Friday Flashback: 2021 Year in Review

It’s time to look back at 2021, and for me personally the biggest news is that I successfully achieved a full year of weekly updates. I started updating weekly last New Year’s after five years of biweekly updates, mainly so that visitors to the site could be sure of consistent new content every Saturday, but also to give myself a new challenge as a writer and content provider. To be honest I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. But leveraging the love and support of my site visitors and loyal Patreonites and my own unflagging passion for this strange endeavor I’ve steeped myself in for so long, I did indeed go live with a year of weekly updates in 2021: with one vacation and one family emergency there were 50 updates total, albeit including a stray “asterisk update” for which I couldn’t complete a story of my own in time. Given all my other commitments, I admit I’m pretty chuffed about keeping it up for that long (no pun intended). My total word count for 2021 was 324 thousand words (including a few direct commissions and some ongoing Patreon story sponsorships), up from 246k in 2020, so I’m writing 30% more doing weekly updates than I was previously. In August of this year I passed 2 million words writing as BRK. The site is growing steadily as well: right now we’re at 1,947 stories (offering the prospect of hitting an even 2,000 mid-way through 2022), with lots of great new writers alongside our awesome longtime contributors; monthly story views are averaging 460k, up from 380k a year ago. I don’t know what 2022 will bring, but I’m damn proud of what we did in 2021.

Every year-end I do lists of the most popular stories on the site based on views and votes from the preceding 12 months. Instead of including the lists in my blog post as I’ve done previously, I’ve gone ahead and made a standing page on the site that includes the newly-minted year-end for from 2021 as well as the ones I posted the previous three years.

This year, I decided to run three different kinds of lists. First, I did the standard most-popular lists by 2021 views and by 2021 votes. These lists, especially the by-views list, always contain a number of “evergreens”—vintage stories that get consistently a lot of views despite not having been updated in many years. This made me curious to see what the lists would look like including only stories updated in 2021, so I did another set of lists that way, counting down the most popular 2021-updated stories by 2021 views and by 2021 votes. Finally, I did a set of lists just for the most popular BRK stories by 2021 views and by 2021 votes. As previously, the lists are weighted by diversity of IP addresses, so that stories that are getting attention from a wider range of visitors get more of a boost in the rankings.

Looking at these lists, I’m gratified at the range and breadth of writing on the site. Metabods is a niche gay erotica site, but the writers drawn to this flame are bringing our visitors into so many different kinds of fantasies, with pleasures ranging from shallow and shimmering to deep and intricate. For me the biggest surprise was the presence of one of my own stories in the top ten of the views list—that never happens! My prolific output tends to avert BRK yarns showing up much in the year-end lists, as my viewer eyeballs are spread across a lot of stories over the year (49 stories and 106 chapters in 2021, up from 86 chapters over 37 stories in 2020). So I was pleasantly surprised to see “One Hot Summer” popping up in the top ten by 2021 views amidst all the evergreens, though as the story I updated the most last year it was the likeliest candidate for greatest visibility.

Beyond that, I recommend perusing the lists for stories you may not have looked at before. The next update is tomorrow, 1 January 2022, and in the meantime have fun exploring the archives, and thanks for visiting the site.

Check out the Top Stories of the Year by 2021 Views and Votes…