a term on Council. “Sniping” reminds voters of Council’s mistakes and will ensure change in the coming municipal election.

Reply to  JimT
1 January 2022 9:58 am

Yes, it certain looks like Victoria Beach is the greatest concern. The greatest concern among the reads and commenters of this blog. How many of these people can afford housing? Ken Strauss mentioned housing affordability. This topic may be of greater concern to people who do not read or comment on this blog. People with the greatest housing needs might not have the time or ability to comment. They may not have easy access to a computer for example. As explained in the first paragraph of this post we need to be careful how we interpret “facts”.

Last edited 10 months ago by Kevin
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Kevin
2 January 2022 11:26 am

Agreed, Kevin. However, those who don’t have time to read this blog or cannot afford a computer are unlikely to *DO* anything about reducing property taxes to make living in Cobourg more affordable.

28 December 2021 2:26 pm

Another fascinating article! And the number of hours that the Author spent calculating the hits, the topics and even the number of comments that were made by certain commenters are endless, unimaginable and inestimable!

Reply to  marya
29 December 2021 1:27 pm

The New York Times daily newsletter this morning contains a section called:

“Deep engagement
The following articles were among those with
which readers spent the most time this year…”

…meaning NYT actually monitors how long each of us spends reading each article on line before signing off. Scary stuff, seems to me.

Last edited 10 months ago by JimT
Reply to  JimT
29 December 2021 2:59 pm

I was a member of a committee in charge of reviewing presentation abstracts for a conference. As part of the review we had to figure out if a proposal was better suited to a trades show area, i.e. product promotion, or as a presentation to attending delegates. For example, sharing of research findings. One idea was called tree diaper, a system designed for slow release hydration to a newly planted tree. I googled the topic to find out more. As a result, ads for tree diapers followed me around on line for weeks! I had a good laugh.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  MiriamM
30 December 2021 8:45 am


Here’s one for you. As science emerged as a discipline, a promenant16th or 17th English commentator (can’t remember name), stated that it “will enable mankind to grab Nature by the hair and hold her down!”. As a result I was bombarded with ads for womens’ wiggs for several months.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
30 December 2021 10:16 am

Here’s one for you. As science emerged as a discipline, a promenant[sic] 16th or 17th English commentator (can’t remember name), stated that it “will enable mankind to grab Nature by the hair and hold her down!”. As a result I was bombarded with ads for womens’[sic] wiggs[sic] for several months.”

It would be most helpful for yourself and others if you downloaded a grammar and spell checker. For heaven’s sake, misspelled words on this blog are highlighted with a red line underneath the word to help you and others to communicate correctly. Furthermore, the quote you presented does not exist in Google.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
30 December 2021 9:43 pm

The quote in question may be:

We cannot expect nature to come to us. Nature must be take (sic) by the forelock” (grabbed by her hair). “It is necessary to subdue her, to shake her to her foundations.”
Sir Francis Bacon [1561-1626] 

But in any case, Google is not a repository of information the way an encyclopedia is. It’s a search engine (one of many available) that probes web sites and provides a list of its findings.

Just for the record.

I do agree with your assertion that high standards should be encouraged in these comments, and your pointing out that very helpful red line that appears under spelling errors and even some punctuation errors.

Last edited 10 months ago by JimT
Reply to  JimT
31 December 2021 11:02 am

have never seen a RED LINE?

Reply to  greengrass
31 December 2021 12:51 pm

Sure you have – you just haven’t noticed it.

Create a post of gibberish – random keystrokes – or copy the mangled stuff mentioned above and see.

Just close the page at that point so the test result doesn’t actually appear here.

Reply to  JimT
31 December 2021 6:15 pm

“the mangled stuff mentioned above”

Reply to  Wally Keeler
2 January 2022 11:32 pm

“misspelled words on this blog are highlighted with a red line underneath the word to help you and others to communicate correctly
Geez Wally, your posts must look like flashing red neon signs when you are composing them with words like “dictatorshits and presumptuus” (oops, there’s more red lines) and all.

Last edited 10 months ago by Frenchy
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
3 January 2022 3:54 am

I produce lots of red lines because I am a textrovert, a member of the poetburo and poetariet. It is the pursuit of poetency. Creativity is always red-lined, whereas mediocrity is blue-lined.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
3 January 2022 1:15 pm

This a great poem that produces a great red underlining.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 January 2022 9:03 pm

Nonsense literature

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Informed
5 January 2022 4:58 am

That’s right. Lewis Carroll was an individual who, through his rare and diversified literary gifts and power of communication, left an indelible mark upon the imaginations of children and adults both during his generation and in generations to come. His best-known works, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There (1872) are still enjoyed by readers throughout the world and have been adapted for radio, television, and motion pictures.

Reply to  Informed
7 January 2022 7:16 am

Yes, but also very popular. Some abstract painting and the movie Jabberwocky are also nonsense. When nonsense stimulates the imagination real things can be created. Contrariwise, Victoria Beach is a real asset to Cobourg but it generates some nonsense arguments that are rather hard to understand.

Last edited 10 months ago by Kevin