8. Best community-sourced

Coming Home With the Matador Community, by Nick Rowlands.
We asked the Matador community to send in a photo and caption that encapsulated how they felt about “home”, and were blown away by the quality of the responses, which were by turns heart-warming, poignant, and philosophical.

9. Most thought-provoking

On the Front Porch With a Gun, Waiting for the Black People to Come, by Leigh Shulman.
One of my all time favorites on Matador, this article talks about the dangers of both negative and positive stereotyping of people, and kicked off an interesting discussion that touched on statistics, fear, stereotypes, and compartmentalized thinking.
AND

Photo by CharlesFred

Definitions of Modesty: Bikinis at the Supermarket, Burkinis at the Pool, by Heather Carreiro.
In response to Leigh’s article on The Most Obscene Debate on the Internet, Heather wrote a great piece arguing that no culture has the right to define modesty, nudity or “freedom” for anyone else, and that to do so is another face of cultural imperialism.

10. Best on tech

How To Find ANYTHING on the Internet, by Jason Wire.
This article is packed with tips, tricks and resources to help you find that digital needle in the huge cyber-haystack. And it hit number one spot on Digg in the Top News in All Topics section, where it got really positive comments, so it must have been good!

11. Best photo essay

20 of the Most Unique Homes Ever Built, by Daniel Nahabedian.
From spaceships and mushrooms to seashells and bubbles, Old Mother Hubbard don’t got nothing on these houses. Gorgeous pictures of fantastical houses.

Easy bread, photo by Susanna Donato

12. Best on food

How I Escaped the Hungry Husband and Learned to Love Cooking, by Neha Puntambekar.
What I love about this piece by Neha is that she doesn’t just share links to six great Indian food blogs, but provides a personal insight into the relationship between kitchens, cooking and marriage in India.
AND
How To Bake Your Own Amazingly Easy, Incredible Bread, by Susanna Donato.
This recipe is so easy to follow even I understand it, and totally kills the idea that baking your own bread needs to be a complicated or time-consuming process. In fact, it’s probably the best thing since… actually, scrub that, you still have to slice it yourself.

13. Best on social media

Candice Does Chatroulette: The Search For the Cat, by Candice Walsh.
We publish a load of articles about social media, but the great thing about this one was that Candice really got out there and immersed herself in penises and beards so as to bring readers the lowdown on what was (at the time) the latest Internet phenomenon, Chatroulette.

14. Quirkiest topic

The 20 Most Bizarre US College Scholarships, by Anne Merritt.
Did you know that if you are left-handed, great with duct tape or at marbles, or can pull off a mean duck call, you can get a college scholarship in the USA? Nope, nor did I. Pure genius!

15. Best on parenting

13 Ways of Looking at Your Mom’s Body, by Leigh Shulman.

Powerful and original article in which Leigh has collated 13 evocative pictures of women either during or after pregnancy, which invite readers to examine the relationship mothers have between body and self during these times.

16. Brucie bonus

These are genuine Google searches that led to at least one click-through to a Matador Life article. We’ll leave it to you to work out which article!

  • before and after pictures avocado do to your face
  • bizarre food drink semen
  • “dating site” “advice” “showed up hungover”
  • “time travel” sleep with mother
  • “eaten alive”, costume
  • al matador porn
  • aiko the sex robot

Here’s to an even better 2011!

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

Do you agree with these selections? Are there any more you would add? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.