Readers' Picks: The Year's Most Popular Stories at Metropulse.com

1. "Derek Dooley: Can He Make the Vols Win Big by Thinking Small?"

by Brooks Clark

Important Media Lesson: If you want lots of page views, you can't go wrong profiling a new Vol football coach right before the season starts. This story from our annual football issue got a big boost from various Vol fan forums that linked it for discussion—and the discussion was actually positive, possibly a first for us.

2. "Magical Reindeer Farts"

by Leslie Wylie

This Christmas essay appeared on our site Dec. 22—and zoomed up the charts in a matter of hours. Why? Behold the mighty power of fark.com, whose links bring good cheer to webmasters 'round the world.

3. "Why Do East Tennesseans Love Their Guns?"

by Jesse Fox Mayshark

It's a pretty simple question with fairly direct answers—but one that most gun-control advocates often don't want to bother asking. But we're curious sorts, so we did—much to the shock of the gun-rights side, which passed along the link at various gun-owner forums.

4. "Can We Get a Little Perspective on the Vol Football Program?"

by Frank Cagle

Frank Cagle's opinions on Lane Kiffin in 2009 earned him many pages of insults (and threats) on Vol forums for daring to suggest that the football program needed "adult supervision." This follow-up column in the wake of Kiffin's abrupt exit may have been a must-read of atonement for the previously duped.

5. "Facebook Reconsidered"

by Stephanie Piper

Stephanie Piper's monthly column usually focuses on personal life issues, but this one tackled a very specific topic—her grudging acceptance of Facebook. This got the attention of Facebook itself, which linked it on its Facebook page.

6. "Getting Leafy With Nissan"

by Coury Turczyn

Who knows why particular blog posts suddenly leap ahead of the bajillion other blog posts on the same topic? Nevertheless, this absolutely ordinary write-up on Knoxville's selection as a test market for Nissan's new electric car, the Leaf, keeps getting hits since its original posting on Jan. 11.

7. "Does Red Dead Redemption's John Marston Have to Die?"

by Dave Prince

Our reviewer may have unleashed a major spoiler in the very first sentence of his analysis of the Old West video game Red Dead Redemption, but it proved to be a very popular article among gamers.

8. BaconFest 2010

by Rose Kennedy

For our first city-wide BaconFest, we pulled out the stops with a special issue looking at Knoxville's unique relationship with bacon. And we found that people like reading about bacon almost as much as they like eating it.

9. "Yamaha RD350: Two-Stroke Fun Machine"

by Ryan Carden

Remember when we used to put out a motorcycle magazine by the name of Handlebars? It was quite popular among serious bikers, but it went into hibernation once the entire industry got hit with a certain economic meltdown. But its articles live on at our website, and they still get lots of readers.

10. "Revenge of the Knoxville (Coffee) Nerds"

by Cari Wade Gervin

Our newest staff writer tucks into the top 10 with her very first cover story, examining Knoxville's increasingly sophisticated coffee scene. It even got tweeted by the Atlantic!