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Flayrah's top stories in 2011

Edited as of Thu 31 Jan 2013 - 03:35
Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Flayrah2011 was a busy year for Flayrah, with over 80,000 front-page visitors. More than half went on to read a story; others jumped directly to them. But which of our 350 stories did they like, and what might occasional readers have missed?

Popular stories

The news of a furry on My Strange Addiction topped the charts, with almost 7,000 views. Not far behind was the story of an Ohio man who released his menagerie of wild animals, committing suicide shortly afterwards. The piece brought in many non-furry visitors.

October saw the sad deaths of several furs, and the stories about Findra, Athus Nadorian and Snack Raccoon made the top fifteen by views.

SpinDizzy admin Findra died this October. [photo: BunnyHugger]

News of Insane Kangaroo's plan to create a 'murrsuit database' drew a large audience (as did the related poll about sex in fursuits). More surprisingly, a brief story about Fchan's downtime garnered over 3,000 views due to the story's high visibility in search results. The same effect brought visitors to a story about Daphne and Velma from 2002.

An uplifting editorial about the rise of furry fandom was well-read, and drew many worthy comments. Most recently, Watts Martin's survey of furry story sites held readers' attention for five minutes (the average is two), while the preview video of NatGeo's Taboo saw a spike of traffic from Reddit.

Other popular stories included the closure of Portal of Evil, the Krypto1701 saga and a dubious retrospective of furry fandom's origins – notable for the number of greymuzzles who came out of the woodwork to correct the author . . . and each other.

The story about My Strange Addiction was also a leading item of discussion, with 248 comments. The suggestion of a 'murrsuit database' was almost as contentious, as was the ever-changing definition of 'furry'. However, highly-viewed stories did not always get comments. Other heavily-discussed topics included an editorial on saucy fursuit music video Room 366, this February's furry survey, and a review of Omaha the Cat Dancer by The Onion's A.V. Club.

Significant reporting

The True Story of Puss'N BootsOf course, what is read or commented on is not necessarily of great importance. Indeed, Flayrah's readers saw Anthrocon's displacement by the 2012 NHL Entry Draft as the scoop of the year, with contributor Sonious saying:

[...] it isn't something I would have found out if it wasn't posted here for one as I don't watch sports that much, [and] it's positive in the light that furries are now an important enough sub-culture for people to haggle with.

Flayrah tipped off The Hockey News, and the story later spread to a variety of sports news venues, including CBS, NBC and TSN – as well as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Post-Gazette.

Also considered notable was the resignation of Fur Affinity administrators. FA's silent test of VigLink was one of the highest-rated stories of 2011, while pieces on the division of WildCritters and Sonic's new Generations got mixed marks. Naturally, Anthrocon's mostly-positive media coverage and videos of G4's Attack of the Show, How To Train Your Dragon and Japanese brainwave-controlled cat ears were also well-received, as was a tidbit of information about Fuzzy Ergo Sum and reviews of Housepets and Star Fox 64 3D.

The most-read review was a stinging critique of The True Story of Puss 'n Boots, with Bitter Lake and Pokémon Black and White not far behind.

Site changes

Flayrah itself saw many changes in 2011. The site was accepted into Google News this July; December saw the addition of 'standout' stories and rating-based Editors' Picks — the former featuring in a site header — and its freely-licensed content was syndicated by FNN, reaching a sizable audience of Twitter and podcast users. Recent months saw several additions to the masthead, with a series of reviews by veteran fan historian Fred Patten, a regular movie column by crossaffliction, and the syndication of Rod O'Riley's prolific furry media blog In-Fur-Nation.

See also: Flayrah's top stories in 2010 - monthly archive - recent polls


Flayrah's contributors also posted over 450 newsbytes in 2011.


Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

Okay, the Omaha the Cat Dancer making the "biggest discussions of the year" was mostly me jumping from (mostly off) topic to (definitely off) topic like a monkey who has stolen a tourist's Red Bull. Pretty proud of the least seen Flayrah review of Apollo 18 in that one. You should read it.

Looking back, the writing process of the Rango and Pokemon White/Black reviews were under very strange conditions that you wouldn't believe. The Pokemon review is all right, but I can't say I like the Rango review. I was too cautious, I think, for one thing, feeling that this could be the fandom's Fantastic Mr. Fox of the year, so I was trying to basically finesse furries into watching it, and I feel like I didn't really sell the movie's real quality, looking back at it.

However, the review I like the least is definitely, surprisingly Star Fox 64 3D; it had some good jokes I cut before posting simply because I lacked confidence, which is doubly inexcusable after I got away with so much stuff in the last review, Furreh Nuuz Teevee, which is my favorite of the year. Great stuff, and a lot of personality.

