As editors, gauging audience interest is never a science, and we face often the unenviable task of writing about the things we feel our readers should know, not what they necessarily want. I liken it often to offering health vegetables to someone who’d rather eat candy.
Global Atlanta has long been concerned with the mechanics of the global economy but also the relational dynamics that practically help our readers tap into opportunities abroad, whether a career path, a study-abroad program or a tangible business deal.
We also have consistently pursued stories of deals that drive Atlanta’s growth into a global city, even as we uncover latent (and under-appreciated) ways it’s woven into the fabric of the world.
This year’s most-read stories reflect all of these focus areas and more. They show that opening our “pages” to outside voices can be instructive for us as well as the reader. They proved, for instance, that we don’t have a monopoly — or even always a solid feel — for what will move our readers.
For the first time, four commentary articles (not written by our reporters, editors or freelancers) were among the top 18. They focused on nuts-and-bolts issues like Europe’s GDPR implementation (ranked No. 6) and challenges in green-card applications (2), as well as wrestling with heavier questions like why Mongolia might be a good place for a Trump-Kim summit (5) or why Atlanta should be a global hub for the franchising sector (17)
The top story for the year was somewhat unexpected, focusing as it does on a little-known sect of Islam that boasts a major community in Atlanta. In writing about a 60th anniversary visit of their imam and guide, the Aga Khan, we also tracked why Ismaili Shi’a Muslims have found fertile ground for their interpretation of the faith, which stresses education and community engagement.
But interspersed among this list of highlights were also pragmatic articles and growth stories. The former included one about how Delta is putting a premium on foreign languages among its new flight attendant hires (3), along with a list of 40 exporters Gov. Nathan Deal honored at the final “Go Global” reception of his second term (7).
The latter mostly focused on headquarters: NCR opened a newly built one in Midtown, Mercedes-Benz said it would add an innovation hub separate from its Sandy Springs base, and German elevator giant Thyssenkrupp announced a planned $200 million complex with a massive test tower (4).
Lastly, but certainly not least, Global Atlanta these top 18 continued to show the uniqueness of our reporting and the fact that we cover areas that other traditional outlets haven’t approached with the same vigor. Chief among them are trade and diplomacy. We broke the news this year that Atlanta would be home to a new Dutch consulate (11) and continued to follow that story closely throughout the course of the year. We also introduced to our readers India’s new consul general, the first female to take up the role, who also happens to be a medical doctor by training (16).
Here’s the full list of stories — don’t miss the summary of a beloved Indian marketing professor’s 80th birthday celebration or the assessment of whether the “third time will be the charm” for Delta’s nonstop flight to China.
- Aga Khan Again Brings Message of Engaged Islam to Atlanta – March 26
- Commentary: Fast Track No Longer: Talent-based Green Cards Face Unprecedented Delays – Oct. 18
- Delta Puts Premium on Language Skills in Search for 1,000 Flight Attendants – Aug. 27
- Thyssenkrupp to Build $200 Million HQ and Elevator Test Tower in Cobb – July 31
- Commentary: Mongolia’s Moment? A Surprisingly Logical Choice to Host a Trump-Kim Summit – March 16
- GDPR is Coming: If You’re Selling to EU Citizens, Here’s How to Be Prepared – May 11
- One Last Time, Gov. Deal Praises 40 Georgia Exporters Who Cracked New Markets – March 22
- Brazilian Aircraft Giant Embraer to Land in Macon, Employing 100 at Maintenance Hub – June 6
- African Georgia State Graduate Sets an Example for Women in STEM Studies – June 25
- Rideshare Pickup Location at International Terminal Unchanged – Aug. 14
- Netherlands to Establish Atlanta Consulate to Deepen Economic Ties With Southeast U.S. – July 2
- Mercedes-Benz Reveals Plans for Atlanta Innovation Hub While Unveiling New Headquarters – March 15
- Will the Third Time Be a Charm for Delta’s Atlanta-Shanghai Flight? – March 8
- Emory Professor’s 80th Birthday Celebrated Appropriately at the ‘Infinite Energy Center’ in Duluth – Sept. 15
- Now Open: NCR’s Shiny New Global Headquarters – Jan. 16
- India’s Next Consul General in Atlanta: Diplomat, Doctor, Woman – May 21
- Commentary: Why Atlanta Should Be the Global Hub for Franchising – May 2
- Lake Lanier to Host Global Dragon Boat Championship – May 15
A few caveats to this list:
- It’s biased toward stories that were published earlier in the year, given that they had more time to accumulate and readership. That says a lot for the stories that made the list even while being published during the final months of the year.
- Given that this is calculated based on pageviews on our website, the list might reveal more about popularity of certain search terms than the preferences of our nearly 11,000 email subscribers, though these are often well correlated. These rankings don’t include any social-media performance metrics.
- The top category of content, thanks to the sheer volume of posts, was event listings — some for us but most for outside organizations on our aggregated calendar. For those listings, visit www.globalatlanta.com/events
–Managing Editor Trevor Williams