Those expanses of black-and-white renderings of ancient Roman symbols aren’t just randomly cast onto the page to fill space between doctor’s ads, no sir. They’ve been carefully assembled and arranged by a team of professional writers and editors. It often takes hours upon hours to get those letters grouped into words, and those words placed in precisely the right order. We separate some ofÂ these symbolsÂ from others, as a distinct block, and package them as a single unit that we refer to as an “article” or a “story” or (if we want to pretend we’re highly trained and uniquely qualified specialists) a “piece.”
And sometimes something really special comes of it. Sometimes one of these compositions fires the imagination, or is just plain fun to consume, and it becomes extremely popular. That’s the case with most** of our list of feature stories that drew the most attention online in 2012.
**Admittedly, in a few cases, yes, readers came around for the pretty pictures.