I think it's important for reviewers to put in a bit of their personality, especially if, say, people find the stupid jokes unfunny. A review is supposed to help people decide how to spend their money; if the person making the review is clever to you, his opinion should be more trusted, and if they're a bore, untrusted. Being a flat, dull, non-person is the worst thing a reviewer can be.

The Muppets (really allowed myself a bit of vulnerability in that one), Solatorobo (mixed reviews are hardest, but have there own rewards) and of course Hyenas and Happy Feet Two (I sometimes wonder if furries find my negativity pointed somewhere else as refreshing as I do) would probably round out my top five favorite personal reviews.

The biggest failure of the year, however, was my failure to write and post a Rise of the Planet of the Apes review. I just didn't do it. A bad review is better than no review.

Moving from reviews to news, well, I didn't have much, and even when I did I usually got unconfident and called it opinion anyway. However, all three were pretty good, and I had fun; the PoE piece was personal, the Super Smash Bros. piece may have been the only piece this year to run a correction, and was pretty much just for fun, but it was a lot of fun, and garnered one of my few "hey, that was funny!" comments despite cramming jokes in everywhere, and the Cars 2 piece was, well, that was something, wasn't it?

The opinion pieces just made me mad at furries; it should be noted that at least one failed at the mission it set out to accomplish in its title. I later ran across one of Fred's old timelines which claimed the first art to be called furry was funny animal pinups advertising "furry" parties. I know pinup doesn't have to mean "pinup," but I just read that and was also like "haha, I was right, and EVERYBODY ELSE WAS WRONG!" I don't have to win; it's the other side losing I'm interested in. However, the biggest slap to the face on that one was not the negative reaction, but what was negatively reacted to; I expected negative reaction to the definition, but I might as well have defined furry as daisies and butterflies for all it mattered, because it seemed to me the negativity was aimed at the idea of a definition, period.

The horror piece was basically a promise made to myself, during the bizarre "lack of confidence" period that included the no-Apes-review-for-you, unconfident Star Fox reviews and Green Reaper reminding me eerily of a former newspaper editor who once told me, "I'm very mad at you," which was nice, because I wouldn't have known otherwise. In other words, it was a miracle it was completed, so I'm just glad the promise was kept.

Fun fact: the Star Fox opinion piece began life as an over long comment that wasn't quite as egotistical as this one, so I decided, screw it, let's not post it and work it into a full article. It was written pretending that Nintendo (or at least IGN) was actually reading Flayrah; you may like having absolutely zero impact on the world, but I can at least pretend that's the way it isn't. The bizarrest critique by a furry ever came about from that one; some furry on Twitter asked why a FURRY on a FURRY site would argue for the Star Fox series of games to appeal to furries.

It is a mystery.

Moving on to the final section of the contributions, I can't say right now which one I like the best, and which the least. Probably the first; I was still excited, and it shows. I still get excited, but your first time is still the best. At least that's what they say. Anyway, expect the next one some time tonight, Mr. Editor. Don't wait up for it, though. It won't be that amazing.

Happy New Year then.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I thought Rise tried to be one too many movies at once. It was Contagion and Planet of the Apes, the former's sub-plot only really making an impact at the end. And I guess all the nice humans we met were fated to die? Not cool.

I enjoyed "What Star Fox needs". I think your reviews of Sacrament and Kung Fu Panda 2 were particularly well-done, while Furreh Nuuz Teevee and Hyenas were fun to edit. I learnt a lot about the game from Black and White.

Every time you submit a piece, I spend a little less time on it. (This is a good thing.)

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

I actually liked the Contagion subplot; the humans were going to be (mostly) wiped out at some point anyway. It's nicer that they ended up going via a tragic accident rather than Andy-Serkis-wearing-a-bunch-of-balls going apeshit on them (remember, in the original series, humanity was killed by time traveling apes). In this series, apparently the few survivors destined to become slaves of the ape overlords will be of Madagascaran descent. Other than that, I thought the movie was overrated; it didn't suck, which was about ten thousand times more than what anyone expected of a Planet of the Apes prequel, so people apparently got excited.

I forgot how movie nerd I went on Kung Fu Panda 2; man, I hit two major movie fetishes (Bond and killer-African-animal-movies-loosely-based-on-true-stories).

I kinda don't think of the Sacrament piece as a review so much as a book recommendation, if that makes any kind of sense. It also feels like I'm cribbing off Fred to me; not a knock on Fred, by any means, but, well, I'm obviously not Fred. I think my favorite review by Fred is probably actually the Puss in Boots artbook; at the very least, it made my Christmas shopping easier (though I actually ended up buying the Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rango artbooks instead).

