As the year comes to a close in just a few days, I wanted to remind the loyal Kit Up! audience what their most read stories were for 2010.
I do this with -- as Chris Matthews likes to say -- a tingle running up my leg because it's been such a pleasure running this blog with a readership like all of you.
I took over Kit Up! in February of this year after the previous editor moved on to bigger and better things. I'm a bit of a gear nut anyway, so I took this blog into a new direction and poured in my enthusiasm for the subjects to each post. I recognize there might have been too few stories for most of your appetites, but with a full time job running the news at Military.com, Kit Up! was my cathartic passion when I could do it.
We grew from a blog that got about 36,000 hits per month, to a 250,000/mo. hit titanic. And that's mostly because of you. Your engagement with the site is frequent, relevant and civil and it's been just such a pleasure being editor here.
So, before I get all teary eyed, a big thanks to the best audience on the web!
Now, here are the top ten posts on Kit Up! for the year ending 2010 (I'll provide a little commentary for a couple of them):
- XM-25 Headed to Afghanistan with Green Berets [39,175 views] (this is not surprising at all, since the XM-25 is a bit of a wonder weapon and lots of people are curious about how it works, and how well it works. Also, a reminder that our coverage of this set the trend for the mainstream media which only caught up to this last month)
- Night Shoot with Mk-19 and 60mm Mortar [36,016 views] (here's one I just don't get -- maybe you all can explain this one to me. When Ward and I were in Afghanistan back in May, we were shooting the shit with the platoon NCOs and PL in the TOC -- talking about shooting and guns and such, and the PL said 'hey, let's go up on the roof and do some shooting!' Of course we were game. And this was my first time shooting video out of the NODs, so the quality was bad and the weapons weren't new. But for some reason, you all loved it)
- Brit Makes Record Sniper Kill in Afghanistan [27,939 views] (not surprising in the least)
- SOCOM Cancels Mk-16 SCAR [22,689 views] (you all know how much crap I got from SCAR fans on this one over at other sites like Lightfighter and M4carbine.net and by in large, the bulk of you recognized they were shooting the messenger on this one and had my back. For this I am eternally grateful to all 22,689 of you and made it through that difficult story because of your support)
- M4 Grip Pod Popular in the Field [19,288 views]
- Battle of the Battle Rifle Grips: Grauer IGRS [18,003 views] (I guess you all love accessory posts...)
- IMINT: Super Short CQB Combat Rifle [17,360 views] (I love doing these types of posts, and not just because they're easy. Finding pics of snake eaters in the field and doing forensics on their equipment choices is a great way to get valuable intelligence on what preferences are in the field and which companies and setups are edging out others. I mean, how do you think everyone started wearing MultiCam in Afghanistan?)
- EXCLUSIVE: Army Picks Medium Ruck Design [16,069 views] (This is a testament to the popularity and reach of Kit Up! and your help getting us there. PEO Soldier contacted me on this story since they knew if we wrote about it, the right people would read it. As a veteran news reporter, I always like exclusives and this was a great one for both Kit Up! and Military.com...)
- EOD Gets Their MultiCam on in Afghanistan [13,392 views]
- A New Sniper Duel in Helmand [13,312 views] (This one is no surprise either...)
Again, thanks for a great year and please let us know what you think were the top stories for 2010 at Kit Up!