My most popular posts in 2023 and other lists

16.49, Friday 22 Dec 2023

Hello! This is a both my summary of 2023 and also the “Start here” for new readers. Lots of links and stats below!

According to Google Analytics, my 5 most popular posts in 2023 were (in descending order):

Here are some more! 20 most popular in 2023.

Blimey there’s a lot of AI in there.

This year my blog has really reflected my work, that’s why. I decided to double-down on AI at the beginning of the year.

But still. Hopefully the angles here are angles you’re not getting so much elsewhere.

Two things that I made outside client work!

  • Braggoscope. That post in the top 5 on the In Our Time archive is about – check it out! I still use that site more than weekly to discover new episodes. (The post sat in the #1 spot at Hacker News for about 12 hours because uses AI behind the scenes, and was one of the first to do so in that fashion. Here’s the thread.)
  • AI Clock. Also in the 20 most popular, My new job is AI sommelier and I detect the bouquet of progress (22 Mar). That’s about ChatGPT vibes and also my AI poetry clock prototype that went viral on Twitter. I’m currently in the process of manufacturing the clock; Kickstarter in the new year. Subscribe here for updates.

I’m proud of both.

And here are some “work-shaped” longer essays that got a decent amount of attention:

There’s one “big idea” (small idea…) that I feel will carry me through 2024 and that’s ubigpt or Intelligence too cheap to meter (6 Oct).

My personal faves often aren’t always the most popular. I’ve collected my favourite, most speculative posts, on topics such as:

  • Interspecies communication
  • Excalibur as nanotech
  • Finally getting the joke about infinite monkeys
  • Eating the Sun
  • The true meaning of Groundhog Day

Also: hip-hop ovens which culminates with honestly the single best pun I will ever produce.

Explore here: 16 speculative posts in 2023.

This year the posts I enjoyed the most are in my Filtered for… series. Each collects a handful of links and then… draws a kind of line I guess?

The free association is a ton of fun.

In 2023 you’ll find posts such as:

Here’s the whole Filtered for… series (104 posts since 2014). Scroll down for the ones from 2023.


Other ways to read:

If you’d like to subscribe (for the princely sum of zero $)…

I love my posts being shared. So if you read something you like, please do pass it along and post on whatever discords or socials you’re on.

I like email replies. This year people have started sending me links they think I’ll enjoy, and they’ve all been 100% correct. It is excellent that my preferences are so straightforward for others to model.

I like talking to people even more. I started opening my calendar for Unoffice Hours about 3 years and 300 calls ago and it’s still the highlight of my week. Learn more and book a time here. (I plan to change up the times in 2024 to make it easier to speak to people in the US.)

Some stats for the stats fans.

  • 2019: 8 posts (7,267 words, 78 links)
  • 2020: 116 posts (94,349 words, 713 links)
  • 2021: 128 posts (103,460 words, 765 links)
  • 2022: 96 posts (104,645 words, 711 links)
  • 2023, to year end: 68 posts (69,058 words, 587 links)

My current streak: I’ve been posting weekly or more for 195 weeks. (That’s my longest streak since I started blogging here in February 2000. Blew through that record over the summer.)

I’ve shifted focus with my personal practice this year – more making. I’m finding real joy in designing and making. My spare cycles go into spitballing ideas of things to try building in my private notes, and breaking ground on those ideas whenever I have a minute.

But I can see that reflected here… fewer speculative posts, average post length is up. And truthfully I would kinda like to find a way back to those shorter, freer thoughts. I get a lot of energy from them.


I love writing here. And thank YOU. I appreciate you being here, dear reader.

Update 12 Jan, 2024: Finalised 2023 stats, above.

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it by email or on social media. Here’s the link. Thanks, —Matt.