Photo: Mykl Roventine

At least eight articles published on Matador this year were re-tweeted 100 or more times. Which one is your favorite?

More than one media outlet called 2009 “The Year of Twitter.”

Matador established a strong presence on the social networking platform early in the year, and grew its following to more than 9,000 people as of today, thanks to Twitter ninja Andy Hayes.

Twitter has been a vital way for Matador to connect with travelers, writers, and readers in 2009, and thanks to active tweeters, many of the articles we’ve published have helped generate thoughtful conversation and build community, which has been our goal since our founding.

Here are eight of the most re-tweeted articles on the Matador Network in 2009, presented in ascending order of the number of RTs:

1. Twitter Contest Giveaway: The Marmot Diva Pack: 100 RTs

When we launched a giveaway series on Matador Goods this summer, the Twitter-verse went wild with RTs from travelers eager to win free gear. The Marmot Diva Pack was an early promotion and a high performer, with 100 RTs.

2. Twitter Contest Giveaway: The Marmot Genesis Jacket: 106 RTs

Our readers seem to love Marmot gear! At 106 RTs, the Marmot Genesis Jacket was another popular giveaway among our Twitter friends.

3. 12 Places to Get Close to the Edge: 113 RTs

2009 also saw the launch of several photo essay series across the Matador Network. The popularity of 12 Places to Get Close to the Edge–with 113 RTs–seemed to suggest that our readers are seriously adventurous folks.

Not that we didn’t know that already.

4. 10 Words and Phrases We Never Want to See in Travel Writing Again: 121 RTs

The craft of writing isn’t dead!

Just before launching our travel writing school as the first course offering at MatadorU, the Matador editorial team provided some freebie writing tips for aspiring travel writers with our 10 Words and Phrases We Never Want to See in Travel Writing Again.

The editors were pleased to see this article get 121 RTs, and hope the advice we offered has led to less cliched travel writing.

5. What Can 150k Buy in Real Estate Around the World?: 224 RTs

What with the recession and all, everyone was looking for a deal in 2009, and senior editor David Miller generated 224 RTs with his article, What Can 150k Buy in Real Estate Around the World?

6. 5 Key Ingredients in the Search for Happiness: 224 RTs

Everyone wants to be happy, right? Matador Trips co-editor Carlo Alcos offered five insights about the variables that lead to true happiness in this article that was RT’d 224 times in 2009.

7. Intolerable Beauty: Chris Jordan Photographs American Mass Consumption: 404 RTs

Another photo essay, this one of Americans’ excessive consumption, fired up tweeters and got this piece re-tweeted 404 times. Commenters were torn between appreciation for Jordan’s observations about mass consumption and debating the validity of the claims suggested by his photographs.

8. The Most Alien Landscapes on Earth: 440 RTs

Matador Trips co-editor Hal Amen proved he was the master of the photo essay in 2009, but even he didn’t expect 440 RTs–or the wild debate that took off in the comments section–on this piece. The Most Alien Landscapes on Earth was Matador’s most re-tweeted article in 2009!

Community Connection:

Are you still resisting Twitter or totally clueless about what it is? Matador member Kevin Chan offers a simple primer in his post “How to Get More Traffic to Your Travel Blog Using Twitter.”