popularDuring the holidays, we’ve been sharing our best stories of 2018. But as Director of Audience Engagement, I was curious — what stories were the most popular this year?  We took a look at the most popular stories based on comments and social media likes and shares. Have a favorite of your own? Share it in the comments!

January: The Lakewood Porch Pirate Nabbed

While we started covering this story during the holiday season in 2017 (in fact, we were the first news organization to bring you the story of the Lakewood Porch Pirate and the box of poop she stole), that coverage continued into 2018, when Kelli Russell was arrested. (more…)

This week, CandysDirt.com staff are writing about holiday decor and the best places to hang Christmas stockings. Since graduating college, my best place for holiday stockings has been on my feet as I drove to an airport. Flush with money from my first big-boy job, I booked my first international trip to Europe for the precise purpose of escaping the holidays. I’ve never looked back.

I have never setup a Christmas tree, strung garland, or been awoken to a sugarplum dancing in my head. I’m sure it doesn’t take Freud to figure out my aversion.

My childhood holidays were a B O R E. My parents, brother, and I shredding through presents and then were kinda bored by noon followed by an early dinner and TV. Thank god when movies started being shown on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.

So I am here to tell you it is not too late. Hang your stocking from the overhead bin and RUN AWAY!

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CandysDirtIt’s been a few weeks since we announced some pretty major staff changes here at CandysDirt, and what has followed since that announcement has been pretty exciting, we think.

One of the biggest things the editorial board — which is made up of founder and publisher Candy Evans, executive editor Jo England, and me — knew we wanted to do was improve the way we engage with you, our readers.

After all, audience engagement is actually in my title now.

So we’re entering a new path in the way we engage with our readers and the way we approach social media. Not to get too far into how the sausage is made, but we want to be part of your day.

“What does that mean?” you may ask. This means that you’ll start to see content on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds that you might not see on our sites. You might also see new avenues open up or get additional focus, like Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

But we’re most excited about our two biggest options we’ve developed for our readers — two new Facebook groups designed to provide a platform for the house hunter and the Realtor alike, and all those businesses also make homeownership possible.

Today, those groups debut. (more…)

This was supposed to have been my 500th column, but time and scheduling got away from me.

This adventure began in January 2015 after a particularly egregious HOA meeting when I sent Candy a screed on the loony-ness of my HOA. Candy being Candy, immediately replied wanting to publish the inner dirt. When I woke up the next day, I thought about burning bridges (my own) and asked her if perhaps we could try something more regular and less “shoot myself in the foot”. She agreed to a trial run.

What I didn’t know until much later was that behind the scenes, Candy and executive editor Joanna England were very wary about a putz like me. After all, I have no journalism degree or seeming writing experience. Could I write my way out of a paper bag? It’s been over 500 columns and I’m sure that some days they still wonder what the hell they got themselves into. (Editor’s note: This is accurate.)

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After a busy three days of panel discussions, networking and writing, the National Association of Real Estate Editors — or NAREE — announced Friday night that CandysDirt.com writers Jon Anderson and Bethany Erickson both took home awards for their reporting last year.

Anderson took home a Bronze Award for his breaking news story on the Friday night blaze that destroyed the Pink Wall’s Preston Place condos. His reporting was continuously updated through the night and next day as more than 100 firefighters battled the fire that left many displaced. (more…)

Ban Sport Utility Strollers

Those who read my stuff must know I’m pretty perfect.  Coming up with a list of New Year’s resolutions really scrapes the bottom of the barrel. Last year’s number one was “Clip toenails before a hole appears in your socks.”  This year I’ve taken a different tack. This year, I’m making a list of things the world (and perhaps some of you) can do to make my life easier.

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Do you like this or have you just seen a lot of it?

Style is a loose term defining the trappings we show the outside world from shoes to shower curtains. It is a set of markers that enable others to make decisions about us without exchanging words. These markers are both blatant and nuanced.  The easiest to pick off are the signs of wealth or a lack of it (money is the great excluder). Mark Cuban rankles many in Preston Hollow simply by being the top dog in a sea of less-top dogs.

But back on earth, most of us believe our personal style is just that, personal. That we’ve somehow had some input into the architecture of our persona. Nope.  Not really.

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