BuzzFeed’s Best Posts Of The Year

It was quite a year.

When I started work at BuzzFeed on midnight last January 1, we were already the best at something: Creating emotionally driven, image-heavy content people want to share. Matt Stopera’s Most Powerful Images of 2011 had been the most popular post in our history.

But Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed’s founder and CEO, had realized that the social space had expanded to include not only the emotionally resonant items people share on Facebook, but also the hard news, compelling features, lists, humor, and analysis that thrive on Twitter. Americans were spending less time finding content from portals and search engines, and more from their friends, and Jonah made a huge gamble that BuzzFeed could vastly broaden its mandate.

A year later, it seems obvious that he was right. Our political coverage, which operated on the assumption — truer, at first, in politics than anywhere else — that Twitter is your front page, made a big impact in the ultra-competitive presidential campaign by doing what great reporters love to: Report and write. And since January 1, 2012, when Matt Stopera and Zeke Miller shared a room in the Hotel Fort Des Moines, we’ve learned enormous amounts about the substance and form of social journalism.

Our verticals have been rooted in this same reality of social news. FWD covers the new human reality of tech, providing crucial — and shareable — insight on how life is lived on Twitter and Facebook and how those services are used. Shift has gone deep into how women live their lives online and off, and taken seriously the year’s breakthrough social platform, Pinterest. Our Sports vertical has pioneered a new visual, GIF-heavy form of storytelling that merges the best of sportswriting and broadcasting.

Successive waves of of verticals we launched this year drilled down on some of the things people love to learn about, and to share, from food to nostalgia (to food nostalgia!), celebrity, music, LGBT, and — naturally — animals. We have filled in deep expertise and authority on everything from playlists — BuzzFeed Music’s is one of Rdio’s top playlists — to recipes for cooking everything from doves to jello shots. We have made the case for Ryan Gosling, for Corgis and cats; and I’ve learned along the way just how hard the deceptively simple, emotionally direct posts like 33 Animals Who Are Extremely Disappointed In You are to make.

We’ve also taken on a new medium in a big way: This fall, we lured the online video genius Ze Frank aboard to teach us — and millions of other people — how to trade Halloween candy, and how to navigate Thanksgiving.

Here’s a quick trip through some of the best stuff we made this year, a crazy mix of content that we hope will look like your Facebook feed on a very good day.

2. McCain To Endorse Romney Tomorrow

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Our first scoop of the campaign season.
Read it.

3. Exclusive: Marco Rubio’s Mormon Roots

Charlie Neibergall / AP

As a child, he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Read it.

4. BuzzFeed Goes To The International Pizza Expo

Read our important coverage here.

5. At Harvard, Obama Dived Into Diversity Fight

Read the whole post here.

6. For Thousands Of Veterans, The New G.I. Bill Isn’t Working

The VA apologizes, but calls the problem “isolated.” “Immediate corrective actions” promised.
Read it.

7. 13 Simple Steps To Get You Through A Rough Day

If you are having a bad day then you should probably look at this post.

One of our top posts with 7.9 million views.

8. Google’s Marissa Mayer: “I Really Hope More Women Enter The Field”

She helped create Gmail, professed her love of Oscar de la Renta in Vogue, and — having just been named the CEO of Yahoo — is one of the highest-ranking women in Silicon Valley.
Read it.

9. Career Confidential: Wall Street Escort Wishes She Could Tell Clients: “You’re Really Small And You’re Bad In Bed”

“They have big egos and are big babies. If I make any sign that they’re not the best lover, or that their dick wasn’t the biggest dick I’ve ever seen, they start asking all these questions and putting me down.”
Read it.

10. 50 People You Wish You Knew In Real Life

Life would be SO MUCH better with these people around all the time.

Another viral hit, 9.2 million views

11. Facebook Social Readers Are All Collapsing

Are you annoyed by all those automatic Facebook news apps? Apparently you’re not alone.
Read it.

12. 21 Reasons You Should Be Following The NBA’s Weirdest Player On Twitter

On the court, JaVale McGee is maddeningly inconsistent. Off the court, he’s the most consistently weird, funny, crazy athlete on Twitter. Here’s why.
Read it.

13. How The White House Smothered The News Of Obama’s Trip To Afghanistan

How the White House played whack-a-mole.
Read it.

14. 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

Biswaranjan Rout / AP

People aren’t always awful. Sometimes, they’re maybe even just a little bit wonderful. Here are 21 pictures to remind you of that fact.

Our most viral post of the year, with 11.3 million views

15. The Strongest Woman In America Lives In Poverty

Sarah Robles is ranked higher than any other American weightlifter, male or female. She’s the best hope the U.S. has at an Olympic medal in the sport — but she struggles to pay her rent.
Read it.

16. 31 Insanely Easy and Clever DIY Projects

These are the kind of simple projects for the laziest and most inept of crafters. Even if you can barely operate a drill, you can do most of these projects — and in less than an hour.
Read it.