Also, I literally write articles with your past editing in mind; I'm adjusting.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

A lot of the old Furry Party "pinup" posters at s-f and comics conventions of the late 1990s were preserved through publication in "Yarf!" at the time, so they can still be seen today. They were taped up around the cons but were not really "pinup" at all. The first Furry Party posters of the 1980s, including the notorious BayCon 1988(?) innocent one by Kris Kreutzman that somebody graphitted into a "Skunk Fuckers' Party" poster, then used it as an excuse to try to get the Furry fans ejected from the con, were equally innocuous.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Looks like pinup art to me (link).

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Okay, some of it was MILDLY pinup. I notice that this link consists of only the most suggestive of the Furry Posters, not the majority of them.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Indeed . . . it's not like Foxmas's poster is the best example of con promotions today.

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

Oh, oh, oh, while I've got the reviewers and editor all in one spot, I want to do a top ten movies list, especially since Weasel Wordsmith seems to have gone on semi-permanent hiatus and there isn't a furry critics top ten list.

I don't know if I should just post it (it would be about half furry, half not), use it as January's column, or not bother. Of course, other contributors could do their own list (or even better, go after other mediums), and in fact I'm hoping they would. At the very least, make me look less egotistical.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Well, it's always nice to read something that's clear and thought-out, so personally I wouldn't mind. If you're worried about relevancy, make comparisons between the movies that are and aren't of interest to the fandom.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

Pin-up has two definitions, and I knew it, but I still got excited.

Either way, though, probably somebody should get the art gallery experiment to show some; even if they were all terrible (which they weren't) they'd still at least have historical worth.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Like most things in the fandom, there's a wide swath of material that makes broad generalizations very difficult. :-( Saying the party fliers weren't really pinup isn't completely true; neither would be a generalization that they *were* pinup. Just how many were and weren't... well, who knows at this point. There were at least enough pinup ones to make an impression.

I got these scans from an old conbook, I think from an article by Rod, who included some non-pinup ones too, but whether the pinups in his selection was biased due to personal tastes or biased by being limited to what fliers he had on hand to scan for the article, I don't know.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

"I expected negative reaction to the definition, but I might as well have defined furry as daisies and butterflies for all it mattered, because it seemed to me the negativity was aimed at the idea of a definition, period."

Were people rejecting the idea of definition, or just pushing for an open, more nebulous definition? I vaguely remember treating the latter as not counting as a definition (and implications that a vague definition means one doesn't care about the fandom...). Of course people will look like they are arguing against the idea of a definition if you reject their definition as even counting, but that doesn't mean people were against the idea of a definition. It would be unfortunate if the biggest frustration was about an issue that wasn't actually there.

"I don't have to win; it's the other side losing I'm interested in."

Speaking of questioning one's level of caring, I also vaguely remember this coming up before, possibly less out of context than here. If things become about winning/losing like some game, it becomes more difficult to see writings as sincere and lowers expectations of constructive results.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

"Nebulous" is a negative descriptor. Unless you're describing nebulas, and then it's redundant.I think my argument was "a vague definition" is unusable;" admittedly, I could've went in a thousand directions. When you're arguing with a thousand and one guys who are dogpiling you unmercifully, you kind of flail about a bit. Also, you're conflating an argument from last week with an argument from last May; apparently you're still sore over the "you don't care about anthropomorphic animals" line, so maybe you do.

Though your last paragraph consists entirely of a personal (and rather ridiculous) attack (the opinion guy has opinions! OH, HORRORS!). Maybe you just don't like me. I dunno. Besides, I hardly write about the fandom itself, anyway.

Probably shouldn't get into arguments in the comments sections, actually, but what are you going to do?

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

"Also, you're conflating an argument from last week with an argument from last May;..."

I was thinking of the discussion from May, but looks like a similar issue came up in another discussion from two weeks ago.

"Though your last paragraph consists entirely of a personal (and rather ridiculous) attack"

Well it is mostly commentary on my perspective, not really of you (unless I misremembered who previously said internet arguments are about winning). I have no idea how sincere or not you are. I usually try to give benefit of the doubt on such things, but sometimes that is harder to do.

"Maybe you just don't like me."

I don't think this medium conveys much on personal level, one way or the other, so it has nothing to do with like/dislike of the person (for me at least...). Although some people say more disagreeable things than others, or repeat them, so patterns in arguments result.

"...but what are you going to do?"

Share a round at the nearest pub? But I don't think this medium conveys much on the beer level either.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

Been really busy lately, so I wanted to say the last line was appropriate, given the time period, and also I did say Internet arguments were a game at one point; I also made clear that what was at stake was Monopoly money.

I'm working on the next Newsbytes archive tonight, which reminded me of something that apparently did get left behind this year; Treesong's upcoming furry comic lists, which had been a feature (also seemingly started by Noodles on a.f.f.) almost as old as Flayrah. Probably not the most read feature, but should be remembered.

Also, also, Mister Twister ... working on it.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.