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These are the Forum features stories you read in 2017

Author, blogger and speaker Joshua Becker was born in Aberdeen, S.D. and spent the majority of his junior high and high school career in Wahpeton, N.D. Special to The Forum1 / 4
This home, built by Heritage Homes in south Fargo, was featured on the 2017 Spring Parade of Homes. David Samson / The Forum2 / 4
Emily Paulson, who has Treacher Collins syndrome, speaks to a class at S.G. Reinertsen Elementary School in Moorhead about the movie "Wonder", a fictional story of a boy with a similar craniofacial condition. Alexandra Floersch / The Forum3 / 4
Paige Becher, Tori Olson and Anna Suppes pose with their "Barbie" van being prepped for homecoming at Fargo Davies High School. David Samson / The Forum4 / 4

The end of the year is always the time to take stock of everything accomplished during the year. When it comes to content, that means taking a look at what audiences spent their time reading.

Features content covers a variety of topics, from home trends to personality profiles to arts and entertainment. Using pageview data, we looked at the most viewed lifestyle stories our team produced and found a few recurring themes.

Minimalism speaks

The top two stories under the lifestyles category are about minimalism — the first is about how local people are living with less and embracing a lifestyle that focuses more on mindfulness rather than possessions. These people shared tips and tricks for reducing the amount of "stuff" we own, and how to start the process of being a minimalist.

Additionally, a profile on early minimalist Joshua Becker earned more than 14,000 pageviews. Becker was born in South Dakota but attended junior high and high school in Wahpeton, N.D., and has been writing about minimalism for a decade. The article was especially helpful thanks to Becker's tips for how to pursue minimalism as a family.

Homes content is attractive

In Fargo, the Parade of Homes happens every year, but each time the Home Builders Association aims to offer something distinct. The spring 2017 parade featured a look at three luxury homes in the area. All three homes are located within Rocking Horse Farm and offer unique floor plans as well as eye-catching details.

Readers also couldn't get enough of a list describing 9 free apps to slay home design, decor and organization. The tech tools give homeowners new ways to design floor plans, find inspiring decor or organize their spaces. Minimalists in the making, perhaps?

Or, perhaps those readers were looking for information about how to update their home, because it would soon be on the market. Another popular features article offered insight from local realtors and appraisers on how a home's worth is determined. The article dispelled a few myths homeowners commonly have regarding their home's value.

Feel-good features

The movie "Wonder" debuted in November, and just days before it did, we published a story about a local woman with similar facial disfigurement as the main character of the movie (and the book upon which the film is based). More than 10,000 people read about Emily Paulson and how she embraces her Treacher Collins syndrome to teach local students about kindness.

Another article doesn't relate to a movie, but a sweet story it is. Eight senior girls at Fargo Davies High School described an annual tradition of decorating a van for the school's homecoming parade and what the tradition means to each of them.

The best part? The van is decorated in a Barbie theme.

Novel topics

The list of most-viewed features content rounds out with a number of stories about very specific or timely topics. These include:

No matter how many people read our lifestyle content in 2017, we're grateful for everyone who did. Thanks for being a great audience, and we look forward to providing you with more interesting stories in 2018.

Danielle Teigen

Danielle Teigen is from South Dakota, but she headed north to attend North Dakota State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and management communication. She worked for Forum Communications first in 2007 as an intern and part-time reporter. Later, she served as editor for two local magazines before switching gears for marketing and public relations roles for an engineering firm and the chamber of commerce.  She returned to Forum Communications in May 2015 as a digital content manager and is currently the Life section editor.  She is originally from Turton, S.D., and is the author of "Hidden History of Fargo".

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