17. Horror Hospital: The Most Shocking Photos And Testimony From The Dawood Military Hospital Scandal

If you look at only one story about the Afghan War this year, make it this one.
Read it.

18. It Never Gets Better

Why you should never buy a mediocre piece of technology expecting that it’ll be more amazing tomorrow than it is today.
Read it.

19. BuzzFeed Goes To The Hill Cumorah Pageant

Read our important coverage here.

20. An Olympic Fencer Refuses To Leave The Floor After Getting Screwed

In the match that would decide who would fence for the gold, Germany’s Britta Heidemann landed a match-clinching touch. But was it in time? South Korea’s Shin A Lam didn’t think so. So she refused to leave.
Read it.

21. McKayla Maroney’s Vault Was So Good It Literally Dropped A Judge’s Jaw

The most impressive moment from the US Women’s Gymnastics team’s very impressive gold medal night.
Read it.

22. Ryan Lochte: Great At Swimming, Less Great At Talking About Swimming

23. BuzzFeed goes to the National Hobo Convention

Read our important coverage here.

24. Tech Confessional: The Googler Who Looked At The Worst Of The Internet

After a year spent looking at the dark underside of the Internet — including bestiality, necrophilia and child pornography — this Google contractor wasn’t even hired full-time.
Read it.

25. The Angriest Babies In The Whole World

26. 12 Hilarious Reviews Of A Pen Just For Women

“It’s good that BIC are finally doing something to aid the plight of women.”
Read it.

27. Why Music Gives You The Chills

Those intense physical sensations certain songs can give you have a name: ASMR.
Read it.

28. Can You Die From A Nightmare?

It was creepy to wake up violently in the middle of the night. It was creepier when no one could tell me why it was happening.
Read it.

29. Foreign Policy Hands Voice Disbelief At Romney Cairo Statement

Jim Young / Reuters

“Bungle… utter disaster…not ready for prime time… not presidential… Lehman moment.” And that’s just the Republicans.
Read it.

30. 22 Things You’re Doing Wrong

It’s okay. These little tricks will help you become the highly advanced human you’ve always dreamed of being.
Read it.

31. Proof That Cats Are Better Than Dogs

32. Making Mitt: The Myth Of George Romney

John Gara

The Republican nominee’s father didn’t walk out of the ‘64 convention. And George Romney didn’t teach Mitt that you lose by being honest — he taught him that you change your positions to win.
Read it.

33. Why Is This Man Running for President of the Internet?

Alexis Ohanian started Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet.” Then he helped kill SOPA, the bill that threatened to destroy it. Now he’s running for President. Of the whole thing.
Read it.

34. 27 Nail Hacks for the Perfect DIY Manicure

If you do your nails at home, here’s every tip you could possibly need to ensure a salon-quality manicure.
Read it.

35. How To Make 5 Perfect Dinners For $10 Each

Five recipes, one grocery list, and an essential cooking technique shown step by step. You’re going to use this constantly.
Read it.

36. Polygamists See Themselves In Romney, Obama Family Trees

John Gara

The presidential candidates’ many great-grandmothers are the talk of the compound.
Read it.

37. The Guide To Trading Candy

38. Welcome To Liberal America

John Gress / Reuters

Barack Obama, gay marriage, weed, and a new focus on climate change. This is the country, and the Republican Party has to adapt.
Read it.

39. The Sins Of General David Petraeus

John Gara

Petraeus seduced America. We should never have trusted him.
Read it.

40. The Perfect Guide To Holiday Etiquette

41. True Facts About The Angler Fish

42. 19 People Who Are Having A Way Worse Day Than You

Think you’re having a bad day? This might change your mind.

Another super-viral posts, with over 9.9 million views

43. Atari Teenage Riot: The Inside Story Of Pong And The Video Game Industry’s Big Bang

John Gara

On Nov. 29, 1972, a crude table-tennis arcade game in a garish orange cabinet was delivered to bars and pizza parlors around California, and a multi-billion-dollar industry was born. Here’s how that happened, direct from the freaks and geeks who invented a culture and paved the way for today’s tech moguls.
Read it.

44. 22 Great Albums You Might Have Missed In 2012

It’s hard to keep up with everything that comes out, but you should try — or revisit — these records.
Read it.

45. How To Open A Beer Bottle Without Touching It

46. 3. The 25 Funniest AutoCorrects Of 2012

Mega-viral: 8.3 million views

47. The 30 Best Photos Of Hillary Clinton From 2012

She drank. She danced. For all we know, she Instagrammed.
Read it.

48. 11 Food Trends That Need To Die In 2013

Dear Sriracha, Pickles, and Sriracha Pickles: You’ve had a great run. Let’s move on, shall we?
Read it.

49. 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year

This was a needed reminder.
Read it.

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