Happy 2nd Birthday, Wheat & Tares!

By: wheatmeister
October 4, 2012

Two years ago today on October 4, 2010, we launched the blog Wheat & Tares.  We wanted to celebrate by sharing some fun stats and putting together a list of our top ten posts to date to share with you, our esteemed audience and debate partners.

First, some stats – whether fun or not is yours to judge.

  • From our humble beginnings two years ago, we’ve increased our average daily readership by over 50%!
  • 12,169 people have visited the site and viewed 37,320 pages.
  • The average visit is 2 mins 23 seconds.
  • While over 80% of our visitors are from the US, many live outside the US.  4% are from the UK, 2.4% are from Canada, 1.7% from Australia, 1% are from Singapore, 1% are from Germany, and the remaining 11% are all from other countries all over the world.
  • We get some visits from seemingly official church locations:  0.6% of visits are from BYU, and 0.4% of our visits are from the Church Office Building. 

Next, see how many of these top ten posts you remember:

  1. (May 2011) If I Were in Charge:  Change Women’s Garments & Men’s by Mike S
  2. (Sep 2011) The 9/11 Sacrament Meeting I Wish We Had Instead of Hammering Women on Modesty by Mike S
  3. (May 2011) If I Were in Charge:  Ignore Tattoos by Mike S
  4. (Nov 2010) Unveiling the 2010 Church Handbook of Instructions by Bored in Vernal
  5. (Apr 2011) Good vs. Great:  Iomega and General Conference Statistics by Mike S
  6. (Jun 2011) If I Were in Charge:  Expand the Meaning of “I’m a Mormon” by Mike S
  7. (Dec 2010) Mormons & Feminism by Stephen Marsh
  8. (Apr 2011) Modest is Hottest:  A Look at BYU Fashion by Hawkgrrrl
  9. (Nov 2010) Science & Religion 3:  Scientific Search for Truth by Mike S
  10. (Apr 2011) Was the Civil War Prophecy Really About the Civil War? by FireTag

To our blogging team, I’d like to give a hearty thanks for all your thought-provoking posts:  Andrew S, Bonnie, Bored in Vernal, Firetag, Hawkgrrrl, Jake, Jeff Spector, jmb275, Mike S, Mormon Heretic, shenpa warrior, and Stephen Marsh.  And a special shout out to our emeritus and guest series bloggers:  Bishop Bill, Bruce, KC Kern and Stephen Carter.  Without our staff of writers, Wheat & Tares would never have been possible.

And to our readers, a thanks for coming along for the ride and for your insightful commentary, your snark, and your readership!  Here’s to many more happy years together!

To everyone:  What are some of your favorite Wheat & Tares posts and comments from the last two years?

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17 Responses to Happy 2nd Birthday, Wheat & Tares!

  1. Ziff on October 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Happy birthday! I really enjoy y’all’s writing, even though I don’t comment much.

    And I *love* the stats. Clearly there’s a strong push for having Mike S be put in charge of the Church. :)

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  2. Mike S on October 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    #2 Ziff: Clearly there’s a strong push for having Mike S be put in charge of the Church

    I don’t think anyone is in danger of that happening anytime in the near (or far) future. I’m currently serving as the pianist for Primary and it’s the best calling I have ever had in my 40+ years.

    Thank you to the W&T folks for inviting me to write my first guest post back in the day. It’s a great group of folks. (And if anyone else has an idea for a guest post, jump onboard).

    And especially thank you to everyone who has visited and commented. I’ve certainly changed my thinking about a number of things after listening to and interacting with different people. It’s great to see such a diverse group of folks discuss things in a (mostly) respectful manner.

    Here’s to another number of years…

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  3. Joseph S. on October 4, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    I love this blog. Well done. I plan to keep reading.

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  4. mh on October 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Mike would you mind commenting on where you’re thinking has changed?

    here is a pat on or own back. I think it’s a pretty cool blog too.

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  5. Howard on October 5, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    Great blog! Happy birthday W&T!

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  6. NewlyHousewife on October 5, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Do you have stats on the likes in comments? By far I love W&T, and look forward to the many years to come.

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  7. BrotherQ on October 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    I was saddened when Mormon Matters seemed to disappear back in the day, and Wheat and Tares has taken its place as a part of my day, every day. Thanks for all the hard work, all the thought, and all the effort.

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  8. Andrew S on October 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    re 6,

    NewlyHousewife,

    Since we only have the free version of the comment rating widget, we unfortuantely do not get stats on likes.

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  9. Mike S on October 5, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    #4 mh: Mike would you mind commenting on where you’re thinking has changed?

    Over the past few years, I have changed a lot of thoughts, largely by being exposed to people here (and other sites). Examples:

    - For most of my life, I was very much a fiscal conservative. Ayn Rand was a favorite author. I’ve actually read Atlas Shrugged, not once, but three and a half times, and for decades it was my favorite book. Through seeing the struggles and experiences people have expressed both here and in my job as a surgeon, I realized that it was a fairly greedy and self-centered philosophy. From my recent comments, etc., it’s obvious that I feel quite different now.

    - I’m still very much influenced by the fact that I am male and grew up in such a male-dominated church, but I am much more empathetic to the role of women in life. There are many things written here and said in church that really grate me now, that I wouldn’t have batted an eye about before.

    - Growing up, I was about as TBM as you could be. I was very traditional and thought that everyone who didn’t think like me was “wrong”. This was the “one true Church” and if people didn’t approach it like me, THEY were wrong. I’m obviously very different there as well.

    - There have always been things about the Church that have bothered me. In the past, I felt I was “wrong” for questioning certain things. No one ever talked about them at Church or in any other setting besides obviously “anti-Mormon” realms. It really made me wonder about a lot of things.

    Through W&T and similar places, I’ve realized that you can question things AND be a “good” Mormon – as valid as any other Mormon. As opposed to the faces we put on along with our Sunday best to go to church, people are all over the spectrum with regard to what Mormonism means in their life – and they are ALL valid interpretations.

    - The net sum of all of this: My attitude, for better or worse, used to be primarily focused on my relationship between me and the Church. It is now primarily focused on my relationship between me and God. The Church is a very useful tool in promoting that, but it’s a different approach.

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  10. mh on October 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Well mike, I have never seen the Ann Rand side of you, so I guess I haven’t seen this change you note. You always seem to be the guy that ‘if I were inn charge, thins would be different.’

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  11. MH on October 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    I guess I should add that I think I like “new Mike” better than “Ayn Rand” Mike. But “new Mike” is the only Mike I’ve known. I like many of your ideas, but I’m not sure if I would want you in charge. ;) (I’m glad I’m not in charge too.)

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  12. Rigel Hawthorne on October 5, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Thanks to Firetag for the guest interview with the representative from the Remnant church. The interview was something I had requested in response to one of his posts, and he was nice enough to take on the work of making it happen.

    Maybe in that light and with the popularity of posts on temple area revitalization, we could have a post about the Mesa Temple (about which comments were recently posted) and surrounding neighborhood and whether individual investments in neighboring properties is countering the blight.

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  13. hawkgrrrl on October 5, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    “The net sum of all of this: My attitude, for better or worse, used to be primarily focused on my relationship between me and the Church. It is now primarily focused on my relationship between me and God. The Church is a very useful tool in promoting that, but it’s a different approach.” I think this is a great comment that bears repeating. When JMax recently decried dissidents agitating for change (not a bad article), I suppose that was my own thought in response – that agitating for individual change is what we all do as members when we speak in sacrament meeting or teach a class. We are all agitating for people to change, to open their minds if closed, to take a courageous stand for good, to be charitable, to question their assumptions, to empathize more and have a broader imagination about what others’ positive motives might be. To me, that’s the value of the bloggernacle, pointing out inconsistencies between the gospel and the church and helping church members and low level leaders be their best or helping the rest of us deal with it when they are not.

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  14. prometheus on October 6, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Still on a hiatus, but wanted to add my birthday felicitations. :D

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  15. Stephen M (Ethesis) on October 6, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Hiatus can be a good thing.

    Happy birthday.

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  16. Hedgehog on October 6, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Happy Birthday.

    I’ve glanced through a couple of the links above. Looks like there have been some good discussions that’d be interesting to catch up on.

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  17. Toni on October 8, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    The “if I were in charge” series wins, hands down, for me.

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