December 27, 2010

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Art of Manliness: Best of 2010

Man, oh, man. 2010 is coming to a close. What a year it has been. The biggest event in our life was the birth of our son Gus McKay back in October. He’s two months old and is all smiles. This is one happy baby. Kate and I love being parents and are excited to start this new season in our life.

We won’t be publishing anything on the site this week. Instead we’ll be finishing out the year by working on the manuscript of our second book that’s due out in the Fall of 2011 (more on that later).

We wanted to leave you all with some stuff to browse while we’re away so you can still get your AoM fix, so we’ve put together this recap of 2010 on the Art of Manliness. I think 2010 was a pretty dang awesome year for AoM, full of cool and inspiring posts, fun and helpful how-to’s, amazing series, and tons of manly goodness.  Here’s a breakdown of some of what went on with the Art of Manliness this past year.

1. We launched a mobile version of AoM so now you can read AoM on the go.  It’s compatible for all touch smartphones. Just visit artofmanliness.com in your smartphone’s browser to see the mobile version.

2. We added 3 more awesomely manly t-shirt designs to our AoM t-shirt collection. Thanks to the gents at TankFarm Clothing for helping us out with the design and printing of the shirts.

3. In the early part of 2010 we ran a series of posts on becoming a more resilient and steadfast man. You can read each post here:

  • In Part I we gave an introduction to the idea of mental and emotional resilience.
  • Part II we introduced the idea of “learned helplessness” and how to overcome it by changing your explanatory style.
  • Part III we discussed how to take more control of your life by having an internal locus of control.
  • Part IV we talked about eliminating “iceberg beliefs.”
  • Part V discussed how focusing on your signature strengths will make you more resilient.
  • Part VI we outlined how to stop catastrophizing outcomes in your life.
  • Part VII we wrap everything up by discussing how you can teach these principles to your children so they grow up to be emotionally and mentally resilient adults.

We compiled all the posts into a 72 page eBook. You can download it here for  $5. A must read to start off 2011 on the right foot.

4. Mid-year we did a series of posts on finding your calling in life. A lot of you found this information very helpful. We hope it gave those of you searching for what to do with your life some direction.

  • In Parts I and II of our series on vocation we talked about what a vocation is.
  • In Part III we put forth an argument for why every man should pursue his vocation.
  • In Part IV we discussed how to find your vocation.
  • In Part V, we discussed the obstacles men face in going after and embracing their true vocation.

5. Antonio Centeno, our style writer extraordinaire, privileged us with an incredibly helpful series on building a proper wardrobe:

Part I introduced the subject and gave wardrobe checklists for different kinds of men.
Part II outlined 5 general wardrobe building guidelines and expanded on the clothing checklists.
Part III covered hats and other accessories.
Part IV taught us how to protect and take care of a wardrobe.

5. In May we introduced the Art of Manliness Library of Random Man Knowledge. Here you’ll find over 1,400 user submitted manly tips, inspiring manly quotes, and interesting manly trivia. Check it out and take the time to contribute to the Library of Random Man Knowledge while you’re there.

6. In June we started the Art of Manliness Trunk. The AoM Trunk is a collection of cool stuff that we find while wandering the vast deserts of the world wide web. Like your grandpa’s old trunk, the AoM Trunk is full of manly photos, films, and accouterments (and announcements about the winners of our giveaways!). It’s your web edited with an eye for manliness.

7. Inspired by our articles on calling cards, we released a series of 9 AoM-themed calling cards that you can customize with your personal info and purchase. A pack of 100 cards will only set you back $25 and can be purchased here. Our thanks to Eric Granata for designing the cards.

8. Finally, in December we launched a line of Art of Manliness themed posters. Take your pick between aRudyard Kipling “If” poster or Teddy Roosevelt grinning with his immortal “Man in the Arena” quote inscribed in the background. Posters are $9.99 each and can be purchased in the AoM Shop. Special thanks to Mike Anderson at TankFarm Clothing for designing the posters.

Most Popular Posts of 2010

Alright. So let’s get to the best posts of 2010. Below we’ve included the most popular post of each month in 2010 based on traffic.

Jan: 45 Manly Hobbies

Feb: The World Belongs to Those Who Hustle

Mar: Manly Slang From the 19th Century

Apr: How to Get a Drink at a Busy Bar

May: Vintage Men’s Adventure Magazines

Jun: 15 Great iPhone Apps for Men

Jul: 14 Famous Man Caves

Aug: How to Make Introductions Like a Gentleman

Sept: Never Let the Sun Catch You Sleeping: How to Become an Early Riser

Oct: Man’s Guide to the Trench Coat

Nov: 7 Lessons in Appearance from the Marine Corps

Dec: How to Make a Secret Book Safe

Editors’ Picks

High traffic isn’t the only measure of a good article, though. Sometimes quality pieces just don’t find as big of an audience as those that are more “linkable.” Here are some of Kate and I’s personal favorites from this year:

Developing the Heroic Imagination: The 5 Traits of Heroes

8 Interesting (And Insane) Male Rites of Passages From Around the World

Dance Like Zorba the Greek: Getting in Touch with Your Wildman

The Seasons of a Man’s Life

Create More, Consume Less

The Bucket List Generation in the Age of Anomie

The Pocket Notebooks of 20 Famous Men

Tarzan Skills: How to Swim, Dive, Climb, and Swing Like the Lord of the Apes

Our Disembodied Selves and the Decline of Empathy

What is manliness? What’s with the vintage design theme of the blog? These two posts go a very long way in explaining what we’re about here at AoM. If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend doing so:

A Thank You to Art of Manliness Readers

This year the site grew from 56,000 to 82,000 subscribers and from 900,000 visits to over 1.5 million visits a month. We’ve also amassed nearly 50,000 fans on Facebook.  Kate and I are tremendously grateful for your support. Thank you for sharing AoM with your friends and family. Thank you to those who made the site an interesting and welcoming place to visit by sharing your respectful and insightful comments. I am always amazed at the great dialogue that takes place in the comment section. Thank you to those who emailed us feedback and suggestions. Thank you to those who shared your appreciation for the site with us and helped keep us going with much needed encouragement. You all are a wonderful group of gentlemen (and ladies), and it’s a privilege to associate with you and have you aboard. It’s truly inspiring to know that there other other men out there who are unwilling to settle for mediocrity and want to become the very best they can be.

Looking Forward to 2011

We’re very excited about 2011. Our biggest announcement for 2011 is that our second book, based on our Manvotional series, will be published in 2011. It’s going to be awesome. Kate and I are really excited about the project and we can’t wait to share more with you about it in the coming months.

We have some other projects in the works that we think you’ll find useful in becoming the man you want to be in 2011. Stay tuned for more details.

And as always, we’ll continue to publish totally free, top-quality content to help inform, inspire, and motivate you in your journey to become the best man you can be.

Let us all push onward and upward in spreading the ideals of honorable manliness in our families, with our friends, in the workplace, and in our simple day to day interactions with others.

See you in 2011!

What are your favorite Art of Manliness articles from the past year? (Or of all time?) Your feedback is always welcome and helps us improve the site.

 


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