Happy First Birthday Yopp!
Exactly one year ago, I launched my beloved social justice blog, Yopp! Twenty-eight posts later, I’m consistently posting twice a month (well okay except for last month), I’m spending hours every day writing and researching, I’ve improved my social media game, and I can’t wait to expand this blog even more. I’m particularly excited about the plans I have for Yopp Academy and the range of basic information I intend to cover to make it into a truly comprehensive guide for understanding social justice. Can you believe it’s been a full year already?
As a celebration, I thought I’d write a post detailing Yopp’s six most shared posts of the last year. Four out of six of these posts belonged to the Voices category, one was from Bad Arguments, and just one was from Yopp Academy. The really exciting thing is that because I don’t currently have access to good analytics, these numbers are representative of only the number of shares visible to me. I have no idea how many times these pieces are getting shared after the first person hits the button at the bottom of the article, so these numbers are just the start.
I hope you’ll take the opportunity to read any of these articles you may have missed, or reshare any of your favorites a second time! In the coming year, let’s blow past these statistics and get them shared even further.
The one and only Yopp Academy post to make it into the top six posts, it’s natural that the most popular educational article would be the first part of the Explaining Privilege series. With 25 shares, it was my hope that this post would be the first stepping stone in many people’s social justice learning process, and that even if they were less likely to share the articles that follow, they would go on to read parts two, three, four and the future parts I have yet to publish.
I was perhaps the most surprised about the success of this post, particularly because its topic is so specific to me and my story. But between its utility for explaining my limitations to my dance community and its detailed descriptions of the effects of EDS, I’m certainly happy it exists because of how easy it makes explaining to new friends what the experience of my health problems is like. Coming in at 26 shares, it proved much more shareable than I expected.
This was one of those articles that I had been wanting to write for a very long time out of sheer annoyance at how common the “Bad Argument” I was addressing was, which really, is the fun thing about the Bad Argument segment. I get to flesh out my rants into a more coherent form. This article was relevant to the Charlottesville protests that had happened fairly recently at the time, but it was also the type of article that would become relevant again and again, unfortunately.
I was really pleased that this article reached 31 shares because I wanted the ideas in it to be widely circulated and for it to be used as a tool for many people to use to combat inaccurate ideas about the practice of nonviolence.
This piece was my very first Voices post and one very close to my heart because of its descriptions of my severe anxiety and the constant battle I face with the medical system.
In the first few months of publishing on Yopp!, my share-counters at the bottom of the page stayed blank. With no comments to give me real-time feedback and because my platform doesn’t allow for detailed analytics, I often wondered if my articles were getting sent out into the void, with only a handful of close friends reading them.
Then one day, I noticed another article had been shared twice just an hour after I posted it. I realized I had not checked any of the counters in a while, and I quickly began checking. To my amazement, in the months since it had been originally published, “Color” had reached 44 shares; a huge jump from the next most shared article.
I wrote this piece after reading comments in response to my piece on Ms. Magazine, “I Was My Boyfriend’s Servant: How I Escaped Financial Abuse,” that questioned why someone would allow themselves to be controlled to such a severe degree as I had in my abusive relationship. I found myself wanting to answer them but also focusing on an aspect of abusive relationships that I’ve always found fascinating: the beginning of abusive relationships before the abuse starts.
The piece was astonishingly easy to write, and even more astonishing was how quickly the piece was shared, reaching over 20 shares in the first 24 hours, and topping out at 45 shares as of the publishing of this article.
In addition to having the most shares, this piece is also the newest of any of the Top 6, hopefully implying both a growing audience and an increase in the quality of my content! Similar to #2, I wrote this piece entirely unintentionally. I had a different article planned for that week, but it hadn’t been flowing very well because I wasn’t excited to write it.
After the experience detailed in the article, I came home and realized I needed to write about what had happened. I wrote a few pages, feeling pretty unfocused, certain I was just getting my feelings out. Then the next day, I found I was sorting through new emotions and that they were on the same topic. I wrote another 3 pages. I was surprised by how coherent the full piece was once I was finished. And once published, the piece spread quickly, much like #2, and today tops out at 54 shares.
Something I’ve learned from the following list is that the posts that were the most successful were the ones that were written the most organically. As much as I might hope that my posts that require hours of research will reach as many people as possible, they’re unlikely to spread like wildfire. The pieces that people respond to are the ones that embody an emotion that’s clear and relatable. No matter how unique I think a feeling is to me, it’s important to remember that humans feel emotions in similar patterns, including the feeling that no one else has ever felt like this before. That idea is what drives me to share extremely personal stories with other people. I know that just by putting my one experience to words, I’m validating the stories of many other people who don’t have the words to tell their own stories.
About the writer: Kella Hanna-Wayne is the creator, editor, and main writer for Yopp. In addition to creating a collection of educational resources for social justice, she works as a freelance writer specializing in content about her experience with disability, chronic illness, mental health, and trauma. Her work has been published in Ms. Magazine blog, The BeZine, Betty’s Battleground, and Splain You a Thing. You can find her @KellaHannaWayne on Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and Instagram.