I hope you all had a fun Christmas, and Santa brought you what you wanted. Pandora and I are still in the process of gathering the judges’ votes for the TWIM Awards. Stay tuned for New Year’s Day when we’ll be announcing the results.
This post is to reflect on the past year of the website, and also to invite you lot to tell us what you’d like more or less of in future.
The site has undergone something of a change during the year, not least because we have a different name. Originally this was meant to be nothing more than simply a home for the This Week in Mentalists round-ups, after previous homes like Mental Nurse and Madosphere went down the tubes. The name was changed to The World of Mentalists in order to give free rein to include other content besides TWIMs.
Funnily enough, the change of name settled something that had been nagging in my mind. I’d worried for a long time that the use of the word “mentalist” might be viewed as an attempt to demean people with mental health problems. But when we consulted on the name change a very consistent piece of feedback was that people liked the word and wanted it kept in the title. Maybe it’s a word that’s being reclaimed like the q-word for gay people or the n-word for black people. Though as with those words, its reclamation doesn’t give other people the right to misuse it.
The most popular post of the year was Mark Brown’s Everybody’s Talkin’ Edition of TWIM, quite possibly due to his elegant summation of the various responses to the viral article “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother”. Second most popular was the request for nominations for the TWIM Awards 2012. In third place was the unveiling of the results for the 2011 Awards.
The most popular search engine terms for finding the site (apart from obvious stuff like “twim blog” and “mentalists”) were “Andrew Roelink”, “Karen Sherlock” and “India Knight depression”. Hello to the smaller number of you who found us with the following search terms:
“sex toy fools entire chinese village”
“cats eating ice cream”
“olympic cock rings”
“van gogh barbie”
I’m guessing the TWIM wildcards have a lot to do with those results.
One thing I’ve noticed from the stats is that although our site traffic isn’t huge, we do get periodical spikes. These spikes seems to be times when the site acts as an online “water cooler” where people gather to discuss something that’s happened. The “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” article is a good example of this. Other times have been the tragic death of Jacintha Saldanha and an online argument that erupted between the Times columnist India Knight and the mental health charity Mind.
I’d like to conclude this post by inviting comment from you, the readers and contributors. What would you like to see more of on the site? Or less of? Also, since this site is intended to be collaborative, is there anything you’d like to contribute? If you’d like to write a TWIM sometime, or if you have an original article you’d like us to publish, please leave a comment saying so.