BuzzFeed's Best Posts Of The Year

It was quite a year.

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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.

At Harvard, Obama Dived Into Diversity Fight

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Read the whole post here.

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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The Angriest Babies In The Whole World

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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.

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Proof That Cats Are Better Than Dogs

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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.

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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.

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The Guide To Trading Candy

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The Perfect Guide To Holiday Etiquette

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True Facts About The Angler Fish

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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.

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How To Open A Beer Bottle Without Touching It